Private Investigator Course Level 3

Our course code: X329

Course fee £375 or from £28 per month

Enrol on our course

Gain insight into the world of Private Investigation, and develop valuable skills such as surveillance and evidence collection to help expose deceitful partners, dubious insurance claims and dishonest employees. This online Private Investigator course teaches you essential procedures, key responsibilities and rich history of Private Investigators. You’ll also learn to take risks and avoid risky states when conducting investigations.

Gain a nose for the legal implications, surveillance, missing persons cases, and determine how to start your own Private Investigation business. You’ll also study key interviewing and interrogation techniques for when you need to draw information from victims or perps you encounter.

Modern technology, like the internet, has increased the demand for private investigators due to a rise in clandestine activities. Luckily, we can teach you how to collect information, manage client enquiries more effectively and employ methods that strengthen your intuition, patience, courage and resolve.

Career options include working within the private-sector: law firms, insurance companies or on public cases. With experience, you can progress into senior positions, or even start your own PI business with investigators working for you.

When studying our Level 3 Private Investigator course, you’ll learn about:

  • The History of Private Investigation
  • Skills detectives need before taking their first case
  • The importance of good ethical behaviour
  • Legal implications – The law must be followed always
  • Interviewing and interrogation techniques
  • Missing Persons Cases
  • Starting your own Private Investigation business
  • So much more…

Designed for people with no PI experience. Enrol to become a qualified investigator in under a year.

Gain insight into the world of Private Investigation, and develop key skills in surveillance and evidence collection.

  • Study with winners

    We’re an award-winning learning provider and have been recognised for our cutting-edge learning techniques.

  • At your own pace

    Study this course as quickly or slowly as you wish; we’ll work at a speed that suits you.

  • Unlimited Tutor Support

    Get as much help and support as you want from your personal course tutor via email and phone.

  • Awarding body: NCFE Customised Qualifications

With a heritage stretching back over 150 years, NCFE is one of the largest awarding bodies in the UK. Over 340,000 students were awarded certification by NCFE last year. Our NCFE Customised Qualifications are bespoke, unregulated qualifications developed to meet the needs of our learners. Completing Customised Qualifications does not lead to an OFQUAL regulated qualification, but they can be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards future study.

Study Hours

Up to 90 hours which is around 30 minutes per day for 6 months.

Study Method

The course is specially designed for study by distance learning. Throughout the course there will be self-assessment questions, and tutor marked assignments (TMAs), to enable you to monitor your progress.

Course Duration

You have up to a year to complete this course and we have included a suggested number of study hours. This is usually ample time for learners, even with full time jobs and other commitments. Don’t worry if you go over the year though, we can organise an extension to your course for a small fee, which also extends your tutor support.


Each unit is followed by a written tutor-marked assignment (TMA), which is submitted and then marked by your tutor. You will not be required to take an external exam.

Course Outcomes

At the end of this course, successful learners will receive a NCFE Customised Qualification and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details all of the units you have completed as part of your course). You can read more about NCFE here.

Additional Information

Difficulty - Level 3

Entry requirements - There are no formal entry requirements for this course, however, it is recommended that you have an intermediate ability to read and write English.

Course Content

1: An Introduction to Private Investigation

Discover the origins of private investigation, from thief-takers to the first detective agency. With key examples of events and people to the relevant skills of a Private Investigator. Also includes an activity to tackle before your first assignment.

2: Breaking into the Business

Learn about the importance of interacting with people, working with employees, managing your time and your fees before tackling your second assignment.

3: The Skills and Qualities Needed to Thrive as a Private Investigator

Gain knowledge of the roles, responsibilities and procedures crucial to private investigators. This unit details everything from observation to concentration, memory and writing skills, as well as courage, patience, and more. With four unique activities to attempt before tackling your third assignment.

4: The Ethics of Being a Private Investigator

Obtain insight into the ethical guidelines of private investigation. This unit will look at the techniques and choices you make when investigating from an ethical standpoint. Includes how to obtain evidence, maintain client confidentiality and abiding by moral codes of conduct.

5: The Law of Private Investigation

Develop your understanding of the key areas of legislation, licensing and human rights. You’ll find out why Private Investigators must always adapt to changing laws and legislation.

6: Types of Investigation

Identify the different types of cases that a Private Investigator may undertake. Also, learn about the arts of interviewing, surveillance and reporting during an investigation.

7: The Scientific Method

Recognise the correct approach to missing persons cases, from compiling profiles to the scientific process of crime scenes and evidence. Also, some insight into courtroom demeanour.

8: Interviewing and Interrogation

Acknowledge the difference between interviewing and interrogation. In this unit, you’ll uncover info regarding questioning, confessions and witness statement recordings. There’s an activity to attempt.

9: Introduction to Surveillance

Examine forms of surveillance and preparations a Private Investigator must take for the best outcome. Including information on stakeouts to disguises and legislation. With a fun activity to get you thinking.

10: Surveillance Equipment

A rundown of all the equipment you’ll need for a successful surveillance operation. Including vital questions to ask when choosing a camera. With an activity that’ll help you stay on the right side of the law.

11: More on Business and Corporate Investigation

A focused look closely at business and corporate investigations, which offer Private Investigators a breadth of opportunities. Studying everything from insurance, medical injury and fraud investigations.

12: Missing Persons Investigations

This section outlines skip tracing, an investigative speciality concerned with locating people who’ve skipped out on something or someone. This includes divorce, child custody, and missing persons cases.

13: Managing the Investigation and the Products of the Investigation

Understand the balance between pretexting and adhering to legislation. You’ll also learn how to deal with and build relationships with the media. Also, know how to document evidence at crime scenes

14: Setting up your Private Investigator Business

Discover how to start your own business from scratch. You’ll determine the right business model, identify the pros and cons of business ownership, right down to creating a stellar business plan.

Show 8 more modules

Frequently Asked Questions

We have some answers to common student questions, but if you can't find the answer you're looking for then please contact us and we will do everything we can to answer your questions.

You will have access to your personal tutor, via email and telephone, who will mark your assignments and guide you through the course. In addition, you will be supplied with a comprehensive Study Guide which will help you through the study and assessment process. Your personal tutor will be highly experienced in their subject area and qualified to teach.

You don’t need any prior skills in the subject area to start. However, as with all of our courses, we recommend a reasonable level of English reading and writing ability.

We provide all the specially written learning materials you require to study this course at home. The course fee also includes tutor support for the specified duration of your course.

You will receive everything you need to complete this course within the study pack we send to you.

No, this course is assessed by coursework alone.

No, all of the study materials are supplied within your learning pack.

Most students finish comfortably within the course duration period given. However, if you do need more time, your personal tutor support can be extended for an additional fee.

Please check our main FAQs section or Contact Us, we have experienced course advisers who will be delighted to help!