module specification

SC4002 - Introduction to Policing (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Introduction to Policing
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
192 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 25%   Oral group presentation, 15 mins
Coursework 35%   Individual written report, 1500 words
Coursework 40%   Essay 2,000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

The module gives a broad introductory overview of policing in terms of law enforcement and combating crime.  It traces historically the evolutionary process of policing as a distinct function of the state.  The module introduces the development of policing traditions in England and Wales in some detail and also offers a grounding for comparison with policing systems in some other jurisdictions.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The module aims to:
1. introduce students to contemporary policing models
2. provide an introductory overview of the debates and dilemmas surrounding policing in modern democratic societies
3.  explore a number of different approaches to modern policing internationally including policing in non-democratic societies
4.  identify some of the major policing challenges which arise in contemporary policing practice in England and Wales.


The module begins with a review of the historical development of policing in England and Wales.  It then proceeds to examine in some detail the evolution of policing structures within a developing Criminal Justice System from the Peelite doctrine of modern policing that emerged in the early nineteenth century through to contemporary debates concerning zero tolerance policing and problem-solving policing models in communities.  The module will also incorporate some international policing comparisons.

Learning and teaching

A variety of teaching and learning methods are employed to facilitate the development of subject-specific and transferable skills including lectures, seminars and workshops.  In workshops operational policing scenarios are presented to students and they examine a series of datasets and devise strategies for addressing specific crime problems.   Police practitioners provide further insights as guest speakers.  Students develop competence in using appropriate internet resources such as the Home Office Area Crime Mapping webpage.  Blackboard is used for the location of appropriate study resources.

Students are expected to engage in approximately 6 hours per week of independent study and writing.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this modules students will be able to:

1. identify and distinguish between some comparative models of policing and criminal justice systems in different regimes and countries
2. provide a basic comparative framework for understanding differing forms of policing systems
3. evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the operational effects of different paradigms of policing
4. work effectively in a group to devise a tactical plan addressing a localised crime problem
5. produce individually a written tactical plan addressing the specified localised crime problem.

Assessment strategy

A group assignment in the form of an oral presentation gives students the opportunity in groups to devise a tactical plan to address a specific and localised crime problem (learning outcome4).  For the second assignment students write this up individually (learning outcome5).The third assignment consists of an essay of 2,000 words which requires students to compare and contrast police practice or models in different countries (learning outcomes 1,2,3).


Bayley, D.H. (1985) Patterns of Policing, Reutgers
Bowling, B. and Sheptycki, J. (2011)  Global Policing, London:Sage
Grieve, J. (2007)  Policing, London:Sage
Johnston, L. (1992) The Rebirth of Private Policing, London:Routledge
Newburn, T. (ed.) (2008), Handbook of Policing, 2nd edn., London:Routledge
Rowe, M. (2008)  Introduction to Policing, London:Sage
Wright, A, (2001)  Policing: an introduction to concepts and practice, Cullompton:Willan