module specification

SC5002 - Perspectives on Policing (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Perspectives on Policing
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Group Project
Coursework 50%   Essay 2500 words
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module aims to:
1.  Explore the operational challenges and ethical dilemmas inherent in specialist police operations
2.  Examine particular aspects of specialist policing in detail from both practical and academic viewpoints
3.  Analyse the effectiveness of governance in relation to specialist policing operations
4.  Compare and contrast different perspectives in relation to policing priorities.
5. To develop student communication and team working skills.
6. Improve critical analytical thinking for real world problems.


The module familiarises students with the practicalities of specialist policing by reviewing different perspectives on a range of policing interventions. LO1,LO2 This involves exploring the development of law and procedures in a variety of specialist areas. LO3  The module examines ethical dilemmas and the ways in which they are confronted and resolved as well as the issues of human rights and governance involved in specialist policing. LO4,LO5  The module also discusses the overlap between policing and community safety on the one hand and policing and intelligence services on the other. LO2,LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching sessions consist of a series of lectures and seminar group sessions in which students are encouraged to explore the practical, legislative and ethical complexities of specialist policing and its management.  Students draw upon recent case studies and examine actual operational scenarios.  Former police operatives and other specialists provide professional insight through guest lectures.  Module materials will be made available on Blackboard and opportunities for personal development planning are provided in seminar contexts. In addition, as part of the group work assessment students will take responsibility for their own learning. Time can be allocated for group consultation/research sessions during seminar period with tutor feedback.

The last three sessions will consist of presentations from specialists in the field and a session of formative feedback.

Students are expected to undertake 7 hours of independent study per week.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1.   analyse and evaluate measures introduced to protect the fundamental rights of those subject to specialist policing operations, weighing the benefits and potential weaknesses of legislative and procedural protections.
2.   distinguish between the strategic and tactical approaches within specialist areas of policing
3.   critically evaluate the academic and open source data relating to one area of specialist policing
4.   describe and criticise the evolving governance structures in place within specialist police operations.
5. Develop critical thinking, communication and teamworking skills.


Core Reading:.
Newburn, T (2008) Handbook of Policing, Willan Publishing.

Additional Reading:
Brogden, M. and Nijhar, P. (2005)  Community Policing: international concepts and practice, London:Routledge
Bryant, R and Bryant S. (2016) Blackstone’s Handbook for Policing Students. Oxford  University Press.
English, R (2011) Terrorism: How to respond. Oxford University Press.
Harfield, C., Grieve , J.,  MacVean, A. and Phillips, D. (eds.) (2008) The Handbook of Intelligence Policing: consilience, crime control and community safety, Oxford:Oxford University Press
Hoyle, C. (2000) Negotiating Domestic Violence: police, criminal justice and victims, Oxford:Oxford University Press
Miller, D. (2012) Policing the Internet: current controversies, London:Greenhaven Press (forthcoming)
Murder Investigation Manual (2006) HMSO.
Neyroud, P. and Beckley, A. (2001) Policing Ethics and Human Rights, Cullompton:Willan
Ratcliffe, J. (2008) Intelligence Led Policing, London:Routledge
Sheptycki, J. (2011)  Transnational Crime and Policing  (forthcoming)


Policing: a journal of policy and practice


Electronic Databases:

Social Media Sources: YouTube 'Police Supers Association'.