module specification

SC5003 - Skills for Community Police Officers (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Skills for Community Police Officers
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
180 hours Guided independent study
120 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Reflective Log, 1000 words
Coursework 40%   Essay, 2,000 words
Coursework 40%   Essay, 2,500 words
Running in 2019/20

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

The module aims to provide participants with a basic understanding of the skills needed for community police officers. This includes covering the skills and knowledge needed to liaise successfully with local authorities and diverse communities. Particular focus with be on the school policing concept and culture and the duties generally performed by school community officers in partnership with schools and other agencies. It will highlight areas of good practice in partnership work and provide frameworks which help to develop problem solving strategies and ultimately keep young people safe. It will review and analyse local tactics and tool kits employed by both statutory and on-statutory bodies and consider the wider implications of effective partnership working.


The module begins with an overview of the major areas of study for the course, concepts and framework related to international perspectives and the history of community policing and school community safety worldwide (LO1). Other key areas include legal perspectives, introduction to case studies and landmark events related to school/community safety, resources, best practices and strategies for schools and communities related to safety (LO2, 3). In addition the course will look at the key roles of a school based officer and neighbourhood based officer and some of the strategies employed to keep young people safe which are designed within the roles of Enforcement, Education and Engagement. It will review current evaluation work around police school programmes and critically review some of the evaluation techniques applied (LO4, 5).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students learn through a variety of methods including weekly lecture workshops. Video material is provided on a range of sessions to stimulate focussed discussion. Students also spend time in guided activity including an observation of magistrates’ court functions. Blackboard is used to supply information about the module including providing students with some key readings. Seminar time is allocated for students to discuss their progress with each other and the module includes an oral report on the court observation following which students are encouraged to reflect upon the process and to compare and critically evaluate their experiences.

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

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Understand the history and aims of the school based officer
2. Reflect on the critical, historical, theoretical and legal perspectives related to school community safety
3. Compare and contrast key studies and landmark events related to school community safety
4. Review current legislation in relation to crime reporting, information sharing between partners with the school/community framework
5. Overview of research and evaluation strategies related to school community safety.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed by one reflective logs and two essays. The reflective log requires students to demonstrate they understand how and why the skills they have learned are necessary for community police officers. The first essay of 2,000 words requires the student to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of community policing. The final essay of 2,500 words requires students to analyse and evaluate a specialist area of policing operations  such as policing in schools.


Core Text
Briers, Andrew N. (2004) Safer School Communities, Middlesex University Press.

Additional Reading
Briers, A. N. (2003) School-based police officers: What can the U.K. learn from the USA? 1461–3557. International Journal of Police Science & Management Volume 5 Number 2 pp. 129-142

Briers, A. N. and Dickmann, E. (2008) International Comparative perspective of police in schools resulting from a Fulbright Police Alumni Award. International Journal of Police Science and Management Vol 11 No 2

Dickmann, E (1999) An Ethnographic Study of Police in Schools, Colorado State University. PhD Thesis, unpublished, © 2000

Hayden, C. & Martin, D. (eds) (2011) Crime, Anti-Social Behaviour and Schools Palgrave Macmillan

Kolb, D (1984) Experiential Learning.  London: Prentice Hall

Honey, P and Mumford, A (1992) The Manual of Learning Styles. Maidenhead: Peter Honey Publications

Myhill, A. (2012) Community engagement in policing, Lessons from the literature. National Policing Improvement Agency. 

Whitehead, C., Stockdale, J., Scanlon, K., Roberts, C., and West, K. (2002) Neighbourhood Wardens: a review of international experience. London School of Economics and Political Science. London: UK. 

Williams, E.J. (2003) Structuring in Community Policing: institutionalizing innovative change. Police Practice and Research, Vol.4, No.2, pp 119-129. Routledge.