module specification

SC6002 - Frameworks in Investigation (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Frameworks in Investigation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
210 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
90 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Case Study
Coursework 60%   Essay
Running in 2024/25

(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 build on existing knowledge by providing a more detailed insight into the criminal investigative process within the UK Criminal Justice System. Module content will include:
Critical review of miscarriages of justice (MOJ) to identify risk areas for MOJ's.
The module will go on to identify reforms made through legislation and procedure to improve the investigative process as a result.

Students will also examine the roles and responsibilities of a variety of actors during the process, from the Senior Investigating Officer, Crime Scene examiners, Family Liaison Officers and specialist support staff.

Students will have the opportunity to discuss and develop an investigative strategy that develops at stages through their group work.

A number of major public enquiries will also be scrutinised through examination of reports such as Hillsborough and MacPherson and their impact on police procedure and accountability.


The syllabus will cover:
           Miscarriages of Justice LO1
           investigative interviewing, LO2
           Crime scene examination LO5
           Covert & intelligence led policing methods, LO5
           Forensic support, Key legislation impacting on the conduct of                    Investigations will also be critically examined (PACE, RIPA, CPIA,    HRA etc) LO3,LO4
           Learning from key recent police enquiries. LO4
           Practical investigative skills LO2,LO3,LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Predominantly teaching will consist of a series of lectures and seminar group sessions. Students will examine a range of ethical issues and constraints in investigating criminal offences. Students will examine case studies, and gain practical experience of interviewing and develop an understanding of the complexities of formulating an investigative strategy based on a real case.
Module leaders/lecturers will have a broad investigative background and where appropriate professional guest speakers will bring a fresh perspective.
All materials will be made available on line through the Blackboard platform. It is anticipated that 6-7 hours a week private study will also be required, as well as some collaboration with others in the group. Individual tutorial sessions will also be encouraged by module leaders.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Understand the criminal process and how Miscarriages of Justice may occur and the implications for the wider policing landscape.
2. Improve communication skills by practical experience of investigative interviewing both as a suspect and interviewer, in accordance with current legislation.
3. Evaluate responses to investigations ethically and critically and in accordance with current legislation.
4. Critically review developments in policing practice as a result of enquires into criminal investigations, e.g. McPherson Report, Op Herne, Op Yew tree, Hillsborough Enquiry.
5. Formulate and defend an investigative strategy from the outset of a criminal enquiry.


Identify core and additional reading
Liaise with Library Services to confirm availability of on-line licenses in academic year

Where possible, the most current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students in their handbooks.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.

Core Reading:
Adler j & Grey J  (2010) Forensic Psychology Concepts, debates and practice (2nd edition),  Willan Publishing (Chapters 1 & 4)
Brewer N & Williams K (Ed) 2005. Psychology and Law: An Empirical Perspective, Guildford Press (Chapters 1 and 7).
Rassin E, Eerland A and Kuijpers I (2010) Let’s Find the Evidence: An Analogue Study of Confirmation Bias in Criminal Investigations, Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling. 7: 231–246
Quirk H (2007) Identifying Miscarriages of Justice: Why Innocence in the UK is Not the Answer, Modern Law Review, (2007) 70(5) MLR 759^777.

Andrew, C., Aldrich, R. and Wark, W. (eds.) (2009) Secret Intelligence: a reader, London:Routledge
Brogden, M. and Nijhar, P. (2005)  Community Policing: international concepts and practice, London:Routledge
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
Miller, D. (2012) Policing the Internet: current controversies, London:Greenhaven Press (forthcoming)
Newburn, T,  Williamson, T,   Wright,A. (2007) Handbook of Criminal Investigation, Cullumpton, Willan.
Neyroud, P. and Beckley, A. (2001) Policing Ethics and Human Rights, Cullompton:Willan
Ratcliffe, J. (2008) Intelligence Led Policing, London:Routledge

Policing: a journal of policy and practice.
Hillsborough Enquiry; MacPherson Report.