module specification

SC6003 - Advanced Police Processes: Psychology and Analysis (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Advanced Police Processes: Psychology and Analysis
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 25%   Group presentation
Coursework 25%   Essay
Coursework 50%   Essay
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module develops student knowledge in two areas of advanced police processes, focusing specifically on an introduction to analysis in policing and the psychological, ethical and legal implications in the use of interviews in the criminal justice process.

Module aims

The module aims to:

  1. Provide student with a comprehensive introduction to analysis within the policing context
  2. Illustrate the main approaches to intelligence led policing
  3. Introduce the student to the application of psychological theory within the context of the criminal justice system
  4. Explore the operational and ethical challenges inherent in the use of interviews
  5. Introduce students to external professional practitioners who will deliver some of the sessions


The module introduces students to the application of analytical methods used by the police service in the investigation of crime and in the planning and deployment of resources against specific threats harm and risk.  It will also cover the legislative framework and challenges which police analysts operate within.
In addition the course will introduce the students to the application of psychological and ethical principals that are encountered throughout the criminal justice process with a particular emphasis on the interviewing of witnesses and suspects. This will be grounded within some key psychological theoretical principals and the legal framework in which the police service have to operate in

Learning and teaching

A variety of teaching and learning methods will be employed to facilitate the development of this course and will include lectures and seminars incorporating talks from professionals in key areas such police, mediation and safeguarding. Students will be able to study key texts and access journals and books which explore this area of work in depth. In addition, they will view case studies and participate in workshops and debates and participate in class debates where they critically analyse and assess their work. All materials will be available on line and via Blackboard.  Students will be required to undertake 6-7 hours of private study each week in addition to attending class lectures. The module leader will be available for individual tutorials and be accessible via e mail.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the student will be able to:

  • Show an understanding in the use of analysis in policing
  • Describe basic analytical techniques and the tools, tactics and data capture methods used within policing
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness and ethical application of analysis techniques in policing
  • Describe the contribution of psychology at a number of levels in the criminal justice system (Interviewing witnesses and suspects of crime, the bias of the interviewer, jury decision making)
  • Demonstrate an awareness of basic theory, research findings and methods of investigation that are underpinned by forensic psychology
  • Discuss the key theories and key findings in the course and their practical relevance to the criminal justice system

Assessment strategy

There is a class group presentation to test the student’s grasp of the key concepts. The two essays (2500 words each) are then directed at the two contrasting aspects of the course. The first relates to the application of psychology to policing and the other to the use of new analytical techniques.



Ainsworth, P. (2013). Offender Profiling Crime Analysis. Willan.
Brantingham, P., & Brantingham, P. (2008). 5. Crime pattern theory. Environmental criminology and crime analysis, 78.
Harfield, C., Grieve , J.,  MacVean, A. and Phillips, D. (eds.) (2008) The Handbook of Intelligent Policing: Consilience, Crime Control and Community Safety, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Nath, S. V. (2006, December). Crime pattern detection using data mining. In Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology Workshops, 2006. WI-IAT 2006 Workshops. 2006 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on (pp. 41-44). IEEE.
Osborne, D., & Wernicke, S. (2013). Introduction to crime analysis: Basic resources for criminal justice practice. Routledge.
Pherson, K. H., & Pherson, R. H. (2012). Critical thinking for strategic intelligence. Cq Press.
Jones, M. (1998) The Thinker’s Toolkit - 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving: Crown Business: New York
Ratcliffe, J. (Ed.). (2009). Strategic thinking in criminal intelligence. Federation Press.
Tzu, S. (2013). The art of war. Orange Publishing
Wortley, R., & Mazerolle, L. (Eds.). (2013). Environmental criminology and crime analysis. Willan.


Bull, R., Valentine, T., & Williamson, T. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of psychology of investigative interviewing: Current developments and future directions. John Wiley & Sons.
Home Office (1984) Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (2.60(1) (a) and s.66): Codes of Practice Revised Edition (1984).
Dando,C., Wilcox, R. and Milne, R. The cognitive interview: Inexperienced Police Officers Perceptions of Their Witnesses/Victim Interviewing Practices. Legal and Criminological Psychology13: 59-70
Meissner, C. A., Redlich, A. D., Bhatt, S., & Brandon, S. (2012). Interview and interrogation methods and their effects on true and false. British Journal of Criminology, 33, 325-352.
Oxburgh, G., Ost, J., Morris, P., & Cherryman, J. (2015). Police officers’ perceptions of interviews in cases of sexual offences and murder involving children and adult victims. Police Practice and Research, 16(1), 36-50.
Pearse,J. (2015) Investigating Terrorism: Current Political, Legal and Psychological Issues. Wiley-Blackwell.
Reiner, R. (2000). The Politics of the Police: Oxford University Press. Reiner, R. (2000). The Politics of the Police: Oxford University Press.
Schreiber Compo, N., Hyman Gregory, A., & Fisher, R. (2012). Interviewing behaviors in police investigators: A field study of a current US sample. Psychology, Crime & Law, 18(4), 359-375.
Shawyer, A., Milne, B., & Bull, R. (2009). Investigative interviewing in the UK. International developments in investigative interviewing, 24-38.
Smith, L. L., & Bull, R. (2014). Exploring the disclosure of forensic evidence in police interviews with suspects. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 29(2), 81-86.
Walsh, D., & Bull, R. (2012). Examining rapport in investigative interviews with suspects: Does its building and maintenance work?. Journal of police and criminal psychology, 27(1), 73-84.
Westera, N., Kebbell, M., & Milne, R. (2012). Using video recorded police interviews to get the full story from complainants in rape trials.