module specification

SC4056 - Key Concepts in Policing (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Key Concepts in Policing
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 100%   Multiple choice test 50 questions 1.5 hours
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Afternoon
Spring semester North Friday Morning

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 offers you a grounding for comparison with policing systems in some other jurisdictions.

Prior learning requirements

Available for Study Abroad? YES


This module will focus on the following key subjects:

1.The Emergence of Modern Policing
2. Key Police Powers
3. Police and Public Communication Strategies
4. Models of Policing
5. Managing Conflict and Serious Public Disorder
6. Equality and Diversity in the Police
7. Police Culture 
8. Police Legitimacy and Authority

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching: weekly lectures followed by exercises (such as quizzes, group work activities and worksheets) and reflective discussion based on data and key texts.

Learning: Learning is supported by the WebLearn site for the module which includes lecture notes, individual and group exercises, newspaper articles and longer articles and links to relevant websites and multimedia content.

The lecture notes and exercises are used as the initial basis for tackling a topic, but students are encouraged to go beyond these in preparing coursework and examination answers. The module also asks you to engage with a range of ‘at home’ tasks.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify and distinguish foundations, objectives and powers of the British Police.
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. Understand how the police deal with managing conflict.
5. Understand historic police legitimacy and accountability issues.

Assessment strategy

Multiple choice examination composed of 50 questions relating to all of the learning objectives.

The multiple choice examination will assess your ability to think quickly without recourse to copying from other material. The exam will be designed to rely less on memorising empirical data and more on the application of theoretical content and understanding of key events and practice.