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Policing & The Police - SPY00011H

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Charlie Lloyd
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The police hold a particular fascination for all of us - whether it is through TV series or popular fiction, the British police are culturally symbolic. To some the police represent positive social values of fairness and justice through their role as upholders of the law. For others the police have a less positive image - one that can be sexist and racist in its pursuit of its goals. The module will encourage students to adopt a critical understanding of key issues and policies in relation to contemporary policing including addressing questions such as:

  • Who polices the police?

  • Are the police racist?

  • How do different styles of policing impact on crime?

  • What do we mean by 'cop culture', discretion and discrimination in relation to policing?

  • Why does it seem so difficult to reform the police?

The module takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the police, including the historical, social, political, legal and cultural aspects of policing. Students will also have the opportunity to apply these themes to specific types of crime that they are interested in.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students who have attended the lectures and workshops and also undertaken complementary reading will:

  • Understand the historical context within which contemporary policing has developed

  • Be in a position to analyse theories and policies relevant to policing and the police

  • Be able to reflect critically on trends and practices in policing

  • Have an in depth understanding of policing in relation to one particular type of crime

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

Indicative reading

  • Newburn, T. (2003) Handbook of policing, Cullompton, Willan

  • Newburn, T. (2004) Policing: key readings, Cullompton, Willan

  • Reiner, R. (2000) Politics of the Police (3rd ed), Oxford, OUP

  • Newburn, T. (Sept. 2008) Handbook of policing (2nd ed), Cullompton, Willan

  • Rowe, M. (2008) Introduction to policing, London, Sage

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.