Representations of Policing

Module code: CR2031

This module explores the history of representations and images of policing, from Victorian times to the present day. This includes the ways in which the police are fetishised by the media and upheld as a symbol of social order, and the relationship between the police and the media. We examine the traditional post-war image of the English police officer – the friendly community ‘bobby on the beat’, and how this image changed in relation to globalisation and the development of media industries. We explore how police today are involved in the active shaping of their image and ‘brand’, and how the news media hold police leaders to account through ‘trial by media’. We also consider how the police use social media to interact with citizens and manage public expectations and how successful these strategies are.


  • 40 hours of lectures
  • 1 hour of tutorial
  • 18 hours of practicals
  • 241 hours of independent study


  • Coursework, 2,000 words (70%)
  • Poster presentation (30%)