Module code: CR3021 (double module)

Policing occurs in a complex, fragmented and changeable world. The role of the police in responding to crime and disorder has significant impacts on individuals, communities and populations. Policing in Britain is founded on principles of policing by consent, yet much of the decision-making and activities of the police is hidden from public view. Pressures for financial, structural and organisational reform, combined with police officer's involvement in controversial issues and events, have led to a widespread transformation of the police service since the mid-1990s.

This module equips you with a critical understanding of the role of the police as an institution responsible for maintenance of law and order. You'll explore and challenge contemporary policing practices in Britain, such as the relationship between the police and diverse communities, the police's use of force and their response to victims.

By taking this module you’ll explore the development of policing in contemporary society, including the frameworks for policing in England and Wales, and Scotland and Northern Ireland. You’ll also examine the political, social, economic and moral pressures for change in the police service, and the key issues and challenges facing public policing.


  • 40 hours of lectures
  • 1 hour tutorial
  • 18 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 241 hours of guided independent study


  • Multiple choice test, 1 hour (30%)
  • Essay, 2,000 words (70%)