Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Allison Holmes checkmark-circle


The module seeks to provide an historical, legal and social understanding of the police, one of the key social and legal institutions of the modern state. The police are an integral part of the criminal justice system and as such, this module is a core element in a criminal justice programme.


Contact hours

Total study hours: 150
Contact hours: 19
Private study hours: 131


All single and joint honours Law programmes

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

The module will be examined by 50% coursework and 50% written examination:

Essay, 3000 words (50%)
Exam, 2 hours (50%)

Alternatively a dissertation pathway may be taken, subject to availability in any given year (* as indicated in the module outline):

Dissertation, 5000 words (100%)

Reassessment methods

The module will be reassessed by like-for-like reassessment of failed individual components of assessment within each pathway.

Indicative reading

Core text
Rowe, M Introduction to Policing (Sage: 2014)

Important reference books
Joyce, P, Policing: Development and Contemporary Practice (Sage: 2011)
Newburn, T, (ed.) Handbook of Policing 2nd ed. (Willan: October 2008)
Reiner, R, The Politics of the Police 4th ed. (OUP: 2010)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Identify the main literature and sources relevant to the subject and to explain key research techniques in locating and using those
2. Identify the key functions and principles of the policing process.
3. Consider ethical and legal principles underlying the police investigation of crime and their relationship to social policies.
4. Examine the procedures and decision stages of police work.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will have knowledge of:

1. The main sources of data about policing, from a range of disciplines. They should be able to use these materials for research purposes
2. The relationship between police forces and society
3. The workings of the police
4. The implications for the police of the European Convention on Human Rights


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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