Policing & Society - SOCI5011

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module seeks to demonstrate a critical insight into policing and society. It provides an overview of some of the key issues and controversies in the delivery of justice and social control. It encourages students to think critically about the role and function of the state in the regulation of behaviour and protection of citizens through a focus on the public and private spheres. Key issues confronting contemporary policing are explored together with an enhanced theoretical awareness of the historical context within which contemporary policing has developed. Broad base reform agendas are explored and debates about policing are situated within wider discourses of social control, governance, accountability and legitimacy; together with a critical appreciation of the impact of organisational culture, social divisions and inequalities on policing. Whilst the curriculum is predominantly concerned with policing in England & Wales, the module will explore and reflect upon policing in a range of jurisdictions to develop understanding.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 22
Private Study Hours: 128
Total Study hours: 150


BA Criminology
BA Criminology and Sociology
BA Criminology and Social Policy
BA Criminology and Cultural Studies
BA Criminology with Quantitative Research

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Proposal for Change Report - 1500 words: 30%
Exam – 2 hours: 70%

Reassessment methods

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Indicative reading

• Brown, J. (ed) (2014) The Future of Policing Routledge
• Bowling, B. and Sheptycki, J. 2011. Global Policing, London Sage
• Cockcroft, T. (2012) Police Culture: Themes and Concepts. London: Routledge
• Lister,S. & Rowe, M. (eds) (2016) Accountability of Policing Oxon: Routlegde
• Newburn, T. (Ed.) 2005. Policing: Key Readings. Cullompton, Willan.
• Reiner, R. 2010. The Politics of the Police, 4th Edition. Oxford University Press.
• Rowe, M. (2011) Introduction to Policing Sage.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

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

8.1 Comprehend the theoretical, conceptual, and practical issues in the study of the policing
8.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the origins, historical development and contemporary transformation of policing
8.3 Critically consider the impact of organisational cultures, social divisions and inequalities on policing
8.4 Appreciate the complex nature of the police role and functions, and the factors that influence police effectiveness and performance.
8.5 Demonstrate critical reflection in developing alternative policing provision
8.6 Understand the complex nature of police accountability, governance and legitimacy

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

9.1 Demonstrate skills of independent and collaborative learning in both individual and group work settings
9.2 Demonstrate strong research skills drawing on a range of literature
9.3 Demonstrate good communication skills, in both written and oral form
9.4 Demonstrate analytical and critical reflective skills
9.5 Demonstrate greater understanding of the relationship between theory, policy & practice


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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