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School of Social Sciences

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BAEcon Economics
Learn how the social sciences can help you to understand today's world.

BAEcon Economics

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Policing and the Police

Unit code LAWS20051
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Law
Available as a free choice unit? No


Role and function of police, police occupational culture, 
police powers, discovery of discretion and associated research, the transformation thesis, police governance and reform, police complaints, operational practice (public order; criminal investigation); international developments


The unit aims to:
Develop knowledge and understanding of developments in policing and the police during the course of the last quarter-century and equip students with the skills to analyse the complex policy environment, theories and research on police and policing.

Learning outcomes

Students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding:
understand developments in policing and the police in the last 25 years; comprehend the relevance of public administration, democratic principles and human rights to the police; recognise the contribution research and academic discourse have made to policing and the police.

Analyse developments in policing and the police;
Evaluate different policing systems and practices;
Critically engage with the research and ideas of scholars in the field.

Teaching and learning methods

11 weeks x 2  hours of lectures, 10 hours of seminars. Subject specific hour. 

Weekly lectures will provide an overview of the key themes; supplemented with weekly seminars. Seminars will be separated into sub groups and students ask to read a range of texts and report back to each other.  The delivery of lectures will be traditionally led. 
Seminars will mostly take the form of debates around selected themes.

Assessment methods

100% exam (2 hour 15 mins) Students will be provided with a preliminary examination paper at the end of teaching containing eight questions. When candidates sit their examination three of these questions will have been removed from the Examination Paper and they will be required to answer three of the remaining five questions. 

There is the opportunity to take a ‘mock’ exam in week 9 and individual feedback on the performance will be given in a designated seminar.  


Feedback methods

Formative feedback is available via mock exam and seminar work.

Outlines of issues will be provided after the exam.

Recommended reading

Reiner, R. (2010) The Politics of the Police, 4th edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
William Hebenton Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Closed book examination.

Restricted to: BA (Criminology) and LLB (Law with Criminology) students for which this subject is compulsory, Law School students, BA (Econ) students (all pathways) and BA Social Sciences (BASS). 

Pre-requisites: None.

See Law School timetable


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