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BASS Philosophy and Criminology

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Policing and the Police

Unit code CRIM20051
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


This module seeks to provide students with a research led grounding on the role and function of police, police occupational culture, police powers and their exercise, discretion and associated research, and police governance and reform, as well as operational practice (public order; criminal investigation). The focus is primarily England and Wales.


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

Teaching in academic year 20/21 will reflect both University policy and local and national lockdown restrictions operating at the time of delivery. We will offer face-to-face teaching where possible and provide a like for like on-line experience for those unable to be on campus.

Our teaching models will be flexible and allow us to adapt to changing conditions, however, the common intention across units is to provide (1) media, activities and other learning material that should be engaged with before scheduled teaching; (2) a timetabled 2-hour online lecture/workshop slot used for a range of online Q&A and follow-up activities; (3) a timetabled weekly 1-hour seminar/activity slot that will be face-to-face if possible and ‘live’ online if not/preferred; (4) weekly opportunity for 1:1 support. In total, there will be the opportunity for up to 30 hours of contact time. 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Formative feedback is available via mock exam and seminar work.

Outlines of issues will be provided after the exam.

Recommended reading


Bowling, B, Reiner, R. and Sheptycki, J., (2019) The Politics of the Police, Oxford: Oxford University Press  Available online from the University library.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
William Hebenton Unit coordinator

Additional notes



Students will be provided with a preliminary examination paper at the end of teaching (mid-December) containing eight questions. When candidates sit their examination in January, 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. SUBJECT TO COVID19 DELIVERY. SO ANY EXAM WILL BE ONLINE WITH AN EXTENDED COMPLETION

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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