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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 11/03/2022 12:53:59

Title of Module: Introduction to Policing

Code: CRIM08008 SCQF Level: 8
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:C  Atkinson

Summary of Module

The aim of this inquiry-based module is to introduce students to the scope, defining features and key aspects of policing within Britain. It examines the nature of policing and scopes the contemporary landscape of policing but primarily focuses upon the work of the publicly-funded territorial police. In detail it looks at the range of functions demanded of the police and how these have changed over time. It considers the history of the police and some of the main contemporary approaches or strategies used by the territorial police such as patrol, community policing, problem-oriented policing and intelligence-led policing.

The module critically examines media representations of the police and the relationship between the two institutions and the formal methods by which the police are held accountability as distinct organisations and as individuals. It also considers the contemporary landscape of policing and the advantages and disadvantages of  recent changes to policing, such as its pluralisation.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a discerning knowledge and understanding of the nature and function of contemporary policing in the UK, and current and emerging policing practice.

L2. Communicate a detailed knowledge and understanding of key contemporary and historical themes in policing such as police culture, accountability, police-media relations, and pluralisation.

L3. Identify and understand the political context of policing in the UK, including an appreciation of emerging patterns, diversity of practice, and systems of accountability.

L4. Effectively communicate complex ideas about policing using appropriate academic approaches and conventions.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 8.

Demonstration of a knowledge of the scope, defining features, and main areas of the subject of policing and a specialist knowledge of some areas;

Demonstration of a discerning understanding of a defined range of core theories, concepts, principles and terminology of policing and some current issues.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in using materials associated with the subject and sector of policing.

Apply knowledge, skills and understanding by investigating professional-level problems and issues.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Undertake critical analysis or evaluation of ideas, concepts, information or issues that are within the common understandings in the subject or sector of policing.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Use a range of standard ICT applications to locate and obtain data.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Exercising of autonomy and initiative in some activities in the subject of policing;

Work, under guidance, with others to acquire an understanding of current professional practice.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:The student must meet mandatory pre-requisites prior to progressing to next level of study.
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Learning and teaching will take place via ‘interactive lectures’ that will introduce key concepts and themes relating to policing. A series of seminars will also take place to allow learners to consider key ideas, themes and issues. Some seminars may involve group work, others may require students reading texts before attending or consideration of approaches to questions. Due consideration will be given to the latest demands of the National Student Survey.

The module will have an extended online presence, with learners engaging in a number of digital learning and assessment activities, primarily through the university online learning platform. A central focus of the learning, teaching and assessment strategy will be personal development planning processes. Students will be encouraged to understand the processes of researching, learning, and writing in order to develop their transferable skills and subject specific knowledge. It is by their engagement with these and information, communication and digital literacies and capabilities that students can develop into lifelong learners.

The module supports the acquisition and development of graduate attributes and employability, lifelong learning and citizenship competencies by:
1) Surfacing assessment-employability linkages to ensure the skills and competencies learners are developing are made explicit and allowing learners to evidence the development of these skills and competencies;

2) Supporting learners in the development of their digital capabilities through, for example, the use of online research engines and electronic tools. Learners will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their digital skills and competencies and develop their understanding of ‘digital influence’;

3) Providing learners with the opportunity to work with peers in order to develop leadership and negotiation skills and support the development of diversity awareness and interpersonal sensitivity;

4) Supporting learners in the development of self-reflection and evaluation skills and competencies through the explicit focus on personal development planning.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Asynchronous Class Activity24
Independent Study140
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Rowe, M. (2018). Introduction to Policing. London: SAGE.

Bowling, B., Reiner, R. and Sheptycki, JWE. (2019). The Politics of the Police. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Liebling, A., Maruna, S. and McAra, L. (Eds.) (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Attendance Requirements
All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardSocial Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUG Social Sciences - Politics & Criminal Justice
External ExaminerD Parker
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Summative assessment (40%): written workbook (1) comprising 1200 words.
Summative assessment (60%): written workbook (2) comprising 1800 words.

The workbook format is designed to encourage the students to consider and construct their assessment as they study, with the split ensuring that students receive formal feedback on their performance upon which they can capitalise. The workbooks each address the four learning outcomes as provided above.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Workbook/ Laboratory notebook/ Diary/ Training log/ Learning logcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark400

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Workbook/ Laboratory notebook/ Diary/ Training log/ Learning logcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark600
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Equality & Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.