Module title: Introduction to Policing: Theory and Practice

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: SSC07107
Module leader: Andrew Wooff
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Social Science


2020/1, Trimester 2, Face-to-Face,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Andrew Wooff
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
LO1-3: This module will predominantly be delivered via interactive lectures and tutorials with students, led by module staff. Active learning will be a focus through student participation in tutorials and by facilitating interactions with police professionals. Students will draw on contemporary practice to inform debates and will learn to apply theoretical frameworks to community safety and crime prevention. External input from Police Scotland will also be embedded in this module. Students will be supported in pursuing a significant level of independent study to support their learning and inform their summative assessment. Supporting materials will be available to students via Moodle.

LO4-5: This part of the module will mainly be covered through interactive lectures where class discussion and debate supplements the lecture material and tutorials where students will be encouraged to critically engage with literature on the history of policing and be introduced to some of the ways that evidence can be evaluated. Students will also be will be familiarized with the main practical issues on policing in the broadest sense and ethics associated with policing and the police. Supporting materials will be available to students via Moodle.

Formative Assessment:
This module will include three opportunities for formative assessment:
1. Students will be supported in sourcing and finding journal articles in the first three tutorials. Tutorial 4 will support students in engaging with the articles and to introduce the presentations in tutorials in week 7.

2. Group presentation: Students will be required to do an 8 minute group presentation based on a topic from weeks 1-5. This will require the use of PowerPoint and ensure that they are able to explain relevant policing concepts in the context of the literature. They will be required to use evidence from journal articles. Verbal feedback will be given to each group member and tutorials in week 8.

3. Week 9: Will have some time dedicated to the feed forward to summative assessment. Examples of annotated bibliographies will be given

Summative Assessment:
Synthesis of journal articles (100%): Students will be required to read three journal articles and synthesise the findings into a 2000 word annotated bibliography to be submitted in week 13. The formative presentation will help prepare students for this task, with feedback given on the quality of reading and thinking.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 22
Face To Face Tutorial 11
Independent Learning Guided independent study 167
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 100 1,2,3,4 & 5 13 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

The module is designed to enable you to gain an understanding of the position and role of the police in the wider context of criminology and social science. Drawing on contemporary policing theory and practice, this module will provide an introduction to the role of the policing in the wider criminal justice system in Scotland. The module begins by examining the history of the police, including the emergence of ‘modern’ policing. Different policing theories and models will then be introduced, with clear links between theory and practice being made, including international examples where relevant. The module proceeds by focusing on the development of the contemporary roles and functions of policing and the police, exploring the links between social control and the broader criminal justice agencies, including the role of vulnerable individuals in the process. The final part of the module introduces the concept of evidence informed policing.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Describe the historical development of the police and policing
LO2: Recognise key theoretical perspectives on policing and the police
LO3: Describe the different roles and functions of the police and criminal justice agencies
LO4: Identify different ways of assessing policing evidence, sources and facilitating evidence informed practice
LO5: Differentiate between different policing practices and styles

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
SSC07107 Introduction to Policing: Theory and Practice