CR4007 - Introduction to the Police Constable Role and Practice

What will I learn on this module?

This year long module opens with a week-long induction to the PCDA programme that combines an introduction to your police force and to the university. To prepare you for your role as a police constable you will undertake sessions in key topics including understanding the role of the police constable, valuing difference and inclusion, and maintaining professional standards. The university induction prepares you for the academic learning components of the programme through a learning resource introduction, academic learning and research skills sessions, guidance on how to make the best use of available technology within your learning, and overall confidence building in becoming a work-based learner.

Your induction is followed by two weeks of intense sessions around officer personal safety and discretion and decision making before moving on to explore communication skills, wellbeing and resilience, leadership and team working in the context of the police constable role. In week 4 you participate in your first immersion phase where you shadow and observe police officers while on attachment to various shifts. You then move on to learn the legislation and police practice relevant to the role of the police constable on a series of related modules before returning to this module in week 14 for your second immersion phase. This module culminates in an extended period of operational practice, punctuated by additional periods of classroom-based learning on related modules, where you will be expected to apply in the workplace the knowledge and understanding gained from related modules. Preparation for the operation phase takes place in week 20 which is followed by your first supported patrol phase that runs between weeks 21-31, with a second supported patrol phase running between weeks 34-44 and 46-52. During the operational phases you will demonstrate (under appropriate levels of supervision) some supported application and awareness of the competencies relating to the role of the police constable. It is expected that you will achieve Independent Patrol Status towards the end of the practice period.

PCDA curriculum learning outcomes (content):

Classroom Weeks
Understanding the Police Constable Role: (Induction Week 1.1-1.5; 4.1-4.3; 5.1-5.4)
Maintaining Professional Standards: (Induction Week 1.1 – 4.5)
Research Method and Skills: (Induction Week 1.1 – 2.5)
Decision Making and Discretion: (Week Two 1.1-2.4)
Managing Conflict: (Week Two 1.1-10.5) To include completion of the appropriate Core Health and Safety Training Programme, as prescribed by the NPCC.
Communication Skills: (Week Three 1.1 - 2.4)
Wellbeing and Resilience: (Week Three 1.1-1.6)
Vulnerability and Risk: (Week Three 10.1 – 11.1)
Leadership and Team Working: (Week Three 1.1-1.3; 2.1-2.4)

Practice Weeks
Understanding the Police Constable Role: 2.1-2.4; 7.1-7.4
Evidence-Based Policing: 4.1 - 4.5
Decision Making and Discretion: 6.1 - 6.5; 7.1 - 7.3
Vulnerability and Risk: 9.1 - 9.14
Public Protection: 4.1 - 4.2; 5.1 - 5.9
Digital Policing: 8.1 - 8.9; 9.1 - 9.5; 10.1 - 10.5; 11.1 - 11.5
Criminal Justice: 4.1-4.3, 5.1 - 5.8; 6.1 - 6.3; 7.1 - 7.8; 9.1 - 9.5; 10.1 - 10.5; 12.1 - 12.6
Response Policing: 3.1-3.5; 4.1 - 4.23; 5.1-5.3; 7.1 - 7.3; 8.1 - 8.15; 9.1-9.7; 10.1-10.4
Valuing Difference and Inclusion: 1.1-1.3; 2.1-2.3
Maintaining Professional Standards: 2.1-2.5; 3.1-3.5
Problem Solving: 2.1-2.5
Communication Skills: 2.1-2.4
Wellbeing and Resilience: 1.1-1.6
Managing Conflict: 10.1-10.5
Victims and Witnesses: 3.1-3.5; 4.1-4.5; 6.1-6.7; 8.1-8.7
Digital Policing: 6.1-6.6; 7.1-7.2
Counter Terrorism: 6.1-6.3; 7.1-7.5
Policing Communities: 4.1-4.4
Policing the Roads: 5.1-5.2; 6.1-6.6; 7.1-7.7
Information and Intelligence: 2.1-2.2; 3.1-3.18
Conducting Investigations: 2.1-2.17; 3.1-3.16; 4.1-4.4; 5.1-5.6; 7.1-7.20

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a series of different delivery styles which will include traditional taught lectures to cover theoretical / procedural aspects of the curriculum, supplemented with seminar and workshop sessions where you will be a more active learner, making connections between theory / procedure in practice. Additional learning strategies utilised throughout the module include placements and work-based learning; both involve learning that is derived from observing, reflecting, and doing a job of work and taking on a role in the workplace.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through active participation and discussion during seminars and workshops. These offer a unique opportunity to fully understand the criminological, legal, and business theory, and procedural policy and legislation underpinning the role and responsibilities of the police constable; the wider police organisation and criminal justice system; and the delivery of a professional police service in local communities. All lecture, seminar and workshop material will be available on the University’s eLearning Portal, supplemented with guidance on further reading relevant to the subjects. Opportunities for formative assessment and feedback will help you to prepare for summative assessment. Written and oral summative assessment feedback will also be provided to allow you to understand how you performed and how you can build on this performance in subsequent assessments within your programme.

To support you during phases of work-based learning where you are observing and accompanying officers during attachments or working as a police constable on operational postings in specific localities within the defined geographical boundaries of the Northumbria Police force area, you will be supported appropriately by the wider police department within which you will be working, and your tutor constable. Tutor constables provide support and encouragement with regard to your work-related experiences so that you can further develop those skills and abilities that are essential in an effective operational police constable. Tutor constables will assist you to develop professional abilities necessary to undertake independent workplace experience in the range of practical policing situations you would be expected to deal with competently as a police constable in order to achieve independent patrol status.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. You will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key concepts relating to policing, the role and responsibilities of the police constable, and the wider police organisation.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. You will demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team and deliver academic material in a range of formats.
3. You will demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team and communicate in a range of contexts relevant to the professional role of police constable.
4. You will demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between criminology, law, leadership, business studies and policing, and the administration of criminal justice.
5. You will demonstrate practical ability in developing skills necessary for the role of a police constable.
6. You will demonstrate the ability to achieve levels of competence required to undertake Independent Patrol Status relevant to the role of a police constable.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

7. You will understand the importance of professionalism in policing, the delivery of a police service in local communities that is fair, just, and supports the most vulnerable and at risk populations.

How will I be assessed?

You will be summatively assessed on this module through a portfolio of work that consists of eight components.

Assessed Component One: Attendance during induction sessions in week one (Pass/Fail). (KU 1; IPS 3).

Assessed Component Two: Job related fitness test (Pass/fail) (IPS5)

Assessed Component Three: Knowledge check theory exam covering first Aid (Pass/Fail) (IPS 5)

Assessed Component Four: Knowledge check theory exam covering PST (Pass/Fail) (IPS 5)

Assessed Component Five: Practical PST (to include First Aid) (Pass/Fail) (IPS 5)

Assessed Component Six: Written Statement (Pass/Fail) (IPS 5)

Assessed Component Seven : A 2,000-word reflective essay worth 100% of the final module grade. The aim of the 2,000-word reflective essay is to demonstrate the ability to draw connections between theoretical understanding of key issues covered up to week 20 and reflect upon the student officer experience of how they are applied in practice during the first supported deployment phase (weeks 21 – 29).
(KU 1; IPS 2,4; PVA 7)

Assessed Component Eight: Achieving Independent Patrol Status – end course assessment week forty-three (Pass/Fail). (IPS 6; PVA 7) Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PECs) Policy restrictions apply to assessed component.

Opportunities for formative assessment and feedback include:

• Practice role play scenarios
• Study Skills Lecture
• Study Skills workbook with an opportunity to discuss and get feedback on academic writing to prepare you for the reflective essay.
• Ongoing feedback on performance during operational practice





Module abstract

This year long module introduces you to the PCDA programme, Northumbria Police, Northumbria University, and the role and practice of a police constable. During the first three weeks you develop knowledge, understanding, and practical skills central to the police officer role, in addition to key skills essential for academic learning. Topics include valuing difference and inclusion, maintaining professional standards, personal safety training, discretion, decision making, communication skills, wellbeing, resilience, leadership and team-working. The module culminates in an extended period of operational practice where you apply, in the workplace, skills and knowledge learnt on integrated year one modules. You demonstrate (under supervision) supported application and awareness of the competencies relating to the role of the police constable. You are expected to achieve Independent Patrol Status towards the end of the module.

Course info

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


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