CR5004 - Policing and Regulation

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What will I learn on this module?

Historically, it can be argued that the social sciences have paid little attention to those stages in the criminalisation process which intervene between legislation and the application of penal measures to the convicted offender. Specifically, systematic and critical analysis and research into policing and law enforcement agencies only emerged and developed during the second half of the twentieth century. Indeed, it was an epistemological break during the 1960s which first opened the intellectual floodgates to the study of policing. Since then, the nature of policing has radically evolved and expanded – with an increased scrutiny of the public police, considerable growth of private security, and the formal regulation of goods, services and people. It is these contemporary parameters of policing and regulation, through a critical examination of contemporary theory, empirical, policy and practice perspectives that inform the content of this module.

The module is split into four parts:

Part 1 is concerned with laying the theoretical foundation needed to develop a critical understanding of policing and regulation. Here you will explore the differences between ‘the police’ and ‘policing’ and ‘regulation’ and you will examine some of the key sociological theories and concepts that attempt to rationalise these formal mechanisms in society e.g. risk, Marxism, neoliberalism and globalisation.

In Part 2, you will learn all about public policing in England and Wales. You will track the historical development of the public police and explore the social, economic and political developments that have shaped the role and function, structure and accountability frameworks. You will examine key stakeholders, different models of policing, and contemporary reform initiatives. You will also compare the public police in England and Wales with other jurisdictions (to include Scotland and Northern Ireland).

Part 3 you will focus on the growth of private security and organisations involved in policing beyond the public police. You will examine reasons for this growth and critically explore some of the contemporary challenges. You will also learn about hybrid models of policing where public and private police provisions work collaboratively.

In Part 4, examples of increased regulation in society will be scrutinised. You will examine the regulation of people (e.g. through immigration mechanisms; environmental/climate quotas); goods (e.g. drugs; counterfeit items and animals); and service (e.g. sex work). The correlation between regulation and policing will be explored.

How will I learn on this module?

This is a dynamic module that will draw upon a wide range of teaching techniques in order to enrich your learning experience. As a foundation, delivery will include a two hour lecture and one hour seminar every week. These, along with your independent study for the module, will include:

• Research rich lecture components – drawing upon the most relevant empirical in the areas of policing and regulation.
• An opportunity for you to read and independently engage with scholarly and policy perspectives.
• Engagement with and analysis of alternative forms of media – e.g. documentaries, podcasts and blogs.
• Guest speakers including academics and practitioners in the field.
• Interactive online quizzes.
• An opportunity for you to work collaboratively with your peers.

The module will also be supported by several online platforms e.g. the VLE (which will include the module outline and assessment requirements); electronic reading lists; twitter accounts managed by the module leader and delivery staff; and blogs/podcasts to communicate key information/ tutor advice.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

This module will contribute to your subject specific knowledge of criminology and intellectual and professional skills whilst enabling you to develop a critical knowledge of policing and regulation.

Weekly lectures will introduce you to the main information and debates, which will then be further explored by you through independent study and critical discussion within seminars.

By taking this module you will enhance a number of scholarly and transferable skills appropriate to your studies at level 5. These include:
- The ability to think critically about policing and regulation.
- The ability to work collaboratively with others and to share intellectual ideas and debates.
- The ability to evaluate and reflect upon key theoretical approaches to understanding policing and regulation.
- The acquisition of literature based and electronic research skills.
- The ability to evaluate the link between policing and regulation theory, policy and practice.
- The ability to engage with criminal justice practitioners.
- The ability to engage with and compose alternative information platforms e.g. vlogs, podcasts.

This is a team taught module with three or four staff members available to support you via email, in seminars, and during scheduled office hours. There is also substantial support from your fellow students during seminars and outside of class.

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. To demonstrate an understanding of the competing theoretical and methodological approaches useful for understanding policing and regulation.
2. To evaluate the relationship between law, rules and social order in order to critically outline the historical development, contemporary role and function, and frameworks of accountability that underpin public policing in England and Wales.
3. Critically differentiate between the public police, policing and regulation in the context of England and Wales.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. To engage in a process of independent and collaborative learning, to critically explore debates related to policing and security and to think creatively about how information and arguments can be communicated.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1. To have confidence in your own knowledge and understanding about policing and regulation, to be open to different viewpoints, and to express knowledge about people, organisations and practices in a non-judgemental manner.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment (i.e. assessment that doesn’t count towards your final mark) will be delivered throughout the seminar programme for this module. This will involve supporting you in developing the skills outlined by the module learning outcomes (e.g. critical understanding, working with others, articulating arguments creatively). By engaging with formative tasks independently and as part of the seminar programme, you will be equipped to complete the module summative assessment to the best of your ability.

The summative (i.e. formal) assessment on this module only has one component (100% of the grade), a portfolio, which has two elements:
(i) A peer assessed 10 minute group presentation (including the electronic and hard copy submission of the presentation). This component corresponds to 30% of the final grade;
ii) A 2,500 word essay. This component corresponds to 70% of the final grade.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code C8M9

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full time/4 years full time with optional study abroad year

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2021

Fee Information

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