CR5018 - Evidence Based Policing: Practices and Pitfalls

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn how evidence and scientific analysis can and have been applied to contemporary policing. You will learn how this approach can help police with new and challenging areas of policing. You will explore the ‘what works’ approach to policing and understand how different methodologies can be applied to policing challenges. You will learn how systematic literature reviews and available evaluation research evidence can be applied in police practice. Transferring evidence into policing practice is a challenge and the module assessment will help you understand these problems and to develop effective strategies to apply research findings in practice. In this module, we will try as much as possible to provide you with real world examples of evidence-based policing and what colleagues have done and currently doing within this space. EBP is great when it is successful, but there are also challenges and limitations associated with it; we will provide a balanced approach to this.

CoP pre-join curriculum learning outcomes: CoP February 2023 curriculum v6.0 05/2023

Evidence Based Policing: 1, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 3, 4, 5, 7

Public Protection: 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.3, 3.4a, 3.7, 7.1

How will I learn on this module?

The module aims to further develop your skills and knowledge of evidence and science in policing through applied lectures, group discussion and debate, as well as independent learning. Weekly lectures will frame the discussion of each area of the syllabus. Teaching will employ the use of a set of key policing tasks that will be worked through and revisited throughout the lecture and seminar workshop programme. The learning experience on this module will outline methodological strategies that might be applied to these tasks and will contribute to the development of Evidence Based Policing. Lectures will introduce methodological theory, applied policy and practice, and will stimulate and provoke your thinking. Seminars will follow a more student-led, workshop format. For each seminar workshop you are likely to engage in work as part of a discussion group to understand ‘what works’ in response to particular case studies. You will also have space to develop your own thinking and position in relation to the potential and limitations associated with Evidence Based Policing. The seminar workshops are tailored to the learning preferences of the students on the module each year and these are determined in consultation with you and your cohort in the first weeks. Further development of your confidence in synthesising, explaining, and discussing information from a range of sources is also a key aim of the approach taken in this module and is developed by the assessment task that requires the development of a portfolio presentation.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Developing your ability to reflect on sources of data, the design of methods to applied policing tasks is central to this module. The module encourages you to make appropriate connections between theory, research, policy and practice in terms of policing, partner agencies and the wider criminal justice system. As part of your intellectual development, you will receive support from your peers in the classroom and from the module tutor/s throughout the module. Support outside the classroom includes additional academic support via 1-1 tutorial support opportunities that we encourage you to take up with the module tutor/s.

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:
By the end of the module you should be able to:
1. Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the history and application of EBP.

2. Demonstrate your ability to identify and apply different evidence-based strategies in relation to different policing challenges.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. Demonstrate understanding of a range of research perspective and methods that can inform Evidence Based Policing.

4. Demonstrate independent study skills, including the ability to search, critically assessed, synthesise, and analyse a range of sources of information in applying EBP to practice.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Enhance your ability to analyse research studies in terms of their methodology and design.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment - There will be two elements to the summative assessment for this module:

You will prepare a 2000-word report that reflect on either the application and impact of EBP approach or the challenges and constraints of using an EBP approach in the real-world policing. (70% weighting).

In addition, a 30 question multiple-choice test, which examines students’ knowledge of evidence-based policing and the relationship between theory, research, policy, and practice in terms of policing. (30% weighting).





Module abstract

As a part of the larger movement towards evidence-based practices, evidence-based policing (EBP) is an approach to policy making and tactical decision-making which are rooted in scientific analysis and research evidence. In essence, policing is just catching up with many other organisations and disciplines that have already embraced evidence-based approaches. By adopting this approach, it is envisaged that policing can deal with the challenges of the 21st century policing, in terms of many aspects such as the changing nature of crime, the impact of austerity, and the public perception and confidence in policing. In this module, you will learn how contemporary policing rely on the best available evidence to inform and challenge decision-making, practices, and policies. The module will encourage you to make connections between theory, research, policy, and practice in terms of policing.

Course info

UCAS Code LL44

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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