Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC3101: Police and Policing

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics: 

  • The evolution of the police in England and Wales, and the structures and governance mechanisms currently in place. 
  • The nature and function of the police. 
  • The difference between ‘police’ and ‘policing’. 
  • The main theories of policing, their strengths, weaknesses and differences. 
  • The main techniques used to research the police, their strengths and weaknesses and the role that academic analysis can, and should, play in policing. 
  • Different approaches and tactics used in UK policing and internationally. 
  • Police use of force, and less lethal weapons. 
  • Police use of discretion. 
  •  Police (sub)culture(s) 
  • Accountability in modern day policing, and its interaction with police legitimacy. 
  • The difference between ‘police’ and ‘policing’. 
  • Changes to, and in, policing, including the notion of plural policing.
  • Police misconduct and corruption 


Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activity1111 x 1 hour lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activity1111 x 1 hour seminars
Guided independent study50Preparation of essay
Guided independent study50Preparation for exam
Guided Independent study28Preparation for seminars and lectures

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).