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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2020 - 2021

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module will engage students with critical thinking about policing and how police services operate and function in society. How the vast powers police have are regulated and overseen will be a fundamental question.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify, analyse and critique the structure, organisation and accountability of the police service
2. Consider ethical and legal principles underlying policing as well as the implications for policing of the European Convention on Human Rights.
3. Understand and analyse the different functions of policing so as to ensure a contextual understanding of the work of policing.
4. Become familiar with and able to critically assess the main sources of data about policing, from a range of disciplines and to be able to use these materials for research purposes.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Students attend lectures
Assignment Completion82Students complete their 5,000 word assignment
Independent Study146Students research topics discussed during lectures and their assignment
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Police History
Looking at the emergence of policing internationally, encouraging students to reflect on the relationship between police, the nature of the state, and the citizen

The range of functions and tasks covered by policing - what the term even means - will be assessed to give a full understanding of their role in society

The occupational culture of policing will be considered, with particular emphasis on how it shapes the exercise of discretion and the experience of policing by members of the public

Police Powers
The legal underpinning for police powers and the scale thereof will be considered

Governance and Accountability
Mechanisms to oversee, govern and hold police to account will be evaluated. What importance these hold for policing and society will also be discussed.

Human Rights
How the police and their work engages with human rights as well as the challenge of embedding human rights frameworks in policing

Diversity and Policing
A specific focus on how policing engages with issues of diversity: including gender, age, sexuality, race, ability and religion

Public Order
The strategies and impact of the policing of public order events, and what the consequences of different strategies are

Private Policing
Looking beyond the public police, we will consider private sector involvement in policing and security

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Newburn T: 2004, Policing – Key Readings,
  • Newburn T: 2008, Handbook of Policing,
  • Conway, V: 2013, Policing Twentieth Century Ireland,
  • Reiner, R: 2010, The Politics of the Police,
  • Rowe, M: 2017, Introduction to Policing,
  • Walsh, D: 2009, Human Rights and Policing in Ireland,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes