Advance your career in the police service. Explore the key challenges facing police in today’s rapidly changing world, and develop enhanced critical and research skills to help tackle them.
Developed for serving police officers and staff, our MA Contemporary Policing will give you a critical perspective on key aspects of policing theory and practice. As well as developing your research skills, you will cover three main policing strands: public protection; digital; and leadership, management and change.
The course has been designed to address key issues and challenges facing policing today. Benefitting from the expertise from many of our University’s faculties, and supported by our Policing Institute for the Eastern Region, it will help you develop your skills in critical analysis and research methodology, allowing you to identify, reflect on and critically engage with evidence-informed policy and practice.
By exploring relationships between and within different academic disciplines, you will discover how they can be applied to the police service both as an organisation and in its working practices, and gain insights into current policing priorities. You will also develop a critical understanding of the key issues affecting the police service in our rapidly changing society, including police accountability, effectiveness and performance, and organisational transformation.
By the end of the course, you will command a range of critical analysis techniques and frameworks you can apply to problems and issues in your own area of policing, with a thorough consideration for the implications of ethical dilemmas.
Or, by choosing our Research Fellowship route, you can take just the first year of the MA, which includes the research module (see below) and a Work-Based Project module. This will allow you to carry out a small-scale research project in your own area of professional practice, with support from an academic supervisor. Through this option, you will qualify with a PGCert, which you can then top up to a full MA if you want to.
You will receive lecture materials through online delivery, supplemented by two study days each trimester. These face-to-face sessions will bring you together with your fellow students, allowing you to share your learning, as well as giving you an opportunity for individual supervision.
The online element will be delivered through Canvas, our learning management system, and consist predominantly of narrated lectures, with audio and video feedback provided through Adobe Connect and Skype. You will also have access to discussion boards throughout the course, creating an online community of staff and students.
During both the online and face-to-face delivery, you will be supported by lecturers who are experts in their field, across a range of disciplines such as policing, criminology, sociology, health and leadership and management.
Course Leader: Carina O'Reilly
If you are a serving police officer or member of related staff, our MA Contemporary Policing will help you to advance your career and equip you for senior management roles in policing or other related criminal justice organisations. With modules designed in consultation with police researchers and practitioners you will develop an in-depth and systematic understanding of core topics affecting the modern police service.
Modules are subject to change and availability.
You will be assessed through a variety of methods aligned to the specific learning outcomes of each module. Rather than simply testing your learning, the assessment on this course is designed to be integral to your learning process. It will consist entirely of coursework and will, on some modules, require you to complete a sustained piece of research and writing or, on others, a portfolio of smaller, complementary tasks.
The longer tasks will include literature reviews, comparative case studies, research proposals and a dissertation, in which you will be given the opportunity to engage in sustained primary research or scholarly enquiry. The portfolio tasks will include: data generation and analysis; presentations (in which you will present, critique and/or defend course materials to peers and staff); short review papers demonstrating your research, writing and critical analysis skills; practical data gathering exercises; and short abstracts of core course readings.
At the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, we believe in thinking critically about the past, present and future to challenge perceptions and better understand communities and people.
With expertise from gender issues to literary analysis to exploring how the past has shaped our modern world, all our staff members are active researchers. This is reflected in our teaching, allowing us to support our students with the latest theories and practices, as well as essential employability advice.
In studying for any academic award it is important that you feel part of a community. This can be more challenging when studying part-time, with significant professional and other commitments. This programme is designed to help you to develop a sense of belonging to your cohort group through face-to-face meetings at weekend workshops and through discussion groups using our Virtual Learning Environment (Canvas).
This course is part of a suite of policing degrees managed by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and closely linked with the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER). As one of our students you will be part of the PIER research community and the wider AHSS postgraduate student body. Throughout the year, PIER hosts a series of events and opportunities for networking and knowledge exchange with local and regional police forces, and representatives from national policing bodies.
If you're a UK or EU student, you won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to study with us – though you must pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments.How to pay your fees directly
You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.Paying your fees
It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.
We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
Candidates for admission would normally have a first degree of at least a good upper second in any discipline. However, this course has been designed for serving professionals in the police and related professions/work sectors, who will be considered for their suitability on the basis of APEL (recognition of prior learning), using the principles outlined by the College of Policing.
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
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