Contemporary Policing MA

Postgraduate (12 months, 15 months, 24 months part-time)

Blended learning

January 2019, September

Intermediate award: PG Cert Fellowship

PG Cert Fellowship: September start only

Overview

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.

Full description

Careers

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 & assessment

  • Researching Police and Policing
    This module will help you develop the research skills and techniques needed to critically evaluate the literature on policing you will use during the course and to complete your dissertation. If you are taking the Research Fellow route, it will also equip you to conduct a research project on your own professional practice in the Work Based Project module. You will explore the methodologies and methods applied in contemporary social science research with a particular focus on the policing context, allowing you to select an appropriate range for your own needs. The module will give you an opportunity to experiment with a variety of methods, so you can fully understand them and adapt them creatively in your chosen projects. You will explore thoroughly the issues involved in planning a research project and formulating research questions and, with the aid of library expertise, discover the most recent tools for reviewing and researching existing literature, with particular attention to ethical principles and the politics of social research. You will be encouraged to critically assess research methods and expand the range of techniques with which you are familiar, for example by exploring different types of ethnography and participant observation, including visual methodologies, narrative analysis and critical discourse analysis. Computer-assisted analysis methods will be introduced and developed, and you will receive an introduction to quantitative data analysis with a focus on data exploration and significance testing. You will also be given the opportunity to develop the methodology for your major project or Fellowship research project and discuss the progress of your research on a week-by-week basis.
  • Policing in a Digital World
    On this module, you will address the rapidly changing digital policing context and the scale of challenge posed by new technological developments and associated changes in culture, society, and the economy. Your focus will be on future challenges posed for policing by the emergence of new types of internet enabled crimes. These includes online fraud, stalking and harassment, abuse and hate crime, grooming and the viewing of child abuse imagery and extend to cybercrime and cyberterrorism. Digital technologies also offer the police rapidly changing means to deter and investigate crime. These include digital forensics, identity and genetic databases, digital mapping, facial recognition, and Big Data analytics. Both the changing forms of criminality and the new tools for policing raise difficult strategic, operational and ethical questions. You will consider digital capability and delivery models with reference to the current work being done to equip the police service for the digital age, also focussing on difficult ethical questions thrown up by new surveillance capabilities and data-driven policing.
  • Policing and Public Protection
    This module will give you a comprehensive and critical overview of those policing activities generally referred to as ‘Public Protection’, drawing together insights from academic and policy perspectives. You will explore applied and theoretical critical issues in public protection and other aspects of risk, the viewpoints of victims, offender behaviour, and the challenges facing professionals who work on the front line in public protection. By reviewing current understanding of best practice in multi-agency working, risk assessment and threat assessment, you will gain a 360° perspective on public protection integrating research, practice expertise and theoretical paradigms.
  • Major Project
    This module will support you in the preparation and submission of a Masters dissertation, allowing you to explore in-depth a particular topic that reflects your academic interest.
  • Police Culture, Management and Change (optional for the Fellowship route)
    This module will give you an understanding of the antecedents and complexities of contemporary police culture, management, and organisational change. You will explore the theory of police culture, leadership and management, and strategy as it pertains to organisational practices, and how organisational practices such as change management, leadership development, and ethical behaviour are applied practically in contemporary policing. You will also critically consider how various perspectives of police culture, management, and organisational change can be applied within police organisations and how these principles can be applied within your own career. This understanding will be academically grounded through a critical engagement with the debates and contemporary issues in police management through the lens of police culture. The module will have a multi-disciplinary focus, with inputs from both business/operational and sociological perspectives. Your assessment will consist of two parts: a group presentation, in which you will present a case study based on personal experience and explain the outcomes and lessons learned as well as writing a follow-up reflection, and a written assessment addressing key concepts you have learned during the module.
  • Work Based Project (Fellowship route only)
    This module is designed to support serving police officers and staff in carrying out a small-scale research project into an area of professional practice or police problem-solving area. Supported by an academic supervisor, you will identify a research topic and refine this through a literature review and selecting an appropriate methodology and design for your study. Ethical implications will be considered and you will follow Anglia Ruskin University’s ethics approval process before embarking on your research project. This is an opportunity for you to practice the knowledge, skills and tools that you developed in Researching Police and Policing, and create and utilise research for improvement in your chosen area of policing. You will submit a report on your project and keep a research diary outlining the development of your project and reflecting on your learning throughout the process, presenting extracts from this as an appendix to your report. You will also give a verbal presentation on the findings of your project to your peers, allowing you to disseminate your findings to a wider audience and receive feedback on ideas for implementation, further research and improvement. You will complete a written reflective commentary to accompany your presentation, evaluating your project and its possible future implementation in your professional practice as well as reflecting on the feedback and your ideas for possible future research plans.

Assessment

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.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

Whether you aim to work in the creative industries or the social sciences, the legal profession or public service, the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need for professional life.

Our lively, diverse community and ambitious academic environment will broaden your horizons and help you develop your full potential - many of our courses give you the chance to learn another language, study abroad or undertake work placements as you study.

If you’re interested in art, music, drama or film, check out our packed programme of events. Together with our partners in the creative and cultural industries, we’re always working to enrich the cultural life of the university and the wider community.

Our research is groundbreaking and internationally recognised, with real social impact. We support the StoryLab Research Institute, whose projects include interactive music apps and documenting lifesaving childbirth procedures, the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER), as well as nine international research clusters including the Centre for Children's Book Studies and the Labour History Research Unit.

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, six of our subject areas were awarded world-leading status: Law; Art and Design; English Language and Literature, Communication, Cultural and Media Studies; History; Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts.

Where can I study?

Blended learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our learning management system.

More about blended learning

Additional study information

In studying for any academic award it is important that candidates feel part of a community. This can be more challenging when studying part-time and with significant professional and other commitments. This programme is designed to help you to develop a sense of belonging to your cohort group (those beginning MA studies at the same time as you) 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 Department 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 ALSS 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.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year, part-time)

£3,550

International students, 2018/19 (per year, part-time)

£6,300

UK & EU students, 2019/20 (part-time, per year)

£3,750

International students starting 2019/20 (part-time, per year)

£6,550

How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for UK & EU students

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.

From September 2018, EU students starting a postgraduate degree with us can access a £600 bursary.

Meanwhile, our Books Plus scheme helps with the costs of study. There's no need to apply for this: if you're eligible you can simply collect a Books Plus card when you start your course.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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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.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

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.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online