SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3L324410
Module Leader Maureen Taylor
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Sociology
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Level 2 criminology module (e.g. Crime and Society) or equivalent. This module requires that students volunteer in Police Scotland's Special Constabulary - subject to Police Scotland vetting and recruitment procedures. Recruitment procedures are similar to that of the regular Police Service including application and vetting form assessment; fitness assessment, standard entrance test, interview, medical, pre-employment substance misuse testing, and references.

Summary of Content

This module is offered to level 3 students in place of a substantive taught module. It can be taken in either Trimester A or B, although each student takes the module in only one trimester. The module offers the opportunity for those students interested in the degree route into policing (on the Criminology/Policing pathway) to gain professional experience through experiential learning. In order to take this module, students must have already applied for and been accepted to (or already be volunteering for) Police Scotland's Special Constabulary, and as such this is a prerequisite for the module. It is important to note that being accepted into the Special Constabulary is entirely dependent on Police Scotland, which has stringent recruitment and vetting procedures. If students are not accepted as volunteers in the Special Constabulary, they cannot take this module. The module allows students to use their practical experience of both training for, and working as a volunteer Special Constable, as the basis for professional and personal development and reflection. The module requires a high level of independent work and study, and involves students keeping a reflective journal of their training and/or volunteering experiences. Journal reflections will be made in relation to academic research on relevant aspects of policing, for example, community policing or working with young people and relevant key concepts such as 'cop culture' or procedural justice. The module is organised as a structured learning experience, with students undergoing training externally (with Police Scotland) which they will use as a basis for preliminary reflections and identification of potential areas of study to follow up with reference to academic literature, in order to frame their practical experience, and subsequent critical reflections on this. This module incorporates aspects of PRME-related issues such as individual and professional responsibility and accountability; ethics and values; gender; and human rights.


The syllabus will be divided into four key areas: -360 1. How research informs police practice 2. Models of reflective practice 3. Doing policing: the reality of being a police officer 4. Reflective practice and policing

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1 Demonstrate a critical understanding of 'policing' (as opposed to the police) at the local, community level.2 Explain how police values and ethics apply to their own policing practice.3 Discuss key areas of policing, including:4 the roles and responsibilities of a police officer5 delivering a professional service to the public6 police engagement with individuals and groups in local communities7 working with other agencies8 decision-making and working with others9 Identify how they have used key policing concepts/theories in their own working approaches (e.g. in relation to police cultures and diversity)10 Reflect on their own professional practice, e.g. 11 The use of police powers (accountability)12 Their role in crime prevention and community safety13 The constraints, limitations and challenges they face

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This is not a taught module so does not have weekly teaching sessions, as students will be volunteering with the Special Constabulary. Personal and professional development will be facilitated though the accumulated experience of policing and students reflecting on these experiences throughout the course of the semester. There will be no formal lectures, but class workshops will be held at the beginning, middle, and end of the trimester to facilitate group discussions on comparative professional development, education, and reflective practice, which will complement the independent volunteering, study and reflection that forms the core of this module. The workshops will be based around developing students' critical understanding of how practice is informed by research in the policing environment, and the importance of reflective practice as a life-long learning strategy.

Indicative Reading

The key textbook for this module is: Copely, S. (2011) Reflective Practice for Policing Students , London: Sage. Recommended reading will include: -357? Donnelly, D. & Scott, K. (2005) Policing Scotland, Cullompton : Willan. ? Donnelly, D. (2008) Municipal Policing in Scotland, Cullompton: Willan ? Donnelly, D. (2013) The Scottish Police Officer , Cullompton: Willan. ? Newburn, T. (Ed) (2003) Handbook of Policing, Cullompton: Willan. ? Newburn, T. (Ed) (2005) Policing: Key Readings , London: Routledge. ? Rowe, M. (2008) Introduction to Policing , Cullompton: Willan. ? Wakefield A and Fleming J (2009) The Sage Dictionary of Policing London: Sage -181 Policy documents relating to policing in Scotland (values, ethics, professionalism, governance, etc.) -181

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: -360? Written and verbal communication skills ? Time management and planning skills ? The capacity to collate and present evidence in an appropriate format ? Competence to evaluate research evidence and draw appropriate conclusions ? The ability to apply knowledge to relevant professional practice ? Reflective professional practice ? Critical thinking

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 52.00
Assessment (FT) 36.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 100.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 25.00 35% Individual Presentation
Coursework 1 n/a 75.00 35% Critical Reflective Portfolio (2,500 words)