LW5023 - Public Law and Policing

What will I learn on this module?

This module will introduce students to the extent of police powers in England and Wales, and how these powers are regulated and governed. This will include gaining an understanding of relevant legislation and guidance associated with different forms of policing, as well as the governing bodies and external agencies that ‘regulate’ policing in England and Wales. The module will introduce students to:

• Definitions, legislation and guidance associated with ‘public protection policing’.
• Key counter-terrorism terminology/ concepts as well as key anti-terror legislation and the functions of counter-terrorism policing.
• Legislation relevant to public order policing.
• Core policing functions and strategies relating to policing the roads. Most common offences and legislation used (incl. commercial vehicle enforcement). Legislation relevant to road investigations. Effects of road-related anti-social behaviour and offences.
• Lawful search/entry/ seizure procedures as well as detention of suspects.

CoP pre-join curriculum learning outcomes: CoP February 2023 curriculum v6.0 05/2023
Understanding the Police Constable Role: 5, 6
Valuing Difference and Inclusion: 1
Public Protection: 1, 2.1, 2.3, 3.4a, 3.7, 7.1
Countering Terrorism: 1, 3, 4, 5
Criminal Justice: 1, 2, 5, 7 8
Response Policing: 3, 4,
Policing the Roads: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Information and Intelligence: 2, 4, 5, 6, 8

How will I learn on this module?

The module will run across a 12-week semester with students learning through webcasts, lectures, seminars and tutor-guided and student-independent learning. The lecturer will use historical and current political developments, case law and academic writing to give context to core principles. The 12 seminars are reliant on you preparing answers and exercises using both tutor-guided and independent learning and research. You will be given directed learning to prepare for seminar tasks which go beyond lecture content. Independent learning will include locating and reading relevant legal source material and will again go beyond both lecture content and directed seminar learning. In seminars students will be able to develop their knowledge by applying findings to factual scenarios and developing oral presentation skills by presenting research findings to the wider group. The ‘Policing and Public Law’ eLP site contains a module handbook outlining the content of the module. Lecture slides, digital lecture recordings and seminar exercises will also be made available on the eLP site. Formative feedback will be provided on knowledge and understanding of policing and public law as well as a number of opportunities to engage with the method of assessment used in the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through active participation and discussion during seminars. All lecture and seminar material will be available on the University’s eLearning Portal, supplemented with guidance on further reading relevant to the subjects.
Written assessment feedback will also be provided to allow you to understand how you performed and how you can build on this performance in subsequent assessments within your programme.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the module you should be able to:
1. Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of key principles of public law and be able to apply those principles in the context of given factual scenarios.

2. Demonstrate your ability to identify, explain, evaluate and interpret relevant case law and statutory authorities and understand different key policing strategies.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
By the end of the module you should be able to:
3. Communicate your knowledge and understanding of key principles of public law and of criminal relevant case law and statutory authorities accurately, using accurate legal terminology and forming structured and coherent arguments.
4. You will understand the relationship between public law and policing, and various forms of policing.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. You will understand and put into practice the fundamental responsibility of the police service to identify and support those who are vulnerable or at risk, including during different policing strategies.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment

During the semester you will have two formative assessments. (1) A written exercise analysing a problem scenario relating to policing. This will be marked by your seminar tutor and you will receive written feedback on your answer. (2) A mock examination to be made available via the eLP and completed in your own time. You will receive written feedback in the form of a model answer and oral feedback in the form of a discussion of the examination in one of the workshops.

Summative assessment

This will take the form of a 2 hour unseen examination. The examination will require you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of key principles of public law. It will also include problem scenarios requiring students to understand how a police officer would act in a given scenario.

Summative feedback will be available in written form on scripts, via the eLP as notes for guidance and orally from module/seminar tutors.

Assessment Criteria and Grade-Related Criteria will be made available to you to support you in completing assessments. Grade-Related Descriptors are descriptions of the level of skills, knowledge and/or attributes that you need to demonstrate in order achieve a certain grade or mark in an assessment, providing a mechanism by which the quality of an assessment can be measured and placed within the overall set of marks.





Module abstract

Public law is the law that governs the state and its relationship with its citizens. You will learn about the UK’s uncodified constitution and study the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights. Public law and Policing will introduce students to different operational strategies and forms of policing, including how these are regulated and governed. It will examine the development of different policing strategies, including political and public debates, as well as how these different policing forms are governed by law, and policy. Understanding topical debates in policing strategies, and their governance will form a core of the module, including how human rights and ethics intersect with policing.

Course info

UCAS Code LL44

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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