Taught course

Contemporary Policing

ARU (Anglia Ruskin University) · Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

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.

Months of entry


Course content

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.

  • Complete your Masters while working full-time – regardless of your schedule – with our flexible blended-learning delivery.
  • Our Research Fellowship route will let you carry out a research project in your area of professional practice, with the choice to top-up to an MA afterwards.
  • Get a truly multi-disciplinary perspective with a course that draws on expertise from across the faculties in our university
  • Develop an in-depth and systematic understanding of key topics on modules designed in consultation with Senior Police Officers.
  • Join forces with PIER, our Policing Institute for the Eastern Region, with links to local and regional forces, and policing bodies and chief officers at local and national level.
  • Always feel supported with online resources including a learning management system, online library services, web-based forums, and Study Skills Plus.

What you will study

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.

How you will study

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: Emma Brett

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    15-24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

This course is delivered by blended learning, which means most of your work will be done through online delivery, with only a small part of the course delivered on campus.

Course contact details

+44 (0)1245 686868