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    Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Logo
  • Study Type

    Distance learning & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    September, January

  • Course Duration

    12, 15 or 24 months (blended learning delivery - 2 on-campus study days per Trimester))

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    30 October 2019

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. Benefiting 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.


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.


  • Researching Police and Policing
  • Policing in a Digital World
  • Policing and Public Protection
  • Major Project
  • Police Culture, Management and Change (optional for the Fellowship route)
  • Work Based Project (Fellowship route only)

Additional study information

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.

Course Leader: Emma Brett

Visit the Contemporary Policing - MA page on the Anglia Ruskin University website for more details!





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Recipient: Anglia Ruskin University

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