Policing and Criminal Justice in the 21st Century


This module introduces students to key issues and debates in policing and criminal justice matters for the 21st century. It concentrates on emerging police issues, contemporary research in tackling gangs and violence, both in US and UK, eco-crime, policing borders and immigration and state crime.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with Knowledge and understanding of critical issues in policing and the challenges facing it in the 21st century.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Identify and recognise challenges facing the police in the 21st Century in a contemporary setting through working collaboratively and individually

2.  Identify and analysis policing initiatives to tackle gangs and violence in modern day Scotland, with an understanding of contemporary research in the field.

3.  Develop a critical understanding of eco or environmental crime and the issues facing society in a modern world.

4.  Develop a critical understanding of the issues surrounding policing international borders and immigration.

5.  Discuss and critically analyse the issues surrounding policing of state and corporate crime.

Indicative Content

1 Gang Research

What is the issues regarding contemporary research into gangs and violence both in US and UK?

2 Policing Gangs

What are the key and emerging tactics that have been developed to deal with gangs and violence over time?

3 Eco Crime

Provide an overview of emerging trends in criminology, including eco-crime or environmental crime.

4 Policing borders

How do we deal with cross border issues in policing in a modern and cultural world?

5 Policing Immigration

How do we deal with immigration? Is it a crime or a humanitarian problem?

6 State Crime

How do we tackle state and corporate crime?

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The module helps students to acquire knowledge and understanding of policing through lectures and collaborative seminar work on a range of subject specific topics. The opportunity to develop confidence in oral presentation is given in tutorials with students encouraged to present their findings on a given topic independently researched, forming the basis of enquiry-based learning. The ability to examine contemporary challenges and evaluate changes in policing policy will be assessed in one analysis essay focused on learning outcome 1 & 2 and critical thinking and analytical skills will be demonstrated in a 2 hour examination that assesses learning outcomes 3, 4 and 5 enhancing the Abertay Graduate Attributes of challenging complexity and confident thinking as described in learning outcomes. Students taking the module will work collaboratively in tutorials to assess the changing values that govern policework in contemporary society, especially research into gangs and violence in both the US and UK. They will also develop a critical understanding of the issues surrounding policing international borders and immigration and the increasingly important area of policing hate crime and sectarianism in football in Scotland. They will be encouraged to use IT sources to gather subject relevant information and will be encouraged to orally present topics in the field of policing and discuss their findings within the group developing confident presentational skills in the subject area. The majority of tutorial and workshop time is allocated to this enquiry- based activity.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 20
Tutorial/Seminar 10
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 4
Assessment 30
Independent 136

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.