Module Catalogue

SOC3047 : Critical Approaches to Policing and Security

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Deniz Yonucu
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module explores policing and security from a critical interdisciplinary perspective that combines insights from anthropology, sociology, geography and history and engages with current and historical discussions on discourses, practices, and institutions of security and policing. It aims to equip students with key theoretical and analytical frameworks and tools to develop a deeper understanding of the main themes in the field, including: securitisation, militarisation, police power, racialized and gendered aspects of security, technostructures of policing, and colonial and Cold War legacies of contemporary policing and security practices. The module also aims to encourage students to look beyond official policing and security practices and explore the ways ordinary citizens contribute to policing efforts and become effective and active agents of the government in its efforts to police populations. The module combines theoretical readings with empirical and ethnographic case studies that shed light on the operations of policing and security on the ground, both at the local and global levels, and on their effects on the targeted populations. By doing so, it aims to illustrate how policing and security: a) inform, shape, and transform societies, cultures, and everyday relations; b) contribute to the fabrication and (re)production of the social order; and c) work as apparatuses to govern, manage, and control diverse populations.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module content will include some of the following:

•       Ideology, Security, and Policing
•. Law, Violence and the Polce
•       Spaces of Security: Militarized Spatial Control and the Spaces of Exception
•       Policing and Class Control
•       Racialised Policing and Colonial Legacies
•       Securitization, Sovereignty, and Gender
•       Counterinsurgency and the War on Terror
•       Immigration and Militarisation of Borders
•       Vigilantism and Extra-Legal Security
•       Technostructures of Policing

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:00PiP Timetabled Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials32:006:00Pre-recorded non-timetabled lectures
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities31:003:00Online Supported Learning Material (Not Timetabled)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00PiP Timetabled Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00PiP Timetabled Workshops
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1137:00137:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide students with an outline of key concepts and debates relevant to critical perspectives on policing security and a close analytical reading of individual works. Seminars will provide students opportunity to discuss, analyse, and reflect on key issues related to the material of the week and to improve their presentation and communication skills while formulating and debating their own analyses of the key issues related to policing and security. Seminars, along with lectures, will also help students to develop their skills in reading and interpreting articles. Workshops will help students better prepare for their assessments and learn from and give feedback to their peers. The guided independent study will help students develop their own independent learning skills and manage their own learning.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M401500 words
Case study2M602500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1500 word essay. Students will choose from one of the three pre-circulated essay topics. Each topic will provide an opportunity for students to develop their critical/analytical reading, thinking and writing skills. Students are encouraged to go beyond the module material and use other sources to develop and support their arguments.

2500 word Case Study. Students are expected to write a critical analysis based on a case study of their choice related to policing, police and security practices. Examples of good material for your case study could be: policing technologies, police practices and police/security in the news, movies or TV shows. Drawing on the key concepts and themes covered throughout the module, students should be able to demonstrate a familiarity with the main discussions in the fields of policing and security and critically engage with questions related to the course material. Your critical analysis of the case study might reflect upon (but is not restricted to) preventive policing, militarized policing and border controls, racialized policing and racial profiling, counterinsurgency and its colonial legacies, discipline and surveillance. The analysis should also demonstrate the students’ ability to formulate an original and valid research question and to move from a descriptive approach in their writing to a more critical and analytical approach that is supported by evidence.

Reading Lists