Introduction to Policing


Get your questions answered

  • Is online study right for me?
  • Why OUA?
  • What should I study?
  • How does it work?
  • How do I enrol?

Discover what's involved in studying through OUA.

Find out more


Level of study: What does Undergraduate Level 2 mean?

Undergraduate Level 2

EFTSL: What does EFTSL mean?


Delivery Method: What does delivery method mean?

Web Dependent

Availability: What is a Study period?



13 weeks

Government loans available:


Domestic student fee:

$849.00 (AUD)

HECS student fee:

$733.00 (AUD)

International student fee:

$1,099.00 (AUD)


This unit examines the development of the modern police force and the evolving nature of policing strategies. The first module begins with an examination of the history and structure of police organisations. We examine different systems of policing and the growth of specialist agencies and private police. We also examine important aspects associated with the management of police organisations such as recruitment, education and training. The second module focuses on various police strategies and their relative effectiveness in reducing crime and disorder. The unit concludes with a discussion of contemporary police issues including performance management, accountability and ethics and emerging challenges.

Assessment details will be advised at the beginning of the unit offering.


This is not an introductory unit, it is a second year unit. You must have a basic understanding of the first year criminology units.


  • Assignment 1 (35%)
  • Assignment 2 (35%)
  • Invigilated Exam (30%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. have gained an understanding of the history of policing in Australia; comparative styles of policing; and the role of specialist agencies and private police
  2. acquire an appreciation for the recruitment and selection practices that are used to evaluate the suitability of candidates for the police force
  3. identify and know the effectiveness of the key strategies that are used by police to deal with crime and disorder problems.


This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction and history of policing
2Structures of police organisations
3Recruitment, selection, education and training
4Traditional police strategies I
5Traditional police strategies II
6Contemporary policing strategies I
7Contemporary policing strategies II
8Contemporary policing strategies III
9Summary of police strategies
10Operational and organisational performance management
11Accountability, ethics and regulation
12Leading Police Organisations
13Unit review - preparation for exam

Study Resources

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

Online materials

  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the Unibooks website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

Relevant Courses

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Unibooks textbook list.
If you would like to study this unit and enrol today, add it to your Study Cart. Alternatively if you are still exploring your options, you can save this unit to review later by clicking Save to Wishlist.

Currently studying this unit?

Need support? We're here to help.

Send an enquiry

Let's talk

Have a question? Give us a call.

Standard Hours
Monday to Friday: 8am - late 
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

February Extended Hours
Monday 16th to Friday 20th: 8am - 10pm
Saturday 21st: 9am - 5pm
Sunday 22nd: 9am - 5pm

All times in Australian Eastern Standard or Daylight Time