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Undergraduate | LTU-LST2POL-2023

Police, Society and Democracy

Study method

100% online


100% online

Entry requirements

Prior study needed


12 weeks

Start dates

  • 31 July 2023

Price from


Upfront cost


HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP available

About this subject

What you'll learn

Develop familiarity with the key theoretical underpinnings of police and policing, plus a survey of the current institutional framework in Victoria.

Discuss the contemporary challenges of policing in Australia and beyond.

Understand and analyse the importance of police culture in police-society relations.

Critique police reform efforts in Victoria, Australia and internationally.

Demonstrate knowledge of the history of the police, with an emphasis on Victoria and other law enforcement agencies in Australia.

    • • History of policing.
    • • Police & colonialism.
    • • The police in a liberal-democratic context.
    • • Police culture.
    • • Police tactics.
    • • Police legitimacy.
    • • Police reform.
  • This subject discusses the history, institutional configuration, role and performance of police in Australia's democratic political context, and offers points of comparisons to other countries (democratic or else) around the world. To these ends, we explore a variety of questions concerning the police and its role in our criminal justice system; the relevance of policing for a democratic society; police culture; the links between police and community; contemporary challenges of policing (including transnational policing),among other relevant aspects of police and policing. After completing this course, students should be able to understand fundamental facts about police and policing, and critically evaluate the police's role in Australia and beyond.

    • 1,600 word Midterm Assignment (35%)
    • 1,600 word case-study project about current policing challenges (35%)
    • Online quizzes/activities (1300 word equivalent) (30%)
  • For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).

  • The third university established in Victoria, La Trobe University has a diverse community of more than 38,000 students and staff. Its commitment to excellence in teaching and research prepares students to make a bold and positive impact in today's global community. La Trobe provides Open Universities Australia with its core tenets, entrepreneurship and sustainability.

    Learn more about La Trobe.

    Explore La Trobe courses.

    QS Ranking 2023: 20

    Times Higher Education Ranking 2023: 16

Entry requirements


Prerequisites: Students must have completed 15 credit points of any Level one Legal Studies or Politics subject and 15 credit points of any Humanities and Social Sciences subject. Past La Trobe University students who have previously completed LST3POL (Police, Law & Order) are ineligible to enrol in this subject.

Additional requirements

No additional requirements

What to study next?

Once you’ve completed this subject it can be credited towards one of the following degrees

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Bachelor of Information Technology

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Bachelor of Business

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Bachelor of Arts

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Bachelor of Psychological Science

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Bachelor of Cybersecurity

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