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Institute of Criminology

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The Cambridge Police Executive Programme offers a globally-relevant framework for preserving and enhancing democratic policing in the face of international challenges.

Our commitment to precision in targeting, testing and tracking police intrusions on public liberty using the best empirical and statistical evidence available provides a key tool for the kind of public “dialogic” strategy for maintaining police legitimacy developed at Cambridge. Our theoretical and empirical development of the concept of residual general deterrence provides the basis for refuting claims that police can be abolished without major increases in violent crime.

For over 100 mid-career students enrolled each year in our part-time graduate courses — all police leaders or analysts from around the world -- the Cambridge program offers an intellectual foundation for both police reform and public support.

The Cambridge programme offers four intellectual pillars:

1) “Coupling” police intrusions with proportionately harmful risks;

2) Measuring harm systematically with a Crime Harm Index;

3) Deciding how to make decisions using the “Triple-T” of targeting, testing & tracking as the basis of achieving a fourth “T” of Transformation, and

4) Professionalizing police practice through the training of pracademics who will create, apply and promote the use of research to provide better evidence for decision-making. Further information is available here

The Programme Structure

The Master's course typically consists of three separate two week blocks of lectures and supervision in Cambridge in each of the two years of the course (for a total of twelve weeks' contact time over 24 months). In addition, students complete written work between each of the Cambridge teaching blocks.

Students who successfully undertake only one year of study, rather than proceeding to the Master's year, will be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Criminology and Police Manageme.

The programme is underpinned by several key concepts, including Targeting resources, Testing practices, and Tracking delivery of services. The programme helps students learn through continuing professional development, collaborative study, small group discussions, critical thinking and reflective practice. Participants on the MSt programme are encouraged to reflect on, review and analyse past, current and future practice, as part of what Professor Lawrence Sherman described as the 'future of policing research'.

The Police Executive Programme is distinct from the MSt in Applied Criminology Penology and Management course, which is designed for probation, prison and judicial practitioners. Students have access to the Radzinowicz Library of Criminology which houses one of the world's leading research collections on crime and criminology, and the opportunity to study in one of the world's foremost universities, surrounded by nearly 800 years of history.

The residential teaching block dates for 2022 are below:

Block A Monday 28 March 2022 - Friday 8 April 2022
Block B Monday 11 July 2022 - Friday 22 July 2022
Block C Monday 5 September 2022 - Friday 16 September 2022

 The Course Director is Professor Lawrence Sherman