Police Studies

Graduate Co-ordinator: Stuart Wilson, PhD

Faculty Listing

Please note admission to this program has been suspended until further notice.

Department Description

The MA in Police Studies is offered by the Department of Justice Studies. It is directed to police officers and other professionals associated with Canadian police forces, whether federal or municipal, who wish to research topics relevant to policing and police services. The program has an interdisciplinary focus and draws upon several departments of the Faculty of Arts, together with other partners, to provide a social science perspective on policing, and the opportunity to pursue research into specific aspects of that activity. Among them are:

  • Policing in a Liberal Democracy
  • Policing and Rights
  • Policing and Aboriginal People
  • Crime and Society
  • Equity and Race Issues in Policing
  • Policing and Alternative Approaches to Justice


Degree Requirements

Master of Arts (MA) in Police Studies (thesis)

ONE OF PLST 800, S0C 804, 805, or PSYC 803 3 credit hours
ONE OF PLST 801, PHIL 890AD or SOC 803 3 credit hours
PLST or Related Discipline 8xx* 3 credit hours
PLST or Related Discipline 8xx* 3 credit hours
PLST 901** 18 credit hours
TOTAL 30 credit hours

NOTE: At least two of these course must be graduate Police Studies courses.

*The choice is based on the individual student's research interests. Other courses may be substituted with permission of the student's supervisor, the Department Head, and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

  • PLST 805, 810, 820, 880, 890
  • SOC 808
  • PSYC 810, 811, 820, 822
  • ANTH 810
  • HIST 801, 814
  • INDG 800, 801
  • PHIL 880AA-ZZ, 890AA-ZZ
  • PSCI 803, 804, 824, 833, 843
  • PLST 801
  • WMST 880AA, 880AB

**The thesis topic and the research for it are supervised by the student's graduate committee, in particular the Thesis Supervisor. All students will have a Thesis Supervisor at the time of admission. Normally, a Masters thesis takes about a year to complete.


Mid-Career Option

A limited number of mid-career managers with suitable police experience but who lack an undergraduate degree may be admitted to the MAPS program, provided that they complete a qualifying program. In order to be considered for this program, candidates must meet the admission requirements for undergraduate students, and have a minimum of 5 years of experience in a management or supervisory position with a policing organization. All qualifying courses must be passed with a grade no less than 70%. Qualifying students may be discontinued from their program if they receive one grade less than 70%. All other entrance requirements for the MAPS program apply.

Mid-Career Option Qualifying Course Requirements:

  • ENGL 100 or equivalent
  • SOST 203
  • INDG 100
  • JS 210
  • Two courses from the Policing in Society group:
    • HJ 310, 315, 351, 380AA, 421, 431, 433
    • SOC 215, 315
  • One other course in Human Justice or cross-listed equivalents
  • One other elective course of the student's choosing

If qualifying students have already taken some of the above courses or equivalents, they may be eligible for advanced standing in such courses. A proposed qualifying program must be approved by the coordinator of the Police Studies program.


Application Procedures

All information regarding graduate study at the University of Regina including application forms and admission requirements can be found at the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research web site. Students should familiarize themselves with the information provided there. The site provides the most current information on graduate study including policies, fees, scholarships, admission and registration

The minimum requirement for admission to a graduate program at the University of Regina is an undergraduate degree with a minimum average of 70%. Please note that acceptance into the MA in Police Studies is based on the entire application package, and not merely your undergraduate record. Alternative entry into Police Studies is currently under development. Prospective students should contact the Coordinator of Police Studies for more information.

Assessment of Applications

The Department of Justice Studies considers all of the following in assessing potential graduate students and in making recommendations for acceptance to the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research.

  • ability to conceptualize justice
  • readiness to undertake graduate work and complete the degree successfully
  • ability to undertake research and prepare a thesis with an in-depth analysis of aspects of justice or policing
  • relevant combinations of academic and/or professional experience
  • our ability to provide appropriate coursework and thesis supervision

Students who do not have sufficient background for either degree may be eligible for admission as qualifying students. After successfully completing one or more qualifying courses, a change in status to fully-qualified can take place.

Application deadline: here


PLST 800 Research Design in Police Studies (3)
The course critically examines issues and techniques relating to quantitative and qualitative social science research as it is related to police and justice studies. The course uses the case method as well as seminar and lecture format.
Note: Students may receive credit for one of PLST 800 or JS 800.

PLST 801 Multidisciplinary Theoretical Perspective on Justice (3)
An examination of the nature and foundations of justice in its various renderings, such as justice as retribution, desert, righteousness, equality, procedural fairness, and restoration of harmony and balance. The course draws upon religious thought philosophy, legal concepts, economic and social theory, and Aboriginal cultures and teachings.
Note: Students may receive credit for one of PLST 801 or JS 801.

PLST 805 Graduate Research Seminar (3)
Students will undertake research topics on subjects relating to policing and present them to fellow students and interested faculty.
Note: Students may receive credit for one of PLST 805 or JS 805.

PLST 810 Crime and Society (3)
The course examines the social processes involved in the definition and measurement of crime. Students critically examine alternative theoretical explanations of these processes and issues in the conflict of law. The course uses the case method as well as seminar and lecture formats.
Note: Students may receive credit for one of PLST 810 or JS 810.

PLST 820 Issues in Contemporary Policing (3)
This course will provide students with a brief historical review of policing issues and an in-depth examination of the major contemporary issues facing policing today. Topics will include: community policing, professionalization, technology, international policing/investigation efforts, and training.
Note: Students may receive credit for one of PLST 820 or JS 880.

PLST 880 Selected Topics in Police Studies (3)
Selected topics in Police Studies to be offered as required.

PLST 890 Directed Readings (3)
Directed readings in Police Studies.

PLST 901 Research (3-15)
Thesis Research