Course Description

This online course is 36 learning hours over twelve weeks, including 7.5 hours of live online sessions. It is recommended that students spend a minimum of 3 hours each week on coursework. Students may choose to complete more hours of work on the course in order to explore the content in more depth.

The course provides students with an understanding of key concepts surrounding evidence-based policing. Through the course, students will learn how to strategically use research evidence to inform management and decision-making. They will become effective consumers, producers and commissioners of research evidence within public policing, and be prepared to support adoption of strategic uses of research within their own police services.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Evidence-based policing - the basics

  • Week 1: Introduction, course overview and learning objectives
  • Week 2: What is evidence-based policing (EBP)?
  • Weeks 3 & 4: Understanding Social Research Parts I & II

Unit 2: Program evaluation in EBP and alternative perspectives on evidence

  • Week 5: What is evidence?
  • Week 6: Non-experimental evaluation strategies and alternative perspectives on EBP research

Unit 3: What (and where) is the evidence base?

  • Week 7: The Evidence Base Part I
  • Week 8: The Evidence Base Part II
  • Week 9: Accessing research evidence

Unit 4: Translating research into practice

  • Week 10: Knowledge translation: from research to practice
  • Week 11: Roles in EBP – Leaders, Researchers, ‘Pracademics’, et al
  • Week 12: Future directions for EBP

What You Will Learn

Upon completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • provide a working definition of ‘evidence-based policing’ and differentiate this from other related concepts such as ‘problem-oriented’ and ‘intelligence-led’ policing;
  • differentiate between sources of information and evidence, such as anecdotal, experiential, qualitative, quantitative, systematic, experimental, and so on;
  • differentiate research and evidence by its strength and applicability to a specific problem;
  • understand the differences between ‘best practice’ and ‘promising practice’;
  • develop a research question and identify the kinds of information needed to answer that question;
  • be aware of the range of ways in which other police services have used research to inform strategic management and decision-making, as well as times when data has been misused;
  • identify and use research resources, such as policing research databases and professional networks, to identify the best available evidence on policing strategies, tactics and interventions;
  • create a research partnership with external researchers; and
  • apply research evidence to policing problems.


The course content will be at a university undergraduate level, and suitable for students with a basic prior understanding of general principles of research in the sciences or social sciences. Additional preparatory readings will be made available to students wishing to take this course but do not have any prior college or university education.

Enrolling in this course automatically enrols you into the Certificate in Police Leadership. There is no obligation to complete the certificate.

The Faculty of OLCD recommends an intermediate level of English language proficiency for the most effective learning and participation in our online and face-to-face courses. A list of minimum recommended scores on some common English tests can be found on our website. If you have questions about your English language proficiency and ability to succeed in this course, please contact openlearning@dal.ca.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Recommended For

  • Students in the Police Services Leadership Certificate
  • Police and criminal justice professionals
  • Students interested in evidence-based practices in criminal justice

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Evidence-Based Policing
Online - Self-Paced
Sep 06, 2024 to Nov 29, 2024
Online - Scheduled
1:30PM to 3:00PM
Sep 13, 2024 to Nov 08, 2024
Schedule and Location
Total Learning Hours
  • Online Campus - Atlantic Time
Instruction Delivery Method(s)
Course Fee(s)
Fee non-credit $1,095.00
Required Software
A webcam and microphone/headset will be required for the live sessions.
Section Notes

This course has scheduled written assignments and discussions within the term time frame. There will also be 5 facilitated online sessions - click on View Details for dates. *Please note: Live session dates may be subject to change based on instructor schedule.* Attendance at live sessions is required to obtain the full participation grade for the course.

The course site will be open at 4:00 PM Atlantic Time on the course start date.

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