University of Derby MSc in Police Leadership, Strategy & Organisation

EMPAC is pleased to be able to showcase the MSc Police Leadership, Strategy and Organisation programme at the University of Derby, which has attracted students from Staffordshire Police, Nottinghamshire Police, Derbyshire Constabulary and South Yorkshire Police.

The Programme leader is Dr Richard Stapleford, a serving Chief Inspector with Nottinghamshire Police, who is seconded to the University of Derby.

The purpose of this postgraduate degree is to provide students with a relevant qualification that enables the student to explore the multiple facets of modern leadership within an ever-changing policing environment. Students get the opportunity to explore in-depth things like the impact of greater accountability associated with the introduction of OPCC’s, the importance of community partnerships and the cyclical crisis of confidence in police leadership.

There is also an emphasis on real world research which can make an operational impact within the criminal just sector. To equip students to contribute to research, the programme includes content on how to conduct applied research and this helps embed skills in critical enquiry to help students identify and develop meaningful answers to operationally complex questions.

To give a flavour of what policing professional students do, let’s have a look at a couple of recent programme graduates and their research.

Research in practice: safeguarding victims of modern slavery

Chief Inspector Nick Waldram is currently the City Crime Commander for Nottinghamshire Police, but prior to that was the DCI for Intelligence, which included being the Deputy force lead for Modern Slavery and force lead for County Lines.

Nick’s dissertation analysed victim support mechanisms and frontline training to ascertain their effectiveness in safeguarding victims of modern slavery. The research used questionnaires with frontline officers and police staff across several roles and interviews with managers, practitioners and partners linked to modern slavery and safeguarding.

Key research findings identified officers were able to understand why victim support is critical in this area but a small proportion reported a lack of confidence in dealing with victims of slavery. Of concern from the research was, despite several training inputs, briefing guides and guidance, just under half the respondents were unable to recognise the forms of slavery and just over half didn’t appreciate the safeguarding measures which could be implemented. Furthermore, many were unable to spot the signs of a potential victim of slavery, therefore missing crucial opportunities to safeguard and prevent re-trafficking.

Research in Action: sexual offence attrition rates

Detective Inspector Craig Hall of Nottinghamshire Police’s public protection department, leading investigations into crimes of rape and serious sexual offences and for delivering the force’s strategy to continually improve both investigation quality and the victim’s journey.

Craig’s research aim was to examine and understand Nottinghamshire Police’s sexual violence attrition rates. The research began by undertaking a critical analysis of existing literature relating to attrition rates for crimes of sexual violence. Reviewing the existing literature involved exploring how societal ‘myths and stereotypes’ can influence the investigation and decision making in sexual violence cases.

The research showed that rates of attrition are higher for crimes of sexual violence than they are for other crime types and that there are key areas of attrition which can be directly affected by the actions of the police. In particular, stereotyping of sexual violence victims within society can have an adverse influence on decision making and affect the likelihood of cases not being progressed.

Find out more

If you want to find out more about the one at the University of Derby type the following URL into your web browser:, or speak with Richard Stapleford directly via email (

As well as Nick and Craig’s MSc research, a number of other recent graduates will be showcasing their work to share learning in a series of online research seminars, the first of which is on 14 June 2021 between 10am and 12 Noon – you can book on using the link below:-


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