Criminology

The following modules are available to incoming Study Abroad students interested in Criminology.

Alternatively you may return to the complete list of Study Abroad Subject Areas.

CRIM102: Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Terms Taught: Full Year Course.
  • Also Available:
    • Michaelmas Term only.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only.
    • NOTE:  If you are studying with us for a Full Academic Year and you select a course that has full year and part year variants, you will not be allowed to take only part of the course.
  • US Credits:
    • Full Year course - 10 Semester Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 4 Semester Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 6 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits:
    • Full Year course - 20 ECTS Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 8 ECTS Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 12 ECTS Credits.

Course Description

How do we decide what behaviour should be criminalised? Why do people break the law? How do we, and should we, react to the breaking of criminal laws? These questions form the basis of criminology. They are also questions that occupy a central and often controversial place in public and political debates about ‘law and order’. This course provides students with the opportunity to study them in depth.

Crime and Social Life offers students an opportunity to study crime and the ways in which it is dealt with by the criminal justice system. It enables students to explore the nature of crime and its control by examining the issues at stake using the resources of social, penal and legal theory. It also offers students the chance to think about crime as a social phenomenon and to explore the criminological research and analysis of how criminal justice systems operate in practice.

Educational Aims

The focus of the module will be historical and contemporary crime issues with which you may well have a certain familiarity through debates in the mass media. The curriculum is based around demonstrating the relationship between social, political, economic and cultural processes and crime, in particular:

  • How concepts of crime are socially located
  • Why some forms of behaviour become defined as deviant or criminal and thus worthy of academic and policy attention and others do not
  • The role and location of sources of evidence in the evaluation of issues and problems related to crime and deviance
  • Forms of academic and policy argument
  • Aspects of the criminal justice system

Outline Syllabus

This module introduces students to the multifaceted nature of crime through an explanation of:

(a) How historical and contemporary crime control problems are embedded in wider political, economic, social and cultural change;

(b) Academic debates and public discussions that have historically surrounded crime and criminology, and their contemporary relevance;

(c) The ways in which quantitative and qualitative inquiries into crime, deviance and criminal justice have been conducted.

We explore these through an examination of the following substantive areas (indicative list):

  • Gender, race and class in the criminal justice system;
  • Anti-social behaviour;
  • Hate crime;
  • Youth crime;
  • Cybercrime;
  • Policing;
  • Serial killing;
  • Prisons;
  • Victims;
  • Sex crimes;
  • Criminological theories.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

CRIM205: Criminological thought

  • Terms Taught: Full Year Course.
  • Also Available:
    • Michaelmas Term only.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only.
    • NOTE:  If you are studying with us for a Full Academic Year and you select a course that has full year and part year variants, you will not be allowed to take only part of the course.
  • US Credits:
    • Full Year - 8 Semester Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term Only - 4 Semester Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms Only - 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits:
    • Full Year course - 16 ECTS Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 8 ECTS Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: Background in criminology or closely related social science subject.

Course Description

The module aims to introduce to the main theoretical approaches in criminology from its origins to the present day. The module introduces and examines the main types of theory that have sought to explain crime, criminality and social control. It takes a critical philosophical approach that sees social order and crime as theoretical problems rather than social facts available for straightforward empirical investigation.

Educational Aims

By the end of the course students will:

  • Understand the ways in which crime and control are constructed and contested concepts.
  • Have an understanding of major criminological theories since the nineteenth century.
  • Be able to critically evaluate the major criminological theories.
  • Understand the uses of theory in contributing to the explanation of criminal behaviour and its definition

Outline Syllabus

The course will be taught in the traditional format of a formal lecture and seminar each week over the Michaelmas and Lent terms. Each lecture will focus upon a particular criminological theory and its contribution to our understanding of criminality and disorder and their control. The seminar programme will run in tandem with the lectures.

Michaelmas Term:

  • Introduction: the uses of theory in criminology
  • The Chicago School, social disorganisation and crime
  • Merton, anomie and the strain theory of criminal behaviour
  • Culture conflict and juvenile delinquency
  • Labelling I
  • Labelling II
  • The state, power and crime: conflict criminologies
  • Marxist approaches to punishment
  • Feminism and the myth of the female offender
  • The New Left and the New Criminology

Lent Term:

  • Crime and the City
  • Crime and post-Fordism
  • Taming 'Barbarians': crime and the 'underclass' debate
  • Men. Masculinities and crime
  • Feminist criminologies
  • Crime, shame and reintegration
  • Criminology as peacemaking
  • Foucault on discipline and punishment I
  • Foucault on discipline and punishment II
  • Crime and the risk society

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

CRIM211: Youth Justice

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term Only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: At least one semester of social science.

Course Description

This module focuses on the criminal justice response to children in conflict with the law. The prevalence and nature of youth crime has been a persistent concern for society and is regularly subject to media and political debate. The module will examine trends in youth justice policy as well as the range of possible responses to youth crime. In particular, there will be a focus on the tension between conceptualising juvenile delinquents as 'children in trouble' or 'children in need', and an exploration of how this shapes youth justice policy and practice.

Educational Aims

The general aim of the module is to introduce students to the way that we deal with children in trouble. Whilst the main focus will be on the youth justice system in England and Wales, students will become aware of how other countries do things differently. Thus, there will be some consideration of the low age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales as well as the apparent enthusiasm for locking children up.

This module aims to:

  • Outline the recent history of youth justice.
  • Introduce students to the politics and practice of youth justice.
  • Make students aware of current research and theory on young people and crime
  • Enable students to explore critically significant contemporary juvenile crime concerns.

Outline Syllabus

  • Introduction: Perceptions of children and childhood
  • A recent history of youth justice
  • The current policy climate
  • Resilience and desistance perspectives
  • Young women, crime and the prospect of justice for females
  • Children in care and the criminal justice system
  • Youth Imprisonment
  • Comparative Youth Justice
  • Gangs n Guns
  • Child victimisation

Assessment Proportions

  • Essay(s): 100%

CRIM212: Contemporary Issues in Policing

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term Only
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits
  • ECTS Credits:  8 ECTS Credits
  • Pre-requisites: Part I subject within the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences.

Course Description

This module introduces students to a range of topics and perspectives related to Contemporary Issues in Policing. The module will cover three key core areas, a) The role of the police in a contemporary and historical context, b) key policing concepts and c) contemporary issues related to policing in the UK, such as use of force, stop and search and interactions with victims.

Assessment Proportions

Group Presentation and Portfolio

Critically present and discuss a contemporary issue in policing in the UK.

Students will be randomly selected into groups of no more than 5 to develop a verbal and visual presentation (15 minutes) on the aforementioned topic. Students will be expected to demonstrate their academic understanding of a range of key concepts, perspectives and contemporary issues related to their chosen topic. Students will be assessed on both their content, presentation portfolio and presentation skills.

40% of the assessment mark will be based on the presentation itself, with 60% being on the presentation portfolio. The portfolio mark will be a group mark and the presentation will be individually assessed.

The portfolio will include an outline of the research conducted for the presentation, the presentation material, script and each group member will be required to complete a 500 word 'contribution summary'. This will provide an overview of their role for the presentation and the aspects they completed. The contribution summary will only affect the portfolio mark if the student has not appropriately contributed (as peer assessed).

The 'contribution summary' will also be peer assessed and there will be an option for a tutor/ other group member to raise lack of engagement of an individual as an issue with the module tutor. This could lead to the adjustment of an individual's mark, depending on their contribution, down a grade point. Students will only be marked down a grade point if a) the contribution summary demonstrates a lack of engagement with the assessment, and/ or b) all other members of the group inform the module tutor that the contribution summary provided by the student in question is not accurate (the module tutor would need to be alerted before the assessment deadline) and/ or c) if various members of the group report a lack of engagement with the assessment to the module tutor in advance of the deadline.

The presentations will take place in week 10.

CRIM215: Green Criminology

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Terms only
  • US Credits: 4 Semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: At least one semester of social science

Course Description

Green Criminology is the application of Criminological thought (methods, theories etc.) to environmental harm. It is a relatively recent addition to criminology, but reflects increasing awareness of the damage modern industrial society inflicts on the natural world. Drawing on established traditions of examining ‘crimes of the powerful’ and of focusing on a harm perspective rather than legalistic definitions of crime. Green Criminology focuses on environmental harms whether or not subject to criminal control. With theoretical roots based in Ulrich Beck’s ‘Risk Society’, and theories of criminalisation and crime control, Green Criminology focuses on a range of environmental harms and society’s attempts to control them. Specific topics addressed include the definition and nature of environmental harm, the role of the media, protest and social movements, animal rights, environmental risks and ecological justice.

The module aims to provoke a critical reflection on the interplay between existing structures and agency on the continuance of processes, and the perpetration of individual acts, with a harmful impact on the physical environment and nonhuman animals. We aim to explore the range of environmental and green related harms, how such harms may be defined as or otherwise related to 'crime', and ways in which society attempts to deal with such harms – whether through criminalisation or otherwise.

Educational Aims

 On successful completion of this module students will have:

  • Knowledge of a range of environmental harms and their impacts on human and non-human victims
  • Appreciation of the staggering multiplicity of green harms and state, government, corporate and individual complicity in their perpetration
  • Understanding of how green issues can be seen as within the remit of criminology

 Students will also develop the following intellectual, practical and transferable skills:

  • Critical engagement with theoretical perspectives on law, crime and harm Ability to evaluate evidence
  •  Integration of information from a range of sources, perspectives and disciplines
  • Analytical skills. Identification, access and evaluation of published materials from traditional and online sources
  • Development of academic writing skills. Leading and participating in discussions
  • Collection and analysis of materials. Analytical skills. Presentation skills (written and oral)

Outline Syllabus

Topics covered will typically include:

  • Green Criminology: Roots and rationale
  • The Nature of Harm: Towards an environmental victimology
  • The Extent of Harm: The social distribution of environmental risk Nonhuman Animals as Victims and the Animal Rights
  • Debate Regulating Environmental Harms: Legislating to protect people, animals and the environment
  • Preventing Environmental Harms: What can we learn from criminological theory?
  • Green Movements and Environmental Activism Explaining Environmental Harm
  • Constructing Green Crime: The role of the media
  • Beyond Primary Green Crimes: Environmental harm as a cause of crime

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 100%

OR

  • Essay(s): 100%

CRIM310: Hate Crime. A Global Perspective

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.  
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: three semesters of social science.

Course Description

This module aims to promote knowledge and understanding of hate violence as a global phenomenon and focuses on:

  • Different manifestations of violence on the basis of social identity, specifically: religious hatred; ‘racial’, ethnic and xenophobic violence, homophobic and transphobic violence; disablist violence, and; violence against women

  • How social identities intersect in the victimisation involved in hate violence

  • The impacts of hate violence on individuals, communities, and on intergroup relations

  • The cultural foundations of hate violence viewed from a global perspective

  • The motivations for acts of hate crime and hate violence

  • Interventions to manage and prevent hate violence

Educational Aims

The aims of the module are to promote knowledge and understanding of:

  • The manifestations and causes of violence on the basis of social identity.

  • The individual, collective and intergroup harms caused by expressions of prejudice, bigotry and hatred

  • Interventions against violence on the basis of social identity.

The module aims to develop skills in:

  • Thinking critically from a comparative cross national perspective.

  • Using research evidence for comparative cross-national analysis of social problems.

Outline Syllabus

  • 1. Analysing hate crime as a global phenomenon.
  • 2. Religious hatred around the world.
  • 3. Global 'racial', ethnic and xenophobic violence.
  • 4. The global cultural foundations of homophobic and transphobic violence.
  • 5. Understanding disablist violence as a global problem.
  • 6. Conceptualising violence against women globally as hate crime.
  • 7. The brutality of hate viewed from a global perspective.
  • 8. Understanding the motivations behind hate crime: key themes from the international evidence.
  • 9. Hate violence and emotion: key themes from the international evidence.
  • 10. Global lessons in intervening against hate violence.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

CRIM314: Sex Crimes and Sexual Offending

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term Only.
  • US Credits: 4 US credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Three semesters of social science

Course Description

The module will introduce students to a range of sexual crimes and forms of sexual offending as defined by UK and international law. The module will cover a number of key areas

  • the types of sexual crimes governed by UK and international law – what constitutes a particular sexual crime, how it is sometimes committed, the extent of such crimes  
  • the ways in which sex crimes and offending behaviour is explained – considering who the perpetrators are and why they commit crimes of a sexual nature, as well as the wider social context which may help explain why some sexual crimes are defined by law
  • how new crimes emerge as the social context changes
  • critically examine how the crimes are dealt with by the criminal justice system such as the laws and policies which surround these crimes, their implementation and how well they operate in practice in terms of treatments and punishments given to sexual offenders.

Educational Aims

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of some of the types of sex crimes defined by UK and international law, the ways in which they are committed and the prevalence of such crimes nationally and internationally.
  • Critically evaluate and analyse complex laws, theories, concepts and information, drawing defensible conclusions.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills identified above, through their written communication skills in an examination (100%) OR essay (100%).

Outline Syllabus

  • Introduction  to Sex Crimes and Sexual Offending
  • Sex Crimes & Socio-cultural Context
  • Theories and Causation
  • Rape and Sexual Assault
  • Prostitution
  • Paedophilia and sexual grooming
  • Genital Mutilation
  • Exposure and Voyeurism
  • Necrophilia & Bestiality
  • Sex trafficking

Assessment Proportions

100% exam

CRIM326: Criminological Aspects on Violence

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: three semesters of social science.

Course Description

Violent crime is a major cause of pain and distress to individuals, and of social dislocation and division. This module examines the ways in which criminologists have understood violence and aggression in individuals and groups, and what remedies criminology can offer for problems of violence. The module introduces students to sociological and psychological perspectives on violence and explores their impact on criminology. It examines in detail the connections between violence and culturally dominant concepts of masculinity, and explores particular problems of violence in relation to homicide, male violence in the private sphere, and hate violence. Finally, the module explores possible solutions to problems of violence and the potential of non-violent forms of conflict resolution.

Educational Aims

  • To introduce students to the main psychological and sociological perspectives which have influenced criminological work on violence;
  • To make students aware of the main criminological theories on individual and group violence;
  • To help students understand the possible relationships between violence and social and economic change;
  • To enable students to explore critically theories and research on violence and culturally dominant forms of masculinity;
  • To introduce students to criminological approaches to the resolution of problems of violence.

Outline Syllabus

  • 1. Criminal violence in official crime statistics.
  • 2. Conceptualising violence.
  • 3. Can words be violent?
  • 4. Violence and emotion.
  • 5. Extreme violence: homicide.
  • 6. Is violence on the decline?
  • 7. Violence and masculinity.
  • 8. Intimate partner violence.
  • 9. Interventions with violent offenders.
  • 10. Collective violence.

Assessment Proportions

  • 100% Exam or 100% coursework

CRIM337: Drugs, Crime and Society

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas term only.
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Three semesters of social science.

Course Description

The subject of legal and illicit drug use is becoming an increasingly popular option at undergraduate level. This course aims to introduce you to both established and more recent academic and policy debates surrounding drug use, consumption, regulation and criminalisation. You will become familiar with specialist areas of criminological interest within the field of drugs and will critically evaluate the research that informs the debate surrounding these topics. Academic, policy and popular discourses on a wide range of psychoactive drugs will be explored within their cultural context. Particular attention will be paid to historical perspectives on the subject of drugs and also to the British, European and international context for such debates. Alongside lectures you will be shown a wide variety of video extracts. Please note that for this course, assessment is 100% exam.

Educational Aims

The field of drug and alcohol studies is a rapidly expanding specialism within criminology and is also developing as a distinct multidisciplinary subject in its own right. The subject of legal and 'illicit' psychoactive drug use is becoming an increasingly popular option at undergraduate level.

This course aims to introduce students to both established and more recent academic and policy debates surrounding psychoactive drug use, focusing upon issues including the consumption, regulation and criminalisation of drugs. Students will become familiar with specialist areas of criminological interest within the field of drugs and will critically evaluate the research that informs the debate surrounding these topics. Academic, policy and popular discourses on a wide range of psychoactive drugs will be explored within their cultural context. Particular attention will be paid to historical perspectives on the subject of drugs, and also to the British, European and international context for such debates. Alongside lectures students will be shown a wide variety of historical and contemporary video extracts. Students will be expected to read on a weekly basis for student-led seminar discussions. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in group learning through team seminar presentations which will contribute towards their overall assessment mark.

Outline Syllabus

  • Introductory themes: The regulation, categorisation and criminalisation of psychoactive drugs
  • Methodological challenges in drugs research
  • Criminological perspectives on the drugs-crime connection
  • Addiction theory, dependency and maintenance
  • Adolescent recreational drug use and the British normalisation debate
  • Ecstasy, 'moral panic' and the dance drugs revolution
  • Traffic: Dealers, criminal organisations  the international 'war on drugs'
  • Cannabis  the European decriminalisation debate
  • Alcohol: 'Our Favourite Drug'
  • Soldiers, punks and housewives: A short and speedy history of amphetamines as the 20th century panacea
  • Gender and drugs: Beyond pregnancy, prostitution  pushing
  • Race, PACE and drugs
  • Representations of drugs in film and the media
  • Crack and Cocaine: Two worlds, same drug?
  • Heroin, the 'British system' and the medicalisation of 'addiction'
  • The hallucinogens: Psychedelia, psychotherapy and psychonautics
  • Tobacco: The new taboo
  • The illicit world of prescriptions: Viagra, Prozac, Temazepam and Ritalin
  • Anabolic steroids: Bigorexia, aggression and the pursuit of the 'body beautiful'
  • Beyond adolescence ... Drugs, parenting and middle age

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

CRIM340: Criminal Careers

  • Terms Taught: Lent Term Only.
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Three semesters of social science.

Course Description

The study of Criminal Careers concerns the development of criminal behaviour over time. After an introductory lecture, the key theoretical and methodological debates in this area of study are discussed. There is a particular focus on the ‘great debate’ between proponents of the criminal careers and criminal propensity models. The course then moves on to consider specific topics relating to the onset, persistence and desistance of criminal behaviour. Following on from this, we consider the contribution of some of the major longitudinal studies in this area, before exploring the crucial issues of prediction and risk.

.

Educational Aims

The broad aim of the course is to introduce you to the main theoretical debates and empirical material relating to criminal careers. You will become familiar with the key concepts in this area of study and begin to recognise that some of the empirical data needs to be more theoretically grounded in order to be of value to practitioners.

Outline Syllabus

  • Introducing Criminal Careers
  • Competing Theoretical Explanations
  • Methodological Issues
  • Onset of a criminal career: when does it begin?
  • Criminal Careers of Deceptive Offenders
  • Desistance Research: why do offenders stop or do they?
  • The Major Longitudinal Studies
  • Risk Factors and Prediction Studies
  • The Future of Criminal Careers Research

Assessment Proportions

  • 100% Essay or 100% Exam

CRIM402: Crime and Criminal Justice in the 21st Century

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term
  • US Credits: 5 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: ECTS Credits: 10 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Must have completed 3 years undergraduate study in Criminology or a related subject i.e. Law, Psychology, Sociology or other social science or humanities subjects

Course Description

This module introduces students to the nature and extent of crime and criminal justice policy in contemporary society.  Students gain an overview of crim and criminal justice statistics, with a critical understanding of how such statistics are socially constructed.  They also gain an overview of current and recent trends in criminal justice policy, and an in-depth understanding of some of the key social dimensions of crime and justice (e.g. age, gender, race, social class) and some key criminological challenges for the 21st century (e.g. Cybercrime, Corporate Crime, Environmental Crime).

Assessment Proportions

Coursework: 100%

CRIM404: Criminological Research in Practice

  • Terms Taught: Lent Term
  • US Credits: 5 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 10 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites:   Must have completed 3 years undergraduate study in Criminology or a related subject i.e. Law, Psychology, Sociology or other social science or humanities subjects.

Course Description

This module presents cutting-edge research to provide students with insights into the realities of criminological research in practice, the process of research from inception of idea through development of theory and knowledge.  Lectures showcase individual research projects, highlighting methodological (including practical and ethical difficulties and how they are overcome, and the relationship between the research process and expanding the body of knowledge within the field of criminology.

Assessment Proportions

Coursework 100%

SOCL242: Crime, Poverty and Social Security

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term Only.
  • US Credits: 4 US semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: At least one semester of social science.

Course Description

This course explores ways in which crime, poverty and social security policy are inter-related. It focuses upon issues including the role of poverty as a factor contributing to criminal behaviour; the protection of society from the perceived threat of poor people and groups, and the role of the social security policy in managing aspects of the crime problem.

Educational Aims

The course will be taught in the format of a formal lecture and seminar/workshop in each week of the Michaelmas or Lent term. The course examines relationships between crime and poverty and deprivation, and the management of these relationships through social security policy. It develops theory and knowledge that students are introduced to in the first year related to social exclusion, criminal justice and support for poor people, particularly lone mothers and young men. 

Seminars will be designed to:

  • complement the lecture material
  • encourage a critical evaluation of readings
  • encourage collaborative and co-operation between students in tackling problems
  • help students understand statistical data

Outline Syllabus

Week 1:

  • Introduction. Poverty and income inequality

Week 2:

  • Unemployment and social security. Evidence of links between crime and social conditions

Week 3:             

  • Theorising links between crime and poverty 1: pathology and personal deficits.
  • Theorising links between crime and poverty 2: social explanations

Week 4:              

  • Women, Poverty and Crime. Social security fraud: policy, numbers and politics

Week 5:              

  • Social security fraud: is it a matter for concern? Thinking about your essay

Week 6:              

  • Essay consultations

Week 7:              

  • Relative deprivation, crime and street homelessness.
  • Rights and responsibilities: criminalising social policy?

Week 8:             

  • Controlling disorder (1): lone mothers, role models and paid work.
  • Controlling disorder (2): young men and paid work

Week 9:              

  • ‘Anti-social behaviour’ and housing. Financial penalties and poverty

Week 10:            

  • Unemployment and imprisonment.
  • Course review

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%