International Criminal Justice: Application of Theory to Transnational and International Crime

Module titleInternational Criminal Justice: Application of Theory to Transnational and International Crime
Module codeSOC2036
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Ms Ashley Frayling (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module is an introduction to the nature and scope of international and transnational crime and how different criminological theories explain these crimes. In this era of globalization these crimes are becoming more common and have larger and more harmful effects on people and societies. You will be introduced to different philosophical approaches theorists have made in explaining crime and how each theory poses unique policy implications for how to address these crimes in societies. There are no pre-requisites or co-requisites for this module.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to provide you with introductory knowledge of international criminal justice concerns with transnational and international crime in the globalizing world. It aims to teach you how to apply criminological theories and develop your critical thinking skills to engage in theory-based policy discussions. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of transnational and international crime;
  • 2. Demonstrate knowledge of criminological theory;
  • 3. Demonstrate ability to apply critically criminological theory to transnational and international crimes;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Demonstrate understanding of theoretical frameworks and their application to this subject area;
  • 5. Demonstrate understanding of evaluating theories and their implications for relevant policy;
  • 6. Clearly present research, policy debates and your own arguments;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Present an argument orally in a clear, organized, and effective manner;
  • 8. Demonstrate independent study skills;
  • 9. Demonstrate the ability to work independently, within a limited time frame, and without access to external sources, to complete a specified task.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Introduction to International Criminal Justice and Criminological Theory –What is the purpose and use of theory? 

Theoretical Frameworks in Criminology –Strain theories, Control theories, Biological/Psychological theories, Deterrence and Rational Choice/Routine Activities theories, Social Disorganization theory, Social Learning theory, Labeling and Radicalization theories

Transnational Crime –discuss various types of transnational crime (e.g. cybercrime, money laundering, environmental crime, etc.), theoretical explanations for these crimes, and theory-based policy implications

Transnational Organized Crime –discuss the history of transnational organized crime and impact of globalization, and apply criminological theories

International Crime –discuss international crimes: war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression, and genocide

Explanations of International and Transnational Crime –comparing theoretical explanations for these types of crime and developing research designs to test theories

Delivering International Justice –discuss how the world attempts to deal with transnational and international crimes

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity1111 x 1-hour seminars (lecturer’s explanations, student participation and discussion)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity113 x 1 hour data analysis tutorials; 8 x 1 hour linked tutorials involving presentations and discussions; revision/prep for exam session
Guided Independent Study24Reading assignments and preparing for the tutorials
Guided Independent Study30Preparing tutorial presentation
Guided Independent Study20Additional reading/research
Guided Independent Study54Preparation for and completion of all exams


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
On-line tests2 hours total (6 elements of 20 minute tests spread out over the term)1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 Written
Participation in seminarsActive participation based on readings1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Introduction to readings: group presentations (normally groups of 3, depending on student numbers) 2510 minute presentations1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9Verbal class feedback
Contributions to discussions15Continuous assessment of contributions to discussions in 11 x 1-hour seminars1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9Verbal class feedback
Examination 60120 minutes1,2,3,4,5,8,9Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Introduction to readings 5 minute individual presentations to the lecturer1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9TBA with students
Contributions to discussions1000 word comment-piece on three selected seminar themes1,2,3,4,5,6, 8,9August/September reassessment period
ExaminationExamination (120 minutes)1,2,3,4,5,8,9August/September reassessment period

Re-assessment notes

When students’ ability to participate in seminars is severely impaired (normally, more than three affected seminars) for condonable reasons, an alternative to contributions to discussions will be offered.  


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Braithwaite, J. (1989).  Criminological Theory and Organizational Crime. Justice Quarterly 6(3): 333-358.

Dammer, H.R., and Albanese, J.S. (2010). Comparative Criminal Justice Systems.

Akers, R.L. (2003). Criminological Theories: Introduction and Evaluation.

Jewkes, Y. and G. Letherby (eds.) 2002. Criminology.

Kramer, R.C. and Michalowski, R.J. (2005). War, Aggression and State Crime: A criminological analysis of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. British Journal of Criminology 45: 446-469.

Liska, A. E. (1990). The Significance of Aggregate Dependent Variables and Contextual Independent Variables for Linking Macro and Micro Theories. Sociology Psychology Quarterly 53: 292-301.

Maguire, M., Morgan, R. and Reiner, R. (eds.) (1997) The Oxford Handbook in Criminology.

Natarajan, M. (ed.). (2011). International Crime and Justice. 

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

International Criminal Justice, international, transnational

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date