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Study information

Social Issues: Part I - Introducing Crime and Deviance

Module titleSocial Issues: Part I - Introducing Crime and Deviance
Module codeSOC1039
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor Brian Rappert (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module offers a foundational basis to the study of social life by introducing you to the social study of crime, deviance, and the criminal justice system. This will include examining the historical patterning of crime, the 'causes' of illegal activities and social responses to such acts. Taking this module you will learn to understand the multi-perspectival nature of the study of crime, to explore terrains that are often contested, and to develop a critical appreciation of the methodological issues associated with knowing rates of crime. The module will include elements of taught instruction and small group discussions. The main teaching method consists of lectures and tutorials. You will work independently on the summative and formative assessment exercises. No pre-requisites or co-requisites are required.  It is suitable for non-specialist students and those on interdisciplinary pathways. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

* Introduce you to central issues within the study of crime and deviance

* Situate the study of crime and its causes within the social sciences as a whole

* Foster understanding of the varied qualitative and quantitative methodologies for assessing crime

* Enable you to undertake independent research

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of theories of crime and deviance;
  • 2. Demonstrate an understanding of the qualitative and quantitative methodological foundations of criminology;
  • 3. Identify and locate relevant materials and information in support of research;
  • 4. Synthesise and critically assess the relationship between disciplinary approaches to crime;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 5. Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate literature (theoretical and empirical investigations);
  • 6. Conduct independent criminological research;

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 7. Conduct independent criminological research;
  • 8. Apply social research insights and findings to problems confronting our society; and
  • 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

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

Topic 1 Introduction
Topic 2 Crime, punishment and the politics of law and order
Topics 3&4 Types of crime (domestic violence, 'white collar' crime)
Topic 5 The extent of crime and criminal statistics
Topic 6 The media and crime
Topic 7 Theoretical approaches to crime
Topics 8 Policing crime

Lectures provide you with a broad overview of the study of crime; they cover more ground than is possible in tutorials, and are designed to establish a context in which to think about the issues discussed in tutorials.

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 activity 1111 x one hour weekly lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity 1111 x 1 hour weekly tutorials
Guided independent study33Course readings
Guided Independent study67Preparation for essays, library, research
Guided Independent study28Examination revision

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay plan250 words1-8Written

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
Essay501,500 words 1-8Written
Examination501 hour1-9Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay (1,500 words)1-8August/September reassessment period
ExaminationExamination (1 hour)1-9August/September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Elmsley, C., Crime and Society in England, 1750-1900 (2010) Longman

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

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

Morrison, W., Theoretical Criminology, from modernity to postmodernism [1995] Routledge-Cavendish

Musson, A., Crime, Law and Society in the Later Middle Ages (2010), Manchester University Press.

Waddington, PAJ. (1999) Policing Citizens.


Key words search

Criminology, law, sociology, statistics, crime 

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date