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Study information

Social Issues: Part II - Themes in Criminology

Module titleSocial Issues: Part II - Themes in Criminology
Module codeSOC1040
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Cecilia Meneghini (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module offers an intermediate level analysis of crime and deviance by considering several core themes in criminology. It extends the analysis from SOC1039 “Social Issues: Part I”, which is a prerequisite. Taking this module will extend your understanding of the study of crime, to allow you to explore terrains that are often contested, and to develop a critical appreciation of the methodological issues associated with knowing rates of crime. You will be invited to develop your critical thinking in understanding the construction of datathrough practicalexaminations of important controversies in the study of crime.By considering the contested nature of crime and criminalisation (e.g. in the context of the discussions around race), the module offers an opportunity to think about power in the development and implementation of criminological policy. 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.  It is suitable for non-specialist students and those on interdisciplinary pathways.  

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to introduce you tocore themes in the study of crime and deviance and enable you to think critically and analytically about crime, deviance and harm. Using case studies (e.g policing, terrorism and war), the module will foster your ability to assess and evaluate criminological theories and practices. The module will offer an opportunity to apply qualitative and quantitative methodologies for understanding  trends in crime and criminal behaviour. You will also be encouraged to analyse changes in the ways that state and non-state agencies have responded and reacted to crime and evaluate their overall effectiveness.   

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Demonstrate knowledge of the underlying concepts and of strengths and weaknesses of theories of crime and deviance
  • 2. Demonstrate a clear 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. Extend your ability to apply the insights and findings in the literature to the analysis of crime;
  • 6. Conduct independent research;

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 7. Communicate complex ideas in writing; and
  • 8. 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:

 - Deviance and crime
- Case study: drugs
- Victimology and crime
- Justice and crime
- Terrorism and crime
- Technology and new forms of crime
- Crime and war - State crimes 

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 1 hour weekly lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity 1111 x 1 hour seminars
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 plan 250 words1-9Written

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 1-7Written
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)1-7August\September reassessment period
ExaminationExamination (1 hour)1-9August\September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Beirne, P. (ed) (1994) The Origins and Growth of Criminology.

Blackburn, R., The psychology of criminal conduct [1995] Wiley

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.


Key words search

Criminology, deviance, sociology, statistics, crime 

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

SOC1039 Social Issues: Part I Introducing Crime and Deviance

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date