Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code SOCS203
Coordinator Dr PL Ciocchini
Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 5 FHEQ First Semester 15


To critically explore the main sociological and criminological perspectives on crime, justice and punishment

To investigate the historical emergence of theoretical thought in relation to crime and subsequent development within particular perspectives

To critically assess and the strengths and limitations of particular concepts associated with different theoretical perspectives

To explore how key theoretical concepts and ideas relate to criminal justice practice

To critically understand these perspectives as they relate to social divisions (class, ‘race’, gender, sexuality and age)

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate how criminal justice theory and practice intersect with social fractures, inequalities and social divisions

(LO2) Situate theoretical thought within the world of policy and criminal justice practice

(LO3) Distinguish between different conceptual frames of reference and compare and contrast their strengths and weaknesses

(LO4) Exhibit understanding of the ways in which crime, justice and punishment are contested within and outside of academic thinking

(LO5) Demonstrate critical awareness of the historical and contemporary significance of criminological concepts deployed to explain crime, justice and punishment

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis



The module will address the following topics, which will be distributed across the lectures and seminars:

• The introduction to the key criminological theories.
• The critical discussion of the socio-political context in which the different theories have emerged and the crime policies they tend to favour.

• The assessment of the power of the theories to explain key current crime related social problems.
• The assessment of the power of the theories to understand the way the criminal justice operates and particularly the role gender, class, race, sexuality and age plays in its interventions.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: The lectures are designed to give you a broad introduction to key areas and debates. Lectures will facilitate your reading and highlight issues that should be explored in your ‘out of class’ study time and in the seminars.
Attendance Recorded: No

Teaching Method 2 - Seminar
Description: The seminars are designed to help you explore particular issues and controversies in more detail than can be achieved during lectures. They will enable you to clarify and develop your understanding of your reading; and provide important opportunities to ensure your preparedness for the assessments.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 12


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 128


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 1 There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Semester One 2hr (2 questions of 8)  2 hours    100       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.