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.
Title Alcohol, Crime and Society
Code SOCI337
Coordinator Dr CL Lightowlers
Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15


This module is designed to:
• Stimulate students' interest in, and enthusiasm for, the field of alcohol studies by introducing them to current debates, paradigms and perspectives within the field and exploring concepts underlying the epidemiology, consequences of alcohol use, and criminalisation thereof;
• Encourage students to develop a critical understanding of issues relating to alcohol, crime, and ‘alcohol problems’ within criminological and multi-disciplinary frameworks;
• Use critical analysis of key debates about alcohol and ‘alcohol problems’ to explore the contested nature of knowledge in this field;
• Explore academic, policy and popular representations of alcohol within their historical and socio-cultural context;
• Build upon and further develop knowledge and critical understanding gained from previous modules of study.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) An appreciation of the ways in which relevant criminological and multi-disciplinary perspectives can be applied to the study of alcohol and crime

(LO2) A critical appreciation of a range of theoretical and empirical studies of alcohol and the methodological and ethical challenges to their completion

(LO3) A knowledge and critical understanding of contemporary debates about alcohol and ‘alcohol problems’ and associated crime/violence including the nature and role of the media

(LO4) An understanding of how historical and socio-cultural circumstances have influenced how we view alcohol and ‘alcohol problems’ and associated crime/violence today

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

(S3) Understanding of inter-disciplinary perspectives

(S4) Communication skills – academic writing

(S5) Ability to make links with other modules to enhance understanding

(S6) Time management and organisational skills

(S7) Information Skills - Ability to gather and critically analyse appropriate information

(S8) Communication skills – Ability to construct systematic and coherent written arguments



• Regulation of alcohol
• Alcohol use in contemporary society
• The alcohol-crime debate
• Alcohol and violence
• The social construction of alcohol ‘problems’
• Gender, class and alcohol
• Alcohol violence and public / urban space
• Alcohol and violence policy development
• Alcohol in criminal justice

Library resources will be accessible through the module reading list, other key learning resources will accessible through VITAL or CANVAS. Resources are offered as a starting point for reading and as a point of reference although wider research and reading is encouraged. Students will be expected to complete independent reading / set tasks in preparation for workshops.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Hybrid - asynchronous pre-recorded lectures; face to face synchronous seminars, safety permitting. 11 weekly ‘lectures’ to be delivered asynchronously online as shorter video instalments.

Rather than adopting hybrid learning as “business as usual” the structure and delivery of this module (SOCI337) was explicitly re-designed in its first year of from the off to harness the benefits of online and blended learning in line with best practice within the sector, modern student expectations and to maximise potential of canvas as virtual learning environment. The pedagogic reasoning for this approach is threefold. Firstly, a recent survey of students by the Guild highlighted this approach “increased ability to fit study in with employment or family responsibilities, being able to rewind or re-watch lectures, and saving time by not having to travel to and from campus”. Moreover, this approach not only improves access to and encourages students to revisit materials, but it also mitigates against student (and indeed staff) illness and absence thus making its delivery more inclusive and sustainable. Secondly, it enables a self-paced and non-linear learning experience on the module. This, in turn, will ensure the materials (which touch on sensitive issues of violence and addiction, amongst others), can be delivered and presented in a trauma informed manner allowing students to navigate its content in way that works for them. This has the additional benefit of allowing students advanced access to resources for planning their assessments in a timely fashion, mitigating against assessment bunching and stress towards the end of their final years. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the online content and resources will be balanced with small group face-to-face teaching sessions, in the form of 2 hour workshops, in which concepts are clarified and applied in tasks set for the students. This approach will ensure a richer in-class experience, as all students will have been able to watch and engage with the online materials in advance. These comprise content developed by myself relating to my own expertise but also showcase insights beyond my own to ensure an enhanced, inclusive, varied syllabus – and where possible – decolonised syllabus as online content will include contributions from external scholars and collaborators in the form of guest video lectures and conversational podcasts to enliven the syllabus. Something which cannot be recreated in the lecture theatre.

Fortnightly workshops to be delivered fortnightly in weeks 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 to allow for more interactive and in-depth analysis of the key topics and concepts introduced in the ‘lectures’. To comprise a range of pre-set tasks (e.g. readings, discussion boards, quizzes, videos etc.) and subsequent synchronous engagement.

Self-directed learning hours to increase to reflect changes above – to 129.
(NB. current discrepancy in current form in Summary of Learning and Teaching methods - Self-Directed Learning Hours: 132, whilst in table reads 126 hours).

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 11


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 129


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 1 Assessment Title: Essay Duration / Size: 2,500 words Reassessment Opportunity: Yes Penalty for Late Submission: Standard UoL penalty applies Anonymous Assessment: Yes Assessm    100       

Recommended Texts

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