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 SOCI244
Coordinator Dr JD Greener
Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 5 FHEQ Whole Session 30


- 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 critical awareness of the historical and contemporary significance of criminological concepts deployed to explain crime, justice and punishment

(LO2) Exhibit understanding of the ways in which crime, justice and punishment are contested within and outside of academic thinking

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

(LO4) Situate theoretical thought within the world of policy and criminal justice practice

(LO5) Demonstrate how criminal justice theory and practice intersect with social fractures, inequalities and social divisions

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation



Part One: Criminological Thinking: Origins, Perspectives and Impacts

1. Criminology, Power and History

2. The Aims and Objectives of Theoretical Criminology:

Thinking about 'crime', 'justice' and punishment

3. Classicism: the normality of the criminal

4. Individual Positivism:

The mad, the sad and the pathological

5. Sociological Positivism:

Social strain, learning and deviant subcultures

6. Social Reactions to Crime: Labelling and stigma

7. ‘A disciplinary Society’? Power, knowledge and crime

8. A ‘New’ Criminology’? Crime, criminalization and the state

9. Feminist Criminology

10. Taking Crime Seriously? Right and Left Realism

11. Cultural Criminology and the Seductions of Crime

12. Summary and exam preparation

Part Two: Criminological Controversies: Case Studies in Human Rights, Power and Vulnerability in Criminal Justice Practice

13. The Role of the Criminologist: public interest and/or policy relevance?

14. Moving beyond criminology? The idea of social harm

15. Limiting the theoretical horizon? State, contemporary research and autonomy

16. A case study in corporate crime

17. Shoot to kill? Police power and accountability

18. Damage and Death in Youth Custody

19. The Case for Abolitionism: The state of contemporary punishment and penality

20. The Problem of ‘Murder’

21. Controversies in Introducing the ‘Victim’ into CJ Practice

22. Public Opinion, Fear and Popular Politics

23. Criminology as Critical Intervention?

24. Summary and assignment preparation

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: Hybrid - Face to face
Attendance Recorded: Not yet decided
Notes: 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.

Teaching Method 2 - Seminar
Description: Face to face synchronous seminars, safety permitting
Attendance Recorded: Not yet decided
Notes: 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.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 46


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 233


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 2 2000 word essay    50       
Assessment 1 2000 word essay There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Second    50       

Recommended Texts

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