Module SXY-2001:
Criminological Theory

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Tim Holmes

Overall aims and purpose

This course focuses on the main theoretical approaches and ideas in the contemporary study of crime, social control and victimisation. The time period runs from 19th century theories to the present day. The approaches and ideas are situated in their intellectual and historical contexts, and the writings of key thinkers will be critically examined. The chief purpose of the course is to show the relevance of criminological ideas to a range of current crime/criminal justice issues. Among the perspectives and topics covered are the following: subcultural theory; neutralization and disengagement techniques; Labelling theory; critical criminology.

Key Aims:

(1) To provide a good knowledge and understanding of the key theoretical approaches in criminology from the 19th century until the present day.

(2) To provide a framework for critically evaluating the animating ideas of twentieth-century criminology and victimology.

(3) To explore the relationship between the theoretical analysis of crime, victimisation and the practice of crime control.

(4) To develop skills of appreciation, evaluation and appraisal with respect to theoretical argument and empirical research.

(5) To encourage the development of skills in both oral and written communication.

Course content

SXY2001 is a 20-credit module, taught over the course of a single semester.

It focuses on the main theoretical approaches and ideas in the contemporary study of crime, deviance and social control. The time period runs from the late 18 hundreds to the present day. The approaches and ideas are situated in their intellectual and historical contexts, and the writings of key thinkers will be critically examined.

The chief purpose of the module is to show the relevance of criminological ideas to a range of current crime/criminal justice issues. Among the perspectives and topics covered are the following: Merton’s theory of anomie; subcultural theory; neutralization and disengagement techniques; symbolic interactionism; labelling and stigma; moral crusade; critical criminology; shaming; rational choice theory; and crime and the emotions.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Understand and summarize the key theoretical perspectives in twentieth-century criminology. Situate them in their relevant intellectual and historical contexts. Apply criminological approaches to areas of current interest and concern.

good

Understand and summarize the key theoretical perspectives in twentieth-century criminology. Situate them in their relevant intellectual and historical contexts. Show a good understanding of the key theoretical texts in criminology. Effectively apply criminological approaches to areas of current interest and concern.

excellent

Understand and summarize the key theoretical perspectives in twentieth-century criminology. Situate them in their relevant intellectual and historical contexts. Show an excellent understanding of the key theoretical texts in criminology. Effectively apply criminological approaches to areas of current interest and concern. Critically engage with key criminological theories.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand the key criminolgical theories from the 19th Century to the present day.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of the ways in which twentieth-century criminology abd victomology has evolved and developed.
  3. Understand the emergence of victimology as a distinct area of academic study.
  4. Understand the centrality of theory for understanding the world of crime and control.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to apply criminological ideas to current issues or concrete areas of concern.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Essay 2,000 words S1 50
Exam 2 Hours S1 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

Weekly lectures will provide detailed introductions to various theories and perspectives in criminology.

100
Seminar

Seminars will be used to discuss various journal papers and competing theories and perspectives in criminology.

100
  Students will be taught by means of lectures and seminars. Lectures are intended to provide an overview of a particular topic or perspective, providing an impetus for further independent research and thought on the part of the student. Unlike lectures, seminars are designed to be fully interactive, allowing students to take the lead. Each seminar will be organized around a particular task or theme, and the emphasis will be on collaborate group-work. Students are strongly encouraged to make use of Blackboard, where they will be able to access module announcements, key readings, suggestions for further study, and study tips. Teaching and learning for this module is thus strongly interactive, and students are expected to be active participants in their own. learning experience.  

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: