Module code: SOC1036

Module Overview

This module aims to provide a comprehensive exploration of the major theoretical perspectives that have been developed by both criminologists and sociologists in relation to crime and deviance. The module will cover a number of theoretical developments from ‘classical’ criminological theory onwards, focusing in particular on innovations in the UK and USA since the 20th century inter-war period.

Module provider


Module Leader

BERLUSCONI Giulia (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: L611

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Classicism and the rise of modern criminology

  • Individual positivism

  • Strain theories

  • Theories of place, space and crime

  • Subcultures of deviance

  • Radical criminologies

  • Feminist approaches

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2000 WORD ESSAY 50
Examination 1-HOUR EXAMINATION 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their in-depth knowledge of criminological theory.

The summative assessment for this module consists of a 2000 Word Essay and a 1 Hour Exam which tests their understanding of criminological theory and their capacity to critically reflect upon this when explaining criminality

Informal formative assessment is conducted throughout the module during seminars where students have the opportunity to engage in exercises and readings and to receive feedback on how they are progressing.

The final session is given over to exam advice, hints and tips.

Module aims

  • Understand the historical development of key criminological and sociological theories of crime and deviance
  • Analyse major contentions and arguments between these key traditions
  • Apply a range of criminological theories to illuminate contemporary social problems
  • Understand the relationship between criminological theory and its impact on social policy and the criminal justice system

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Have a clear understanding of the historical development of key criminological and sociological theories of crime and deviance K
2 Be able to critically assess key contentions and arguments between these theories C
3 Connect criminological theories to illuminate contemporary social problems KCPT
4 Be able to analyse the relations between criminological theories and policies of social control CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 127

Lecture Hours: 12

Seminar Hours: 11

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to reflect the programme’s key learning and teaching aims by:

•Developing students’ in-depth understanding of key criminological theories:

•Indicating how such theories can explain crime and criminal behaviour;

•Developing understandings of the relationship between theory and crime;

•Developing key study skills that relate to employability.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures (1 hour per week)

Seminars (1 hour per week)

Class exercises

Class discussions

Independent study


Each session focuses on one set of criminological theories and explanations. Sessions are split between lectures which aim to provide a broad introduction to a topic and seminars which aim to allow more in-depth discussion of key issues and to engage in practical exercises which enhance knowledge in more practical ways

Each session has one piece of primary reading which all students are expected to read. This reading provides the basis for class discussions. Additional reading is strongly encouraged too.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Criminology BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.