Module code: SOC3057

Module Overview

This module traces the social relations between youth, crime, and changing social, political and policy cultures. The ways young people have been responded to by a variety of controlling agencies, such as the police, prison system, and more social welfare orientated agencies such as social services has been a recurrent theme in criminology. This has encompassed critical questions with respect to; why young people receive more focus than adults? What kinds of young people are subject to greater levels of intervention? Whether this is just or necessary?  And in what ways have particular social control technologies affected the lives of young people? This module will place particular focus on specific technologies of control, how and why they have developed, and the significance these have for the practical outcomes of policy agendas such as ‘youth diversion’, ‘anti-social behaviour’ and ‘youth justice’. Overall, the module will encourage students to actively apply the linkages between historical, theoretical, and everyday policies of social control used against young people, and to demonstrate a critical knowledge of these debates and issues using a range of criminological and sociological approaches.

Module provider


Module Leader

MCCARTHY Daniel (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Week 1: Introduction

Week 2: The History of Youth Justice Part 1: From Reformation to Child Saving

Week 3: The History of Youth Justice Part 2: Welfare and Punishment

Week 4: Why do youth offend? Pathways in and out of offending

Week 5: Victimisation and young people

Week 6: Families and youth offending

Week 7: Preventing Youth Crime and Early Intervention

Week 8: Surveillance and social control beyond criminal justice

Week 9: Comparative Youth Justice

Week 10: The Future of Youth Justice

Week 11: Exam prep/summary

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test IN-CLASS MULTIPLE CHOICE TEST (1 HOUR) 30
Coursework 2500 WORD RESEARCH PAPER 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

• A systematic understanding of the ways in which different theories have sought to understand constructions of youth and responses to youth crime.

• An advanced ability to make connections and distinctions between these different theories and apply original arguments to assess these.

• A critical understanding of the ways theories intersect with the politics of youth crime and justice the operations of these systems.

This will be assessed via two assignments:

Assignment 1 – In-class multiple choice test (30%) – due week 6

Assignment 2 – 2500 word research paper (70%) – due week 12

Students will be given opportunities to discuss a brief plan of their research paper with the module convener anytime up until week 10 which is optional, but encouraged.

Module aims

  • To develop insight into the historical, contemporary foundations of youth justice
  • To critically explore the implementation and outcome of youth justice policy
  • To assess interpretations of youth justice policy and practice

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Have a thorough understanding of the historical development of key criminological and sociological theories linking youth, crime and social control. KC
002 Have a critical awareness of the major contentions and arguments between youth, crime and social control. KCT
003 Be able to form connections between crime and social problems affecting young people. KCP
004 Critically understand the relationship between theory and practice of social controls used against young people. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

2 hour lecture/seminar per week x 11 weeks

Besides a lecture component of the teaching, the structure of the sessions will be group-based and interactive. Usually you will work in groups of approximately 3 persons. The sorts of activities which you will be involved will vary most weeks. Some will be conventional group discussions, debates, presentations, but I will also ask you to work through more problem-based case studies involving themes from the course. These will not be assessed, but will form a key part of your learning process during the course.

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC3057

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 1 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 2019/0 academic year.