Module code: SOCM067

Module Overview

This module brings together the theoretical and methodological aspects of comparative criminology, and applies them to relevant policy areas in criminal justice. It focuses on three distinct, yet related, areas: methodologically, it will consider crime data and statistics in a comparative perspective; substantially, it will look at crimes and the differing approaches
taken across different criminal justice systems to counter them. More specifically, students will be asked to reflect critically on how international crime rates and trends are calculated, how they differ from national data in terms of construction and scope, and what they can and cannot tell us. They will also analyse how different types of crime travel across borders and
jurisdictions and how policy responds to them. The last part of the module will consider how responses to crime also change across time and space.

Module provider


Module Leader

MENICHELLI Francesca (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 130

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The following topics will be covered: Theories and methods for comparative criminology, Crime data and official statistics in a comparative perspective, Organised crime, drug and human trafficking, Intimate partner violence and sexual assault, Comparing police and policing, Comparing punitiveness and prison rates, Comparing crime prevention

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay - 2000 words 50
Coursework Research proposal for comparative research project - 2000 words 50

Alternative Assessment

Student would undertake a resit paper in the first instance.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have (a) understood the basic principles behind comparative criminology and (b) that they can apply this knowledge to carry out their own analyses. Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of: one 2000 word essay on a methodological/theoretical/epistemological aspect of comparative criminology which will test students capacity to critically engage with the specificities of this field of inquiry; one 2000 words research proposal for a comparative research project on a criminal justice topic. Formative assessment and feedback Students will be asked to work in small groups in most sessions and then present and discuss ideas based on the topics covered for that week. Formal verbal feedback will be given at the end of the session.

Module aims

  • Introduce the students to the field of comparative criminology
  • Explore some of the theoretical, practical and technical issues associated with designing and implementing comparative research in criminology
  • Analyse how crime stats are constructed
  • Consider how crime and responses to crime change across time and space

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the basic epistemological and methodological principles underpinning C
002 Understand the significance and limitations of international crime data KT
003 Be able to consider crime and responses to it in an international perspective KP
004 Consider how crime and responses to crime change across time and space KP
005 Be able to carry out comparative research on a criminological topic CP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to encourage students to think critically about comparative research in criminology and to identify when and how it can done The learning and teaching methods include ten 2 hour seminars based around lectures, group work and open discussions. Students are expected to critically engage with weekly topics
and will be expected to participate actively to the sessions.

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: SOCM067

Other information


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 2020/1 academic year.