CRIME AND TECHNOLOGY - 2022/3
Module code: SOC2066
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21.
These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/course-changes. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional specific information relating to your chosen programme.
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This module looks at the role of contemporary technologies within crime and the criminal justice system and seeks to challenge current thinking around the extent to which technology can be a criminal ‘enabler’. The module seeks to develop critical understanding of the increasing role of technology within the criminal justice system – for example, forensic technologies such as fingerprinting and DNA profiles, ‘predictive’ technologies such as polygraph tests and neural scanning and enforcement/punitive technologies such as tasers, GPS tags and chemical execution. The module pays especial attention to arguments that ‘technological fetishism’ may be undermining the autonomy of the justice system, with the result that ‘technological justice’ may be replacing due process and the rule of law
MCGUIRE Michael (Sociology)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 5
JACs code: L311
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
Indicative content includes:
- criminal activity said to be ‘enabled’ by technology
- criminality centred upon the internet and the misuse of ICTs including constructs such as ‘identity theft’ and ‘cyberbullying’
- criminality involving other technologies such as bio-technology, industrial chemistry, genetically modified food, nano-technology and nuclear power amongst many others.
- the impacts of technologisation upon the criminal justice system and how technology increasingly serves to facilitate forms of social control beyond this institution.
- critical evaluation of the function and efficacy of key criminal justice technologies such as CCTV, genetic profiling, RFID, internet filters, satellite monitoring, and chemical testing
- the increasing requirement for justice systems to defer to technological expects, in particular the expert witness
- various examples of ‘extra-judicial’ technical control such as fingerprinting in schools, body scan devices at borders and chemical testing in the workplace
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||ESSAY 1, 2000 WORDS||50|
|Coursework||ESSAY 2, 2000 WORDS||50|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their in-depth knowledge of technology issues related to crime and criminal justice.
The summative assessment for this module consists of two 2000 word essays which aim to help students develop a critical understanding of the criminology of technology
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.
- Develop an awareness and familiarity with the emerging forms of deviant behaviour facilitated by contemporary technologies
- Provide a theoretical context for the range of criminal activities which fall under technological labels such as ‘cybercrime', ‘bioterrorism’ and so on
- Consider the relationship between criminal justice, justice and the new social control mechanisms which depend upon technology.
|1||Set out a framework for understanding the historical emergence of technology crime||KC|
|2||Define what might be meant by the technological ‘enablement' of crime||K|
|3||Critically evaluate the ways in which technologies shape the criminal justice process||KCT|
|4||Identify and discriminate between examples of technological justice and the use of technology for social control||KC|
|5||Use new ideas and techniques within Criminology to develop practical and professional solutions in relation to crime and technology||PT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Independent Study Hours: 128
Lecture Hours: 11
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 of technology:
•Indicating how such theories can explain criminal and control uses of technology
•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)
Each session focuses on particular technologies and their use or misuse in criminal justice contexts. 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.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC2066
Programmes this module appears in
|Media and Communication BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Criminology BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||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||Optional||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 2022/3 academic year.