Module code: SOC1048

Module Overview

This module provides an exploration of some of the major theoretical perspectives that have been developed by both
criminologists and sociologists in relation to crime and deviance. It covers 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. It situates these theories within specific contexts of society and criminal justice, exploring the interplay
between theory and practice. A second module in year 2 - SOC2033 Responses to Crime and Deviance - will cover more
critical and recent developments in criminological theory.

Module provider


Module Leader

GREEN Hannah (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Classicism and the rise of modern criminology

  • Biological, psychological, and sociological positivism

  • Anomie and strain

  • Community context and social disorganisation

  • Control and learning theories

  • Life-course perspectives

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Journal Paper Review (800 words) 30
Coursework Essay (1500 words) 70

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 journal article review and an essay which test 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.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to the historical development and main contribution of some major criminological and sociological
    theories of crime and deviance.
  • Provide an understanding of the relationship between criminological theory, and its impact on social policy and the criminal
    justice system.
  • Analyse major contentions and arguments between different criminological traditions.
  • Apply a range of criminological and sociological theories to illuminate contemporary social problems.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the historical development and main contribution of some of the major criminological and sociological theories of crime and deviance. K
002 Identify the relationship between criminological theories, and social and criminal justice policies. CKP
003 Critically discuss key contentions and arguments between these theories. CK
004 Use a range of criminological and sociological theories to illuminate contemporary social problems. CKPT

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 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 deviant behaviour; developing understandings of the relationship between theory and practice; developing key study skills that relate to employability.

The learning and teaching methods include lectures, seminars, class exercises and discussions, and independent study. Each lecture aims to provide an introduction to a set of criminological theories and explanations. Seminars aim to allow more in-depth discussion of key issues and to engage in practical exercises which enhance knowledge in more practical ways. Each seminar 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

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC1048

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 2024/5 academic year.