Module code: SOC3085

Module Overview

This module focuses on victims of crime. Recent years have seen increasing awareness of and attention to victims’ experiences of crime and the criminal justice system. This module explores the nature and extent of victimisation, victim policy and practice, and the role of victims within the criminal justice system. The module covers theoretical perspectives on victims and victimisation, national and international policy development, the ”victims’ movement” and the nature and impact of public perceptions/attitudes towards different types of victim. The module critically examines who is and is not recognised as a victim, and how this has changed over time. The module explores new and changing approaches to responding to victimisation, including restorative justice.

Module provider


Module Leader

GARLAND Jon (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: 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:

  • The emergence of the victim and the “victims' movement”

  • Measuring and quantifying the nature and extent of victimisation

  • The social construction of the victim; and the “ideal victim”

  • Media and other representations of victims

  • Victims experiences of the criminal justice system

  • Policy and practice affecting victims

  • Hidden victims/victims of the powerful

  • Restorative justice

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Case Study 40
Coursework Essay 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate theoretical and practical in-depth knowledge of the multiple forms of victimisation and their impact.


The summative assessment for this module consists of:


Assessment 1 - Course work in the form of a 1,500-word case study (addresses LO1-LO4).

The case study assignment will require students to identify an example of victimisation from the media or their wider reading. Students will be asked to apply key concepts and theories to their chosen case study in order to critically engage with how the victim is constructed, public perceptions/attitudes toward the victim and the crime, and/or the victim’s experience of and treatment by the justice system, thus enhancing employability skills. The assignment will enable students to demonstrate all of the learning outcomes. Throughout the module, lectures will include discussion of examples of victims and victimisation so as to support and prepare students for completing their case study.

Assessment 2 - Individual essay of 2,000 words.

The essay is intended to enhance employability skills by requiring students to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts, theories and criminal justice practice and policy relating to victims by developing an argument which critically engages with relevant literature (thus addressing LO1-LO4). Students will choose one from a list of essay questions which will relate to the different aspects of the course. Each question will require students to critically engage with a particular concept, policy or practice around victims and victimisation (e.g. measuring the nature/extent of victimisation, the value of restorative justice approaches, public perceptions and fear of crime, etc.).


The assessment strategy is designed to allow students to develop and test their knowledge and their skills in a manner that not only enhances their understanding of the topic, but also allows them to situate it within the wider context of the subject area, thereby contributing to the coherency of their learning journey. The assessments therefore contain valuable employability components and test a range of transferable skills.

Other elements of the assessment strategy allow students to test their performance in relation to ‘real-life’ scenarios and authentic documentation production, and to critically engage with the latest academic knowledge in relation to the subject area.

All aspects of the assessment strategy further allow students to receive feedback from expert staff.



Formative Assessment & Feedback


Written feedback on the individual assignment for assessment one will shape the preparation of the second and cohort feedback from the overall findings of the assessment will be offered in class and on SurreyLearn to all to further support preparation for the final assessment.

Module aims

  • Enhance students' understanding of theoretical and conceptual perspectives on victims and victimisation
  • Understand the causation, extent, nature, and impact of victimisation
  • Deepen students' understanding of criminal justice policy and practice affecting victims
  • Critically analyse the nature of responses to victimisation
  • Develop understandings of the social construction of victims

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the nature, extent and impact of victimisation KC
002 Understand the role of victims within the criminal justice system and the impact of criminal justice policy and practice on victims KPT
003 Understand the links between public perceptions/attitudes to victims and criminal justice policy and practice KC
004 Critically engage with key concepts and theories, and criminal justice policy and practice KCPT

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 equip students with analytical and practical skills with which to research the nature, extent and impacts of criminal and non-criminal victimisation, and to evaluate and present evidence in relation to these. In this module students will engage with methods involving practical, real-world scenarios which involve devising recommendations for practice and policy. These methods are designed to support their journey into understanding the societal impacts of a broad range of types of targeted victimisation which are themselves constantly evolving and emerging. The module content deals with everyday instances of victimisation and often debates with cutting edge topics that can be theoretically complex and also harrowing. The methods of teaching and learning listed below are designed to enhance students’ engagement with the complexities of a wide variety of types of victimisation.


Lectures and seminars will include a range of methods including but not restricted to seminars, casework examples, videos, active learning/discussion sessions, and online resources, involving:

  • Secondary data analysis

  • Video analysis

  • Policy analysis

  • Quizzes

  • Concept-explainers

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: SOC3085

Other information

The Department of Sociology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:


Employability: The second assessment is designed specifically with employability in mind, requiring students to rehearse a task that is common in professional settings within the fields of criminal justice and civil service. Coupled with the development of critical thinking, reasoning, decision-making, collaboration, self-reflection and evaluation, the ability to evaluate academic and professional evidence, and other transferable skills, the module allows students to further practice wider attributes that will be attractive to employers in this field. The module also has some contributions by external speakers, giving students direct access to professionals currently working in the field and thereby supporting their future career planning for roles in wider criminal and social justice arenas. This will hold clear benefits in relation to their employability as they approach the end of their degree.

Sustainability: This module concerns itself, in considerable part, with the activities undertaken by criminal justice agencies and their employees, and wider concerns associated with equality, diversity, and social justice. As such, through the learning, teaching and assessment activities, students will have the opportunity to critically reflect on issues aligned with aspects of Goal 16 of the Sustainable Goals of the United Nations, namely, to provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Both assessments, and the preparation that precedes them, are designed to challenge and stretch student capabilities. Students will therefore need to exhibit resourcefulness, be able to share ideas and experiences both individually and collectively, appreciate potential barriers and challenges faced by others, and provide support and show empathy towards each other in working towards achieving successful assessment outcomes. This links with their individual expertise required to deal with often challenging societal implications of the wide spectrum of victimisation.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Aspects of the learning and teaching strategy will require students to work collectively. This is intended to help foster a sense of community amongst the cohort from the start of the programme, and to allow students to work together, to reflect, and to share experiences with people from different backgrounds to solve problems and to address new, common challenges. In doing so, students will have the opportunity to broaden their own worldview as global citizens, develop broader perspectives, and challenge stereotypes, by actively engaging with a wide range of ideas, experiences, and representations held by others, through facilitated in-class discussions.

Digital capabilities: Students will continue developing their digital capabilities through the use of SurreyLearn, where they will continue to navigate and utilise the VLE for multiple aspects of the module online provision. Students will also utilise Microsoft Teams as a means of communication and collaboration and engage with other online platforms and databases. They will be encouraged to create visually engaging and professional content to effectively convey key concepts and information in a clear, concise, accessible and visually appealing manner.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
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 2024/5 academic year.