COMPARATIVE CRIMINOLOGY - 2024/5

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

Sociology

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: 110

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 10

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

Indicative module content includes:


  • Theories and methods for comparative criminology,

  • Crime data and official statistics in a comparative perspective,

  • Intimate partner violence and sexual assault,

  • Police and policing in a comparative perspective

  • Comparative penology


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay 50
Coursework Research Proposal 50

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to allow students to demonstrate that they have met the 5 learning outcomes associated with this module.

 

The assessments offer students the opportunity to demonstrate that they 1) understand the basic epistemological and methodological principles underpinning comparative research; 2) consider how crime and responses to crime vary across time and space; 3) understand the strengths and limitations of comparative criminology; 4) are able to design a research project independently.

 

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • Essay (address LOs 1 and 2). The purpose of this assignment is to show that students have engaged with the relevant academic literature to develop an original argument around the methodological and conceptual issues characterizing comparative criminology. The assignment will require students to reflect on the specific challenges raised by comparative research, and the possible ways that we can address them.



 


  • Research proposal (addresses LOs 3 to 5). The purpose of this assignment is to get students to develop a research proposal for a comparative project on a criminology or criminal justice topic of their choice. Students will be provided with guidance and will be offered the opportunity to present their plans to the class before the deadline. The assignment will require students to think about what is feasible in comparative research and to develop contingency plans for potential problems their project might run into.



 

Formative assessment and feedback

 

The sessions are designed to be interactive, with contributions from students openly encouraged throughout the sessions. 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. Students will be given the opportunity to present their plans for the second assignment to the whole class and will receive tailored feedback on it.

Module aims

  • Introduce the students to the field of comparative criminology
  • Encourage students to explore some of the theoretical, practical and technical issues associated with designing and implementing comparative research in criminology
  • Enable students to analyse how crime stats are constructed
  • Encourage students to develop an awareness of how crime and responses to crime change across time and space

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Students will understand the basic epistemological and methodological principles underpinning comparative research KC
002 Students will understand the significance and limitations of international crime data KT
003 Students will be able to consider crime and responses to it in an international perspective KPT
004 Students will be able to consider how crime and responses to crime change across time and space KPT
005 Students will be able to be able to develop a research proposal for a comparative project on a criminological topic CPT

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 be done. Each week, there will be a 2-hour seminar based around lectures, group work and open discussions, along with independent study. Students are expected to critically engage with weekly topics and to participate actively to the sessions. The combination of methods is designed to strengthen students’ engagement with module content and to support them in developing a critical understanding of the strengths and limitations of comparative research in criminology. Class-based discussions and group work will allow students to develop a sense of community throughout the semester, while providing them the opportunity to learn from one another under the guidance of the module leader.

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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOCM067

Other information

The School 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 assessment strategy for the module is designed to support students in enhancing their employability. The ability to produce well-structured research proposals for feasible projects is particularly helpful for those students considering a career in applied and market research or in academia. More broadly, module content will lead students to develop an awareness of how policies can be adapted or transferred to different contexts, and the factors that we need to take into account when wishing to do so. This is going to be useful for those students considering a career in policy development, either in the public (the civil service) or the private (consultancy) sector.

Global and cultural capabilities: A key concern throughout the module is how crime and responses to crime change across time a space. More specifically, in the module students will consider specific crimes and the differing approaches taken across different criminal justice systems to counter them. They will also analyse how different types of crime and policy responses to them travel across borders and jurisdictions. Both activities will strengthen the global and cultural capabilities of students.

Resourcefulness and resilience: Throughout the semester, students will work together in groups during the seminars to carry out a variety of tasks in ways which demand resourcefulness and resilience.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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.