Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Elements of Criminology
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 2 x 1 Hour Lectures
Lecture 7 x 2 Hour Lectures
Seminar 4 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  or similar assignment of 2000 words  33%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Seen examination  Candidates are not permitted to bring any books, notes or any other materials into the examination.  67%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  or similar assignment of 2000 words - if essay element failed  33%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Seen examination  - if exam element failed. Candidates are not permitted to bring any books, notes or any other materials into the examination.  67%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Explain the main criminological theories
2. Analyse both what a criminological theory is able to do and, often more importantly, the limits of its worth.
3. Analyse and evaluate strengths and weaknesses in the existing legal and enforcement provisions from a more socio-legal viewpoint.
4. Identify problems in the theoretical and explanatory materials and suggest possible solutions.
5. Demonstrate a basic understanding of and ability to evaluate research based on empirical materials.
6. Demonstrate effective research skills

Brief description

The module will continue to identify the themes running through criminology and place these within their social and political context. It will analyse the continuity in the discipline and the repetition and re-birth of ideas as well as consider the reasons for and the way in which leaps in thinking come into the subject. It will also link these to criminal law and penology to discover whether and how they have been used and, often more interesting, why they have been left to one side by those responsible for policy changes.


INTRODUCTION: Major themes
  • Overview of major theoretical models of crime.
  • The classical tradition in criminology, including neo-classical theories.
  • The positivist school and the emergence of scientific criminology.
  • Labelling perspective
  • Control Theory
  • Critical Criminology:
  • Radical perspectives; Feminist Criminology
  • Sociological perspectives:
  • Functionalism and strain theories; The Chicago School - Social disorganisation, zonal theory and differential association; Culture, subculture and delinquency; Social exclusion, economic marginalisation and inequality; Criminological realism.
  • Biological bases of criminal behaviour:
  • Physical characteristics; Physiological processes; and Genetic / evolutionary factors.
  • Psychological explanations:
  • Psychoanalytic approaches; Learning theories; and Cognitive approaches.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Understanding and evaluating relevant quantitative research data will be an important part of the module
Communication Oral communication skills will be encouraged in and honed in seminars and also in lectures through interactive learning Written communication skills will be practised through note taking both in lectures and private study and in formal submission of written work in assignments and examinations
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be encouraged to practise and test their own learning and ability to use and interact with the materials through interactive leaning in both lectures and seminars
Information Technology Preparation for seminars, the assignments and the examination will all require use of the library databases and other electronic databases Students will be referred to useful urls and be encouraged to retrieve data electronically Students will be encouraged to prepare their assignment electronically
Personal Development and Career planning Enhanced capacity for independent and critical thought Good time-management skills in preparing for seminars and submitting work on time
Problem solving Much of the module involves the study of theories developed to explain certain types of behaviour, students will have to assess their worth as tools to control levels of crime and solve unacceptable behaviour
Research skills Criminology necessarily involves an interdisciplinary approach therefore students will be introduced to research tools in a number of different subject areas. They will be supported and encouraged to build research skills over these areas. They will be encouraged to read widely and to locate materials both in the library and on-line
Subject Specific Skills
Team work This will be developed through exercises in preparation for and during seminars and in exercises and problems set in lectures


This module is at CQFW Level 4