Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

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

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 6 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 15 x 2 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  of 1500 words required in week 9 - a review of an article  33%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Exam  - A 30 minute compulsory section and one essay to be completed in 1 hour. Candidates are not permitted to bring any books, notes or any other materials into the examination.  67%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  of 1500 words - a review of an article - if essay element failed  33%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   Exam  - A 30 minute compulsory section and one essay to be completed in 1 hour. 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. Analyse both what a criminological theory is able to do and, often more importantly, the limits of its worth.

2. Analyse and evaluate strengths and weaknesses in the existing legal and enforcement provisions from a more socio-legal viewpoint.

3. Display an understanding of the major theories, concepts, values, debates, principles and approaches in the study of criminology and of how crime, deviance and victimisation are socially and legally constructed.

4. Identify key issues, policies, processes, institutions, actors and debates in deviance, crime, law and criminology.

5. Explain the discussions in deviance, crime, victimology, academic criminological debates and responses to these from local, national and international perspectives and the impact of political, media and popular opinion on this area.

6. Show how these approaches and the disciplines of criminology and law help us to explain, understand and influence crime and its effects and are, in turn influenced by other disciplines and theories.

7. Identify the key dynamics, processes and problems facing contemporary criminology, law and the legal system.

8. Explain and analyse the interaction between criminological theory and policy decisions in the area of crime and punishment.

9. Identify problems in the theoretical and explanatory materials and suggest possible solutions.

10. Demonstrate effective basic research skills necessary in finding and interpreting theoretical materials.

Brief description

The course will provide an introduction to theories of criminal behaviour drawn from the major disciplines embraced by criminology. It will include jurisprudential, biological, psychological and sociological theories and consider how and why certain ideas become popular at particular times. This will entail examining the links between theories, political ideologies and state discourses around crime policy.


This module aims to provide students with a basic introduction to criminology. It will present the interdisciplinary nature of the subject by demonstrating how the disparate stands of knowledge build up theories which enable a better understanding of crime and criminality. This will enable students to appreciate the complex ways in which law, politics and policy interact and impact upon society.


The content varies but covers many of the following:

INTRODUCTION: Major themes

Conceptualising and defining crime and deviance;
Theoretical models of crime: individualistic v structural explanations;
Determinism v free will;
Truth and politics;
The impact of theory on policy.


Biological bases of criminal behaviour: physical characteristics,
physiological processes and genetic factors.
Psychological explanations: psychoanalytic approaches, learning
theories and cognitive approaches.
Early sociological perspectives: functionalism and strain theories.
Structural explanations: social exclusion, inequality, poverty and
The Chicago School
Culture and subculture
Conflict theory.
Social control theory (formal and informal).
Phenomenology, ethnomethodology and labelling.
Critical and radical perspectives.
Feminist criminology.
Criminological realism.
Cultural criminology.
Victimology: towards a victim-centred criminology.


This module is at CQFW Level 6