Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Wrongful convictions in criminological context
Academic Year
Semester 2
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Online group presentation  20 Minutes  50%
Semester Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 2  2000 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Identify and critically discuss the nature and forms of wrongful convictions

Critically assess the various causes of wrongful convictions.

Possess a critical appreciation of the consequences of wrongful convictions.

Critically discuss the remedies available (or not) to those who suffer a wrongful conviction.

Describe and critically evaluate the activities undertaken by campaigning groups and the media in their attempts to raise awareness of specific wrongful conviction cases.

Brief description

In 1991, scholar Martin Yant concluded: 'An innocent person in prison…is about as rare as a pigeon in the park!' (p.1). Wrongful convictions are much more common than we dare to think and are a global phenomenon. Many of the issues associated with wrongful convictions are the same over time and indeed globally. Drawing on criminological theory and research worldwide, including the module leader’s own research undertaken over two decades, this module will examine wrongful convictions in a criminological context, over time (including the changing face of wrongful convictions), in different settings, and in a variety of countries. In this respect, the module will align with the university’s internationalisation strategy.


What is a wrongful conviction?
Key concepts and debates surrounding wrongful convictions, including wrongful convictions for ‘crimes’ that never happened.
The adversarial and inquisitorial systems
The causes of wrongful convictions
Wrongful convictions in history
Wrongful convictions in contemporary society
Wrongful convictions and the notion of ‘no smoke without fire’
The consequences of wrongful convictions.
‘Extreme’ wrongful convictions.
Rectifying wrongful convictions
Campaigns against wrongful convictions
The media and wrongful convictions

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience Through group work in preparation for assessment 1, students will need to adapt to working with other people (students) with difffering preferences and priorities and in their presentation they will need to communicate to and engage their audience.
Critical and analytical thinking Students will gather information and research findings on wrongful convictions and analyse and evaluate these. They will reach conclusions on the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions and the perspectives of campaigners and journalists in relation to these.
Digital capability In delivering the group online presentation, students will need to adapt to digital methods of working, including presenting and recording their powerpoint slides through Teams.
Professional communication Students will to some extent, need to place themselves in the position of those who suffer a wrongful conviction in considering the causes and consequences of wrongful conviction and in understanding the difficulties involved in campaigning against and undoing the injustice suffered. The skill of professional communication is also developed orally through the online group presentation and in writing through the essay.
Real world sense In both their group online presentation and their essay, students will engage in learning based on real world issues - namely wrongful convictions.


This module is at CQFW Level 6