Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 2 Hours. 11 x 2 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Two essays of 2,500 - 3,000 words (40% each) or One essay of 5,000 - 6,000 words   80%
Semester Assessment Oral presentation  20%
Supplementary Assessment Re-submit coursework 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. demonstrate an understanding of the nature of corporate criminality, including problems of its definition, measurement and control;
2. demonstrate an understanding of the various theoretical perspectives purporting to account for corporate crime;
3. demonstrate an understanding of societal perceptions of the relationship between corporate crime and "real" crime;
4. demonstrate an understanding of the issues surrounding the imposition of criminal sanctions upon companies, including the theories of responsibility and fault that underpin the general criminal law and the difficulties of applying these theories to corporations;
5. demonstrate an understanding of theories of punishment and models of regulation, including self-regulation, particularly as they relate to the problems of corporate crime;
6. undertake effective independent research in the field of corporate crime, drawing upon materials from a range of disciplines, including law, criminology and penology;
7. make an effective, well-structured and well-researched oral presentation, which demonstrates an understanding of the issues raised by the topic and the ability to evaluate the relevant literatures.

Brief description

Students will be introduced to the key methodological, epistemological and theoretical issues that impact upon the understanding and investigation of corporate crime. Current issues, case studies and debates will be used to explore and evaluate the theoretical perspectives and arguments raised. The module will examine competing theoretical perspectives on corporate crime, its emergence, definition, context, impact and control.


The module will examine the following themes which are essential to gaining an understanding of corporate crime:
1. Defining Corporate Crime:
- corporate crime and `real? crime
- boundaries and connections between Corporate, White-collar, State & Organised Crime
2. Recording and Measuring Corporate crime:
- types of offending and their content
- the victims of corporate crime ? corporate, government, employee, consumers - or the public
- measuring the extent and cost of corporate crime

3. Explanations of Corporate Crime:
- theoretical perspectives on corporate offending
- individual pathology and political economy

4. Establishing Corporate Liability & Responsibility:
- models of corporate liability
- individual, collective and organisational responsibility

5. State Responses to Corporate Crime:
- regulation and punishment
- deterrence, self-regulation & compliance

Students will explore these themes via a number of selected issues/case studies in the area including:
Employee Health & Safety
Corporate Manslaughter
The Pharmaceutical Industry (or other industry case study)
Environmental Crime
The Investigation, Prosecution and Trial of Corporate Fraud
White-Collar Crime
Corporate Crime in the Global Political Economy


The module is designed to introduce the central issues in corporate crime to postgraduate students on the Taught LL.M in International Business Law, providing the students with greater understanding of the nature of corporations and corporate criminality. The module will complement other modules in the degree scheme enabling students to gain an overall understanding of the legal, social and political environment within which contemporary businesses have to operate and of the possible consequences of corporate activity.


This module is at CQFW Level 7