Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Crime and the Media
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written unseen exam  50%
Semester Assessment Written assignment  (2,500 words)  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Written unseen exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment Written assignment  (2,500 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1.Understand what constitutes ‘media’ and how these forms create the crime-media nexus

2. Understand and be able to critically apply different theories for understanding and analyzing a range of media output

3. Understand and critically evaluate the influence of media on its consumers, and how those consumers also influence the media they use

4 Critically analyse, using specific analytical tools, a wide range media output for underlying theories, assumptions and bias

5. Critically explore media output for problematic representations of specific people-groups, understanding how this affects society.

Brief description

This module seeks to explore aspects not currently covered elsewhere, based on the crime-media nexus, looking at both news media and crime as entertainment. Critical models of analysis will be explored to develop students’ ability to be critical consumers of such media, alongside addressing such issues as the mediated representation of certain groups (for example, women, ethnic minorities, young people), analyzing and understanding the two-way influence of media with consumers, and exploring such resultant concepts as moral panics.


What is the media and its relationship to crime?

Media-crime nexus

Crime in the news

CJ Framing/framing theory

Influence of media on crime

Influence of media on public opinion

Moral panics

Crime as entertainment (documentaries, crime appeal, fiction)

Analysis of visual media (TV and film)

Mediated representation


Crime and the media are very closely linked, with the influence of the media becoming ever more important, given the rise of social media. Students are now more than ever before connected to media, and therefore highly influenced by it, but also acting as influencers when they contribute to such activities as online fora. There is also an increasing level of both crime drama and true-crime depictions in cinemas and on television and radio (Broadcast media), reflecting the public’s apparently insatiable appetite for such content. However little academic time is given to questioning the underpinning theories within these depictions (which are therefore unconsciously persuasive in influencing people’s opinion of crime and its potential solutions), so this module looks to address this in order to develop a more critical approach for students when consuming such output.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Students have to write an assignment to a high level of academic prowess, demonstrating excellent academic writing and referencing skills.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will need to be able to develop different ways of approaching the media they naturally consume everyday. As media is so much a part of everyone’s lives, this will be what students bring with them to the module; but it will also be challenged by the content, and reapplied in a more informed way
Information Technology Much of the media available is online, so accessing such media will be a pivotal part of the course. Students will also be required to find reading material sources (both from Aspire and identified through the lectures), which will require them to be able to access sources restricted to university use, rather than universally available
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be encouraged and challenged to reflect on the media they are consuming throughout the module, both as part of it and in their everyday lives. There will be opportunity to share reflections during seminars.
Problem solving Students will be required to project-manage their own investigation into a piece of media output, which will involve making a good choice of output to use, and applying specific tools of analysis.
Research skills The assignment will be critical in nature, as part of the point will be to critically analyse media output which is often consumed in an uncritical way.
Subject Specific Skills Students will be developing specific skills of analysis which they will be required to demonstrate in the assessments
Team work Students will be required to work with others during the seminars in this module


This module is at CQFW Level 6