Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Introduction to Criminology
Academic Year
Semester 1
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  1500 words  50%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Exam  Online unseen MCQ examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  1500 words  50%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   Exam  Online unseen MCQ examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a developed knowledge and understanding of core criminological theory.

2. Identify the ontological and epistemological basis of a broad range of theories in criminology.

3. Understand how advances in criminological theory evolve.

4. Understand how theoretical criminology has helped to shape the contemporary criminal justice system and processes.

5. Identify the strengths and limitations of the explanatory potential of theory.

Brief description

This module explores key theoretical perspectives that help to explain crime and social disorder in society. It situates criminological perspectives within their social and political context and considers their relevance and application in contemporary society and how they have informed criminal justice systems and processes.


​Major themes for consideration include:

Introduction to Criminology

Classical Criminology and Rational Choice

Biological Criminology and the Positivist School

Sociological Criminology

Durkheim and Structural Functionalism

Social Strain Theories

Social Ecology and Social Disorganisation

Subcultural Criminology

Social Control Theory


Critical Criminology

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: Students will develop oral communication skills by participating in seminar discussions. They will learn to be clear and direct with their discussion (Not assessed).  Written: Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format and their written communication will be assessed according to effective expression of ideas, good language skills and a coherent argument.
Improving own Learning and Performance Interactive lectures and seminars will encourage the critical and lateral thinking of students with exercises planned to deliver a range of opportunities to facilitate the learning of abstract concepts, and will allow students to reflect on their own learning.
Information Technology Preparation for seminars, the assignments and the examination will all require use of the library databases and other electronic databases.
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 The assimilation of a range of complex theories will develop students' problem-solving abilities and a range of interactive exercises in lectures, seminars and the assignment will encourage lateral thinking.
Research skills Research skills will be developed by accessing and critically analysing literature on various criminological theories in order to construct and present an informed discussion for the assessments. Independent and group preparation for the seminars will also develop research skills.
Subject Specific Skills This module provides students with the opportunity to identify, analyse, evaluate and practice a series of skills with respect to understanding criminological theory.
Team work Small group work and group seminars done within the seminars will foster team working skills.


This module is at CQFW Level 4