Module Identifier LA30710  
Module Title CRIMINOLOGY  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Miss Katherine S Williams  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours One two hour lecture per week  
  Seminars / Tutorials   4 Hours Four one hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam1.5 Hours  75%
Semester Assessment One 1000 word essay or assignment Required in week 7  25%
Supplementary Exam Resit Resit by retaking the failed element (ie written assignment or examinatiion or both, as applicable)   

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able to:
Analyse both what a criminological theory is able to do and, often more importantly the limits of its worth.
Analyse and evaluate strengths and weaknesses in the existing legal and enforcement provisions from a more socio-legal viewpoint.
Explain and analyse the interaction between criminological theory and policy decisions in the area of crime and punishment.
Identify problems in the theoretical and explanatory materials and suggest possible solutions.
Evaluate, critique and analyse qualitative research data
Evaluate, critique and analyse quantitative research data
Enhanced capacity for independent and critical thought.

In addition to these academic skills students should be able to demonstrate:
Good time-management skills in preparing for seminars and submitting work on time.
The ability to carry out independent research for which credit will be given in the assessments
Locating and using relevant hard copy and electronic sources seminars will require preparation using material from websites.
Ability to work in groups.

Brief description

The course will provide a clear exposition and assessment of the essential theories of criminology. It will identify the themes running through the discipline and place these within their social and political context. It will be comprehensive introducing students to theories from psychology, sociology, biology, geography and all other disciplines to give a comprehensive approach thereby providing students with an overview of the subject as a whole. In addition, paying attention to the theoretical explanations of crime provides a firm basis and background against which past and present crime control can be tested.

It will analyse the continuity in the discipline and the repetition and re-birth of ideas as well as consider the reasons for and the way in which leaps in thinking come into the subject. It will also link these back to the criminal law and penology to discover whether and how they have been used and, often more interesting, why they have been left to one side by those responsible for policy changes. As well as a very sound basis in criminological theory the course will also involve a lot of analysis of criminological research, both quantitative and qualitative.

The course will provide a comprehensive consideration of theoretical, practical and political aspects of criminology.   


To familiarise the student with the criminological theories, enhance their understanding of the place these have in law and society and teach them how to deal with complex sets of research data.

The course will encourage independent research in locating materials. The intention will be to introduce the students to the very different intellectual skills used by criminologists from varying disciplines. In particular to teach them rigorous research methodology and how to interpret and evaluate research data.
The course will also aim to develop transferable skills such as research, analysis, critical evaluation which are valuable in many professional contexts. In addition to these it will encourage good time management.


1. Introduction
2. Major themes: Individual v. structural;
deterministic v free choice;
truth and politics.
3. Area of Study   
4. Victimology   
Size of problem;
Centrality of victim;
Loss of criminal;
Victim blaming;
Types of victim and their presentation.

5. Explanations of crime and their policy implications
Biological - including modern genetic and its consequences.
Psychological - including cognitive, media and the associated control policies which arise
Social - including structural (e.g. poverty and unemployment)
Control - formal and informal.
Phenomenology, ethnomethodology, labelling, radical
Idealist and realisms
6. Conclusions

The intention will be to teach this through participatory lectures and seminars. This will permit the students more leeway in shaping the course and give them a more active role in their learning.   

Reading Lists

** Recommended Consultation
Katherine S Williams (2001) Textbook on Criminology 4th.
Mike Maguire, Rod Morgan and Robert Reiner (1997) The Oxford Handbook on Criminology 2nd.
D Garland (2001) The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society
D Garland & R Sparks (2000) Criminology & social theory
A Crawford (2000) Integrating the victim perspective within criminal justice
S Walklate (1998) Understanding criminology: current theoretical debates
S Jones (1998) Criminology
J Young & R Matthews (1992) Rethinking criminology: The realist debate
T Ainsworth (2000) Psychology & Crime
C Coleman & C Norris (2000) Introducing Criminology
R Graef (2000) Why restorative justice?
J Robert, Lilly Francis, T Cullen & Richard Ball Criminological Theory Sage


This module is at CQFW Level 6