Module Identifier CR10120  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Miss Katherine S Williams  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Gareth Norris, Professor Alan H Clarke  
Course delivery Lecture    
  Lecture   1 x 2 hour lecture and 2x1 hour lecture per week - 30 hours in total  
  Seminars / Tutorials   6 hours - 3 x 2 hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam1.5 Hours unseen exam A 30 minutes compulsory section and one essay to be completed in 1 hour - total 1.5 hours.67%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1000 word assessed essay required in Week 10 Review of an article.33%
Supplementary Assessment by retaking the failed element   
Professional Exemptions Not required for Professional Exemption  

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Analyse both what a criminological theory is able to do and, often more importantly, the limits of its worth.
2. Analyse and evaluate strengths and weaknesses in the existing legal and enforcement provisions from a more socio-legal viewpoint.
3. Explain and analyse the interaction between criminological theory and policy decisions in the area of crime and punishment.
4. Identify problems in the theoretical and explanatory materials and suggest possible solutions.
5. Demonstrate effective research skills.

Brief description

Students are expected to invest time in reading around the subject. As a rough guide, over the semester, we expect you to:
Attend lectures for   30 hours
Attend seminars for   6   hours
Prepare for seminars for   40 hours (about 13
hours per seminar)
Prepare for the coursework assignment for 40 hours (this should
be spread over a number of weeks)
Revise for the examination for   40 hours
Conduct additional private study for 44 (about 4.5 hours per

The module will introduce students to the major theoretical themes running through criminology and place these within a wider social and political context. 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 to 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



INTRODUCTION: Major themes

Conceptualising and defining crime and deviance
Theoretical models of crime: individualistic v structural explanations
Determinism v free will


The classical tradition in criminology.
The positivist school and the emergence of scientific criminology   
Biological bases of criminal behaviour: physical characteristics,
physiological processes and genetic factors.
Psychological explanations: psychoanalytic approaches, learning
theories and cognitive approaches.
Early sociological perspectives: functionalism and strain theories.
Structural explanations: social exclusion, inequality, poverty and
The Chicago School: zonal theory, social disorganization and
differential association.
Culture and subculture
Conflict theory
Social control theory
Social construction of crime: the Labelling Perspective.
Critical and radical perspectives
Feminist criminology
Criminological realism
Cultural criminology
Victimology: towards a victim-centred criminology.

Context, theory and policy
The relationship between theory and practice


This module aims to provide students with the basic core of knowledge necessary to criminology. It will introduce them to the interdisciplinary nature of the subject by demonstrating how the disparate stands of knowledge build up theories which enable a better understanding of crime and criminality.


This module is at CQFW Level 4