Core and Optional Modules
First Year Core Modules
"The BA Criminology course provides an interesting insight into all key and contemporary issues regarding crime and the Criminal Justice System, allowing more in-depth specialisation into areas of particular fascination."
Lucy Bunting, BA Criminology graduate 2010
Crime in Focus aims to challenge your preconceptions about crime and criminal behaviour, whilst also developing key study skills in criminology.
Introduction to Criminal Justice aims to identify the main parts of the criminal justice system and enables you to understand and discuss the main positions and concepts surrounding crime, crime control and the enactment of justice and punishment.
Victims and Offenders addresses issues relating to those who commit crime and those who suffer from it.
Theories of Crime and Criminality allows you to identify the various perspectives pertaining to crime and its causation and encourages you to critically evaluate the merits of criminological theories and concepts.
Society in Transformation focuses on social change and social problems in modern society, covering topics such as popular culture, gender, crime and the city, and an examination of the modern social system.
Research Methods 1 is an introduction to research methods and looks at the issues involved in conducting criminological and sociological research.
Second Year Core Modules
Policing recognises the development of policing in contemporary society, both in terms of the professional public police and the diverse range of other agencies engaged in broader aspects of policing. You are encouraged to explain and analyse recent debates relating to policing, such as the role of the private sector, community versus intelligence-led policing, multi-agency crime and disorder partnerships, and policing diversity.
Prisons, Probation and Punishment explains and discusses the historical origins of the contemporary penal system drawing upon the key theories on punishment and contemporary penal policies and practices.
Research Methods 2 follows on from the research module taught in Year 1.
Sociology of Deviance provides you with a knowledge and understanding of the key theoretical perspectives on deviance allowing you to present arguments for and against the social construction of deviance.
Psychology and Crime aims to investigate the contribution of psychology to the understanding of the development and maintenance of criminal behaviour, and to various facets of the criminal justice system.
Third Year Core Modules
Clinical Criminology investigates how the criminal law and the criminal justice system respond to mentally-disordered offenders and explores the ‘mad or bad’ debate.
The Dissertation module offers the chance to undertake research on a specialised area of interest and then write your findings up in the form of a 10,000-word essay called a dissertation. You can choose which topic you would like to study, and in the past students have researched issues ranging from prisons to serial killers to football hooliganism. You have two semesters in which to complete your project and write the dissertation, and you are helped throughout this process by a supervisor with expertise in your subject area. Each year the best dissertation is awarded a cash prize and the winner has their achievement acknowledged at their graduation ceremony.
Second and Third Year Option Modules
Crime and the Media explores the nature of media influence on the criminal justice system and the role that the media plays in shaping the public’s perception of crime and criminality.
Crime, Law and Justice introduces and examines the key legal and moral concepts of criminal law and criminal justice. The module explores these concepts and the ways in which they are manifested in contemporary criminal justice processes and practices.
Crime, Technology and Social Control explores the rise of technology, its impact on criminal behaviour, the attempts made to use it to reduce crime, and the debate concerning the extent to which it can be used as a form of social control.
Cultures of Crime provides you with a broad historical, theoretical and contemporay understanding of the key issues relating to fictionalised representations of crime within Western culture.
Crimes of the Powerful: Not all of those who abuse power are illegitimate actors and it is also those in high status positions who can wreak the most damage on society. Thus, this module examines both individual and State power abuses within a broad range of activities. The ‘activities’ or ‘crimes’ that will be considered in the context of the module include war crime, sex crime, domestic violence, white collar crime and the relationship between crime, unemployment and inequality.
Drugs, Crime and Society focuses on the key issues that arise when dealing with the problems of illegal and legal drug use, including social and policy initiatives and their effect on drug markets and their users.
Hate Crime provides a critical examination of the key debates surrounding the problem of hate and victimisation. Issues such as perpetrator motivations, religious and racist harassment, homophobia and the responses of the police and the legislative are all discussed. The issue of contemporary alienation is explored by reviewing the experiences of travellers, asylum seekers and minority communities post 9/11.
Advanced Policing builds upon the core ‘Policing’ module by examining key contemporary policing issues in-depth, such as police corruption and malpractice, the extended policing family, and the police service’s relationship with the media.
Forensic Science and Criminal Justice provides you with the theoretical and conceptual framework necessary to understand how forensic science contributes to the criminal justice system. The module examines the impact of forensic science at crime scenes and in the court room, and explores some of the ethical and legal issues that have arisen due to the increasing use of forensic science by criminal justice practitioners.
Terrorism provides you with a broad historical, theoretical and contemporary understanding of issues relating to the topic, including the nature of the terrorist threat and its historical background, the role of mass communications in terror events and its impact on public perceptions, and a critical examination of counterterrorism measures and the ‘war on terror’.
Working in Criminal Justice provides you with an opportunity to explore the operation of the different Criminal Justice settings and to assess the employment prospects in each. Every session will involve a student facilitated workshop supported by a member of a different criminal justice partner (e.g. prison, probation) and a member of the Department of Criminology. The criminal justice partner will provide their perspective on various aspects of the day to day working environment as well as provide advice and insight into employment opportunities.
Youth Crime and Justice aims to provide you with a historical, theoretical and contemporary perspective on the issues surrounding youth crime.
Experiencing the Criminal Justice System offers a comprehensive overview of the journey an offender takes through the criminal justice system, from arrest to appearance in court, sentencing, prison, and then measures taken post-release to encourage desistance from further offending.
Please note: some modules may not be available every year and not all modules are available across both semesters.
Next step: Request an information pack and prospectus