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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LAW1136 Understanding Crime

20 creditsClass Size: 103

Module manager: Dr Henry Yeomans

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is mutually exclusive with

SLSP1180Crime and Deviance

Module replaces

LAW1135 Foundations of Criminological Knowledge

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module focuses on what we mean when discussing the 'crime problem'. It outlines the way that our common sense understandings of 'crime' are shaped by our everyday expectations and assumptions over a range of problematic behaviours. In so doing, it will firstly explore the construction of crime through various data sources. 'Official' discourses around crime will be emphasised through an analysis of the use of crime statistics. Secondly, it will examine various forms of crime and consider the manner in which 'accepted wisdom' about crime can be deconstructed to reveal a different reality of the 'crime problem'. This module therefore seeks to challenge taken-for-granted viewpoints about crime, and to provide a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of crime in modern society.- This 20-credit module is delivered through 20 lectures and 8 seminars in semesters 1 and 2. - Assessment is by one 2,000 word essay and one 2 hour examination.


This module will introduce students to key concepts, issues and themes about crime and the varied forms in which it occurs in modern society.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
- conceptualise crime and deviance according to a range of competing definitions;
- recognise that different forms of crime and their definitions are subject to social, legal and political contingencies;
- identify and critically appraise the principle measures of incidence and prevalence of 'known' and 'hidden' crime.


1) Introduction to the module
2) What is Crime 1
3) What is Crime 2
4) Measuring Crime 1
5) Measuring Crime 2
6) Crime Statistics
7) Public Perceptions of crime
8) Media representation of crime
9) Media representation of crime
10) Module Review
11) Riots 1
12) Riots 2
13) Terrorism 1
14) Terrorism 2
15) Organised Crime 1
16) Organised Crime 2
17) Corporate Crime 1
18) Corporate Crime 2
19) Conclusions
20) Exam Preparation

1) What is crime?
2) Measuring Crime 1
3) Measuring Crime 2
4) Media representations of crime
5) Riots
6) Terrorism
7) Organised Crime
8) Corporate Crime

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours172.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Reading: 3 hours per lecture session across = 60 hours
- Preparation for seminars: 3 hrs per class = 24 hours
- Formative assessment: Assignment = 8 hours
- Summative assessments: Exam = 40 hours + Essay 40 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

1) Seminars will be used to monitor students progress, specifically the contribution to group work and class discussions

2) An optional formative essay will be distributed in semester one.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words33.30
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)33.30

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins66.70
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)66.70

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 25/03/2019


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