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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LAW3172 Crime, Law and Social Change: Crime and Criminal Justice in Historical Perspective

20 creditsClass Size: 68

Module manager: Dr Henry Yeomans

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

LAW3171Crime, Law and Social Change: Crime and Criminal Justice in

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This 20 credit module is designed to foster a critical understanding of the origins and future of crime and criminal justice. It examines both the development of key criminal justice institutions, such as the police, the penal system and the probation service, as well as changing historical patterns in offending, including the decline of violence in modern societies. These two subjects will be consistently analysed in reference to the wider historical context. Students will, therefore, examine the social, political, moral and economic factors which shape crime, our understandings of crime and our attempts to deal it with through the criminal justice system. By the end of the module, students' critical comprehension of how the historical present came into being will facilitate informed contemplation of the future of crime and criminal justice.


On this module:
- students will examine changing patterns of crime and key historical developments in criminal justice;
- students will critically assess the ideas, beliefs and values which shape definitions of and responses to crime;
- students will be able to identify key contemporary processes which are likely to shape the future of crime and criminal justice.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- to analyse how and why crime has changed over time;
- to analyse how and why the criminal justice system has changed over time;
- to use this critical, historically grounded understanding to explore the future of crime and criminal justice.

Skills outcomes
Subject Specific:
- Detailed understanding of key historical developments in crime and criminal justice.
- Ability to think critically about crime as a historically relative phenomenon.
- Ability to analyse the relationship between criminal justice developments and their historical contexts.
- Appreciation of the present as a construct of the past.
- Teamwork: group work during seminars will strengthen teamwork skills.
- Communication: portfolio tasks will develop students' abilities to communicate information in a variety of formats.
- Project management: assessment through a large essay and series of shorter portfolio tasks both necessitate an ability to conduct research, produce written work and meet deadlines.


What is Crime? What was Crime?
Understanding Social Change
Development of Criminal Justice
Property Crime from the 18th Onwards
Class and Crime in Industrial Capitalism
Work, Industry and Discipline
Uses of the Law
Policing 1: Reform
Policing 2: Experiences
Security and Surveillance
Punishment 1: Pain and Publicity
Punishment 2: Incarceration and Rehabilitation
History of Violence 1
History of Violence 2
Gender and Crime
Ethnicity and Crime
Order and Disorder 1: Alcohol
Order and Disorder 2: The City Crowd
The Problem of Leisure
Future of Criminal Justice

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

A proportion of the 170 hours of private study will be directed. Students will be required to complete preparation tasks before each seminar. Students will also be required to write 500-word portfolio assignments on documents and research tasks arising out of the seminars. Preparation will involve reading as well as other tasks, such as visiting the policing exhibition at the Royal Armouries. The remainder of the private study will be more independent. As in most modules, students will be required to complete reading before each lecture. A reading list for each lecture will be provided and it will incumbent on the student to ascertain and read specified or relevant literature (where possible, electronic versions of essential readings will be placed on the VLE).
Furthermore, students will also be required to prepare for and complete all assessments outside of contact hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored though seminars, the guided research task and the essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 word67.00
Written WorkGuided research task 1,500 words33.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 14/08/2019


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