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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5026M Contemporary Criminological Theory and Approaches

30 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Sean Butcher

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Module replaces

LAW5025M Crime Justice and Social Order

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- explore contemporary theories, concepts and approaches to understanding crime, crime control, and the criminal justice system;
- identify and understand contemporary academic and policy debates relating to crime and its management;
- analyse the complex relationships between theoretical concepts and ideas, criminological knowledge and research, and criminal justice practice;
- locate contemporary crime control and the criminal justice system in the wider context of social and political change, and contemporary debates about social order.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

- understand, critically evaluate and deploy key criminological theories, concepts and approaches;
- understand and critically analyse contemporary criminological debates about crime, crime control and the criminal justice system;
- critically analyse the relationship between criminological theory, criminological research and criminal justice practice;
- understand and critically assess criminal justice policy and practice.

Skills outcomes
Critical analysis of theoretical approaches, concepts and ideas

Critical analysis of contemporary criminological debates about crime, crime control and criminal justice

Critical analysis of policy debates and related documents

Use of the internet for research

Use of electronic databases to identify relevant literature from across a range of disciplines


Introduction and Module Overview
Contemporary Theories of Crime in Context
Biosocial Theories
Theories of Social Disorganisation
Ultra-Realist Theories
Contemporary Theories of Crime Control and Justice in Context
Preventive Justice
Therapeutic Justice
Procedural Justice
Life after Crime: Theorising Journeys to Desistance
Module Review, Essay One Feedback and Essay Advice

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will be required to read a selection of readings in advance of each seminar, prepare notes and responses to discussion questions for each seminar (handed out in advance by the instructor), be prepared for in-class discussions each week, and conduct independent research for their essays.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Weekly seminar contributions will allow the module instructor to monitor student understanding of the material. The first essay is a summative essay but will also allow the instructor to check on progress so that any issues can be highlighted and addressed prior to submission of the second essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000 words50.00
Essay1 x 4,000 words50.00
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: 30/04/2019


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