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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP1180 Crime and Deviance

20 creditsClass Size: 156

Module manager: Dr Peter Doak

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications


This module is mutually exclusive with

LAW1136Understanding Crime

Module replaces

SLSP1080 Deviance, Crime and Social Control SLSP1091 Sexuality, Subcultures and Stigma

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will introduce students to prevalent issues of crime and deviance, encouraging students to approach these topics using their sociological imagination. The module is designed for those who are new to sociology and social policy as well as those who have some experience of the subject. The module aims to answer the following questions:- What are the classic and contemporary characteristics of crime and deviance?- Why are some people seen to be deviant and some not and what are the implications of this- How is crime controlled in society?The course broadly outlines the key concepts of deviance and crime illuminating them with associated concepts such as social control and, stigmatisation as well as with key theories such as left realism, right realism and social constructionism. The module is is concerned, therefore, with issues of power, labelling and ‘othering’. During the module students will seek to understand crime and deviance looking at the origins of punishment in society and how explanations for criminal activity moved from more individualist accounts based on biology, genetics and psychology to more social explanations charting this throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Students will be encouraged to think about types and trends in criminal behaviour and how these change over time, but also how responses to crime by state and non-state agencies has shifted The issue of how to measure crime will provide students with the opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills in relation to the construction of data. The module will also look at the origins and sources of misinformation around crime and deviance as well as the difficulties of researching these topics. The contested nature of criminality and criminalisation will also be discussed in the context of discussions around race, gender and sexuality and youth.. The influences and power dynamics involved in making criminal policy will also be illustrated.


By exploring key themes and classic and contemporary debates in the sociology of crime and deviance alongside the policy implications of criminality, on completion of the module student should be able to:
- Demonstrate their understanding of the main theoretical and policy perspectives relating to the issues covered;
- Contribute to informed debate in relation to issues surrounding UK crime trends and policy and how these link to issues of welfare;
- Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence-base in crime policy and explain how this can be improved

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students should be better able to able to:
- demonstrate a familiarity with the basic concepts, information, practical competencies and techniques in Sociology and Social Policy of crime including the development and operation of the Welfare State and Criminal Justice System
- use basic generic and subject specific intellectual qualities able to communicate the results of their work; present a structured and coherent simple argument in Sociology Social Policy;
- interpret and evaluate the underlying concepts and principles of Sociology and Social Policy specifically in the area of crime;
- display an ability to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches associated with the discipline of Sociology and Social Policy in the area of crime;
- enunciate an awareness of the boundaries between Sociology, Social Policy and other disciplines.


Lecture Themes
Understanding Crime and Punishment
Researching Crime and Constructing Statistics
Crime and Media
Youth and Crime
Gender, Sexuality and Crime
Crime and Disability
Race and Crime
Spaces of Crime
Policing and Preventing Crime

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours22.00
Private study hours146.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Independent reading is essential to the successful completion of the module. For each week, students are expected to undertake 12 hours of independent online learning (total of 132 hours for the module). This will mainly entail keeping up to date with the relevant readings for the week, but also keeping on top of media debates and commentaries. Students will have the opportunity to blog and use social media throughout the module. 22 hours have been set aside for this form of independent online learning The remainder of the time should be spent preparing for the assessment around 46 hours in total.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution at tutorials – this will typically take the form of verbal presentations and discussions. Students will also have the opportunity to gain practice in assessment by taking in part in formative exercises or by going through essay writing techniques.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,500 words100.00
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: 21/12/2018


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