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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LAW3171 Crime, Law and Social Change: Crime and Criminal Justice in Historical Perspective

10 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Henry Yeomans

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

LAW3172Crime, Law and Social Change: Crime and Criminal Justice in

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This 10 credit module is designed to foster a critical understanding of the origins and future of crime and criminal justice. It examines both the changing historical patterns in offending, such as the decline of violence in modern societies, as well as changing responses to offending and the reasons why these have changed. These two subjects will be consistently analysed in reference to their wider historical contexts. By the end of the module, students’ critical comprehension of how the historical present came into being will facilitate some reflection on the future of crime and criminal justice.


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 consider the future of crime and criminal justice.

Learning outcomes
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 introduced to some contemporary processes which are likely to shape 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.


Introduction - Why Study Crime, Law and Social Change?
The Bloody Code and Property Crime
The ‘Criminal Class’ in the Nineteenth Century Work, Industry and Discipline The Problem of Leisure Criminal ‘Others’: Gender Criminal ‘Others’: Ethnicity Criminal ‘Others’: White Collar Crime History of Violence 1 History of Violence 2 Semester Review

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours85.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Some independent study will be directed. Students will be required to complete preparation tasks before each seminar. Preparation will involve reading as well as other tasks, such as locating cases in online archives. The remainder of the private study will be more independent. As in most modules, student 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 (bar the group presentation).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored though lectures and the essay but especially through seminars. Seminar preparation tasks will be designed to encourage engagement with the module over the course of semester one.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 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: 30/04/2019


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