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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LLLC2293 Violent and Sexually Offending Young People

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: John Clark

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the contentious topic of young people and children that commit violent and sexual offences. The module assumes that students have a basic or limited understanding of legal and procedural juvenile justice and welfare processes. Therefore, the module will establish key definitional features of ‘deviance’ and ‘crime’, alongside social constructions of ‘childhood’ and ‘adolescence’. A key feature of the module will be society’s ongoing problem of simultaneously seeing juvenile serious offenders as both victims in need of support, and risky perpetrators in need of punishment. Students will come to realise the tensions that professionals experience in trying to assess and deal with such young people. Students will be encouraged to reflect upon deviance as a widespread phenomenon, identifying patterns in human behaviour. Students should note class attendance times of this module. Students will be allocated to either an early afternoon class of an early evening class. Students should check that they can attend in the event they are allocated into the evening class. This module takes a flipped/blended approach to student learning. Guided tasks are provided on a weekly basis online. Students must engage with these weekly tasks prior to attending class. It is expected that students are motivated to participate fully in class discussions and group work when applicable.


• This module aims to explore the social problem of children and young people that commit serious crimes.
• The module will take a sociological, and sometimes legal stance around the problem of trying to define criminal and deviant behaviour.
• Students will come to appreciate the historical and ongoing tension between formal attempts to try and meet the welfare needs of children and young people that commit serious offences, with other societal needs to administer ‘retributive’ justice.
• Students will be introduced to explanations about the antecedents and environmental factors associated with juvenile offending, and how juvenile offending is of a different character to adult offending patterns.
• Students will analyse how the concepts of risk and risk management provide the youth justice system, and society more generally.
• Students will be introduced to the process of how professionals make sense of and assess children and young people, the help they might need and the risks they pose to others.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:
1 Summarise some of the major theoretical explanations for young people committing violent and sexual offences.
2 Compare and contrast processes and outcomes of some well known cases in this area of study;
3 Evaluate differences in children’s legal rights and responsibilities
4 Assess risk posed by sexual and violent young people while balancing their needs as children.

Skills Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:
1. Academic: You will engage with theoretical research that explains young people’s violent and sexually abusive behaviour. You will apply that research to writing an evidence informed report.
2. Work ready. In writing your risk assessment report, you will come to realise some of the tensions that professionals face in trying to predict and control problematic behaviour, whilst also promoting rights to freedom and rehabilitation.
3. Technical: You will write a risk assessment report on a hypothetical young offender, which is a simulation of how professionals write youth offending reports.


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours40.00
Private study hours143.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress and engagement with online learning tasks will be monitored on a weekly basis, and formatively assessed by the tutor in weekly class discussions. There will be an opportunity for students to receive individual formative feedback on their draft written work.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQ.30.00
Written Workreport based upon a family case study (2500 words) 70.00
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: 15/02/2024


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