CRI-10010 - Understanding Crime
Coordinator: Clare E Griffiths Tel: +44 1782 7 33597
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

This module introduces criminology as a discipline and equips students with the skills needed to study the subject successfully at university level.
Early lectures and tutorials are concerned with the development and current scope of the discipline of criminology, and with the development of basic study, research, writing and referencing skills. Later on the focus shifts to the development of different theoretical approaches in criminology, and to their respective strengths and weaknesses as ways of understanding particular types of crime. The module also contains a number of lectures and tutorials dedicated to issues of measurement in criminology and some basic numerical concepts such as the idea of a 'rate'. The production of crime statistics is considered along with alternative ways of measuring crime, such as the use of victimization surveys and self-report studies.
In addition to traditional lectures, learning activities in sessions for all students include the use of an electronic voting system to stimulate discussion, encourage active learning, identify learning needs and provide feedback to students on their progress. Other sessions involve the self, peer and tutor assessment of written work. Tutorial activities include specially designed exercises, group discussions and presentations. Use will also be made of the University's virtual learning environment (KLE) to give access to a range of learning resources and facilitate online discussions.

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the discipline of criminology; different ways of measuring crime; the development of various theoretical perspectives in criminology; and the use of those perspectives in understanding crime as a social problem.
The module also aims to introduce students to studying criminology at university level and help them to develop the skills which they will need to do so effectively by: clarifying expectations regarding assessed work; providing guidance on avoiding plagiarism by using the Harvard system of citation and referencing; developing information collection and management skills (including the use of the University Library); and supporting effective participation in a range of learning activities including lectures, tutorials, private study, online learning and use of the KLE.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Recognise and describe the distinctive characteristics of criminology as a discipline in relation to other disciplines and other, everyday understandings of crime, including those communicated and informed by representations of crime in the media: 2
Distinguish between the principal approaches to the measurement of crime and victimisation and appreciate their use in relation to different forms of crime: 2
Recognise the main theoretical traditions in criminology and illustrate their application in understanding different forms of crime: 1,2
Recognise and illustrate the impact of processes of social change such as globalisation on crime and responses to it: 2
Recognise different approaches to social scientific research (including comparative analysis) and their usefulness in investigating different forms of crime and victimisation: 1
Identify and summarise the main points of key texts in criminology: 1
Make use of research evidence, other data and some basic criminological theories in developing arguments and making judgements about criminological issues: 1
Present written work in criminology in an appropriate scholarly style using the Harvard system of citation and referencing: 1
Recognise the relationships between crime and other social problems and between crime and victimisation and social divisions based on age, gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality and (dis)ability: 2

Study hours

20 x 1 hour lectures
10 x 1 hour tutorials
4 hour online test
116 hours private study (including preparation for lectures, tutorials and work on assessments)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Review weighted 50%
1000 word review of research paper
Students will be expected to write a 1000 word review of one of a number of selected journal articles or other papers based on empirical research. Detailed guidance will be provided on what students are expected to consider in completing this assessment.

2: Online Tasks weighted 50%
online problem sheet test
Students will be given the opportunity to undertake example questions throughout the module and receive formative feedback. The online exam will consist of a range of multiple choice and short answer questions to assess students understanding across the entire module