CRI-10011 - Murder
Coordinator: Helen Wells Room: CBB1.017 Tel: +44 1782 7 33748
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

This module is based on an extended case study of murder. Its aim is to look at 'murder most foul'- as as Shakespeare's Hamlet described it - from a range of perspectives in law, the humanities and the social sciences. We will consider why some forms of violent killing are treated as murder while others are not; how murder is currently defined in English law (and why); how criminologists and other social scientists have attempted to explain murder and understand those who commit it; how a murder case (and a murderer) is constructed and processed by the criminal justice system; and, finally, how murder is reported in the media. By putting all these perspectives together, we will attempt to gain a more complete understanding of murder, and violent crime more generally, and why they occupy such a prominent place in the politics and culture of the early 21st century. The module involves a range of activities including lecture and tutorial classes.

The module aims to introduce students to some of the ways in which criminology draws on related disciplines in the social sciences, humanities and law in defining, explaining and responding to one of the most serious forms of criminal behaviour, murder. In doing so it aims to foster interdisciplinary engagement with social problems and to enable students to develop a range of study and employability skills by working together with peers studying a wide range of different subjects in humanities and the social and natural sciences.

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

Intended Learning Outcomes


Study hours

10 x 1 hour lecture classes
9 x 1 hour tutorials
131 hours private study including preparation for lecture and tutorial classes and work on assessments

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 100%
2,000 word essay analysis of a case of homicide
Students will write a 2000-word essay, based on a case of homicide which shall be provided by the module leader. This assessment will encourage students to apply analytical approaches, concepts, theories and learning from lectures, reading and student led small group activities on the module.