CRI-10018 - Thinking Criminologically
Coordinator: Bela Arora Room: N/A
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

Crime and criminal justice dominate the news agenda, whether that be the mainstream TV and newspapers, the content of social media channels, or the conversations we have with friends and relatives. For many people, exposure to the reporting of particular events can be their motivation for wanting to know more about crime, who does it, why, and what we can do about it.
This module focuses on the crime and criminal justice issues that are occupying us here and now, and considers the ways in which criminology can help us to understand them. By unpicking current cases and events, and by drawing on what criminological theory and research tells us, we can `do criminology¿ in a way that is relevant and useful to our own lives and those around us.
Whilst the module will be responsive to the events happening around it ¿ around us ¿ we can anticipate that some topics will continue to occupy our criminal justice landscape, such as issues around young people, imprisonment, drugs, violence (between people and nations), social justice, rehabilitation, and policing. But we can also speculate that emerging challenges such as the climate crisis, crimes in the virtual world, exploitation, mental ill health, and the opportunities and dangers posed by technology will occupy the crime agenda in the not-too-distant future. We also know that there will be other events, other threats, that we cannot foresee, but that, as criminologists, we will need to be ready to understand, to interpret and to respond to.

The module aims to introduce students to some of the ways in which criminology can help to explain the world around us, using contemporary examples of crime events. In doing so it allows students to draw on their learning from semester 1, where they were introduced to a range of criminological theories, but also draw on their own curiosity about the world. The module demonstrates the contemporary relevance of the discipline by allowing students to apply and explain in ways that will develop their abilities as learners, and equip them with skills of analysis and understanding that will benefit their future careers.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Identify the ways in which criminology can help to understand contemporary crime and criminal justice issues: 1,2
Draw on criminological theory and research to explain who commits crimes, why crimes are committed and how might they be responded to: 1,2
Identify the relevance of criminology in understanding recognised and acknowledged global challenges: 1,2
Illustrate the skills required to respond to contemporary social issues in an evidence-driven and informed way: 1,2
Identify, analyse and present the different sources of information about crime and their relative strengths and weaknesses (in written and oral forms): 1,2

Study hours

11 hours of lectures
10 hours of seminar contact
21 hours of directed preparation for lectures and seminars via engagement with online asynchronous activities and information specific to each
108 hours of private study (including additional self directed preparatory reading and related preparation for lectures and seminars, preparation,
planning and additional study for assessment).

School Rules

CRI-10010 - Understanding Crime

Description of Module Assessment

1: Presentation weighted 25%
5-10 minute presentation
Students will be required to work as a team to gather evidence and present their analysis of a specified unsolved case. Students will be given an individual mark.

2: Reflective Analysis weighted 75%
1500 word reflective essay
Task: Reflect upon what you have you learned about the ways in which criminology can help to understand crime and criminal justice issues. Include examples of insights that you personally gained during four of the lectures that enhanced your understanding of criminology.