module specification

SC5000 - Crime in Context (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Crime in Context
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50% 40 Written assessment 2500 words
Coursework 50% 40 Written assessment 2500 words
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module builds on level 4 introductory modules by focusing on specific categories of crime and behaviours, which have emerged as sources of concern. It gives attention to the emergence of concern about imagined dangerous groups, and moves on to more recent social anxieties. This includes the crimes associated with the socially and economically marginalized, and those associated with the economically and socially powerful.

The central themes revolve around why some behaviours and some groups of people are ‘constructed’ as the focus of concern and special treatment. Equally, it considers why some crimes, such as corporate crime, or state crime, usually receive less attention. This exploration encourages reflection on how and why certain behaviours are defined and constructed as ‘crime’, and ‘social problems’.

Prior learning requirements

SC4000. Intro to Criminological theory


The module starts with an exploration of pre modern crimes and the emergence of ‘the criminal’ as a source of social concern. LO1

It moves on to explore crimes typically associated with the economically and socially marginalized. For example, drug use, urban disorder, prostitution and gang related crimes. LO2,LO3

The module then explores crimes and behaviours associated with individuals and groups who wield more socio-economic power. These include organised criminal behaviour such as trafficking and other organised criminal behaviour, and the behaviours within corporations and state institutions. Within this, students are required to consider harmful practices that are not prohibited by criminal law LO4

Students complete a 3000 word piece of course work and a 2.5 hour seen exam where they are required
Students are required to complete 2 2500 word assessments. One in week 18, and one in week 30. Reflecting each half of the programme

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

A variety of teaching and learning methods are employed to facilitate the development of subject-specific and transferable skills. 

This will primarily involve workshops which explore the core material, study skills sessions reading groups. 

To facilitate the learning process students are provided with a regularly updated Blackboard page upon which study resources are located including relevant publications and hyperlinks to relevant web-based resources.  Guest speakers also make contributions, giving students the opportunity to hear from academics and practitioners about their research in specific areas.

In addition to formal lectures and seminars contact time is used as an opportunity to develop reflective learning through engaging students in a range of exploratory and research-based activities; students evaluate their own practice in relation to their personal development in seminars and workshop contexts.

Students are expected to spend approximately 7 hours per week in independent study and writing.

Learning and teaching



Learning outcomes

1. Specify the ways in which concerns about crime and deviance change between times and places
2. Demonstrate an awareness of a range of behaviours which have been identified as ‘criminal’ and associated academic responses.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of different perspectives on specific categories of crime
4. Think critically about the definitions of crime and criminal behaviour
5. Organise material systematically and reflect critically upon it with reference contemporary research


Because of the range of topics covered, and the breadth of the module, there is not a core text book. Students will be provided with weekly reading depending on the topic. The following provide relevant overall material:

Carrabine E, Cox P, Lee M , Plummer K and South N:  Criminology : A  Sociological Introduction: 2nd Edition: 2009 Routledge

Croall H (2011) Crime and Society in Britain: 2nd Edition. Essex. Pearson

Good, E and Ben-Yehuda, N (2009) Moral Panics: the Social Construction of Deviance: 2nd edition.  Oxford. Blackwell.

Leibling, A, Maruna, S and McCara, L ( 2017) ‘The Oxford Handbook of Criminology  Oxford, Oxford University Press

Newburn, T (2017) Criminology: third edition. Cullompton: Willan

Key Journals:
Crime and Delinquency
Global Crime
The British Journal of Criminology
Violence against women
Drugs and Crime