module specification

SC5051 - Youth, Crime and Violence (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Youth, Crime and Violence
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Coursework 2500 words
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

The module aims to:

1. Familiarise students with the theoretical perspectives that have shaped criminological thought on violence by young people 

2. Encourage students to develop a critical overview of young people’s engagement in violent crime

3. Develop students’ ability to research, analyse and communicate critical and informed arguments relating to the theory, policy and practice underpinning youth involvement in violent crime.

Prior learning requirements



This unit will examine historical and current debates on youth crime and violence. As well as examining theory, public policy and criminal justice responses to violent offending by young people the module will debate at some of the following topics/issues.

  • Youth violence in shifting historical and structural contexts. LO2 LO3 
  • Biological theories
  • Psychological and sociological theories
  • Subcultures, gangs and collective violence.
  • Youth violence, race and religion.
  • Drugs, alcohol and youth violence.
  • School violence
  • Female violence. LO1 LO2 LO4 
  • Youth violence in the media. LO1 LO4 
  • Youth gangs LO1 LO2 LO4

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.  These include lectures, seminars, workshops, visual material and self-directed student learning.  Original staff research is used as the point of departure for a range of debates.  To facilitate the learning process students are provided with a dedicated weblearn platform upon which study resources are located including relevant publications and hyperlinks to relevant web-based resources.


Students are provided with opportunities to develop reflexive learning through engaging in a range of exploratory and research-based activities; students are given the opportunity to evaluate their own practice in relation to their personal development in seminar contexts.  The module requires approximately 7 hours per week in self-directed research and study, including interaction with other students by e-mail, and writing activity.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

LO1. Demonstrate an understanding of the key criminological theories on youth engagement in violent crime. 

LO2. Apply theoretical concepts of violent crime to social issues. 

LO3. Demonstrate an understanding of the different constructions and manifestations of youth crime and violence in the historical context

LO4. Demonstrate critical analysis of criminological approaches to youth crime and violence

Assessment strategy

The assessment consists of a 2500 coursework learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4.  It will do this by requiring students to respond to a question which asks them to ‘outline’, ‘explain’, ‘evaluate’ or ‘appraise’ theoretical concepts relating to crime and violence (learning outcomes 1, 2) using contemporary research and/or policy documentation, where appropriate, media sources (3, 4)


Core reading

  • Burke, R.H. (2016) Young People, Crime and Justice, 2nd edition, Routledge
  • Ray, L. (2011) Violence and Society. London: Sage Publications
  • Additional reading
  • Barter. C and Berridge, D (eds.) (2010) Children Behaving Badly? Peer Violence between Children and Young People. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Collins, R. (2008) Violence. A Micro-Sociological Theory.  Princeton University Press.
  • Ferrell, J., Hayward, K., Morrison, W. and Presdee, M. (2004) Cultural Criminology Unleashed. London: Glass House
  • France, A. (2007) Understanding Youth in Late Modernity. Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Goldson, B. and Muncie, J. (eds.) (2009) Youth Crime and Justice. Sage Publication Ltd. 
  • Hayden, C. (2007) Children in Trouble: The Role of Families, Schools and Communities. Palgrave Macmillan. 
  • Maguire, M., Morgan, R., & Reiner, R. (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (5th eds) Oxford University Press.
  • Muncie, J. (2009) Youth & Crime. 3rd Edition. Sage Publications Ltd.
  • Hall, S. (2012) Theorising Crime and Deviance: A New Perspective. London: Sage