module specification

SS7169 - Contemporary Issues in Criminology (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Contemporary Issues in Criminology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
164 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay, 2,500 words
Coursework 50%   Essay, 2,500 words
Running in 2023/24

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

Module summary

The module seeks to enable students to:

 identify and critically assess contemporary developments in criminology
 explore the theories used in current research, including neoclassicism; biosocial approaches, developmental and life-course criminology; and critical realism

The teaching will be focused on exploring some of the contemporary issues relevant to criminology and underpinning this by making links tor relevant theories. The module will seek to accommodate the varying previous experiences found in MSc groups by providing a contextual knowledge of the subject matter linked to further research with a view to allowing students to present in depth analysis and evidence of research on their chosen issues.


1. Introduction to criminological theory.
2. Classicism to vs Positivism
3. Critical theory to Critical realism
4. Marxist, radical and deviance perspectives
5. From Biological to biosocial approaches
6. Psychological positivism to developmental and lifecourse approaches
7. Durkheimian approaches
8. Neo classicism
9. Synthesised theories
10. What works? Theory and criminal justice interventions

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Each week, this module will be delivered through three-hour workshops featuring lecturing, student presentations and seminar discussion.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students should be able to:

1. Critically evaluate developments and dominant paradigms in contemporary criminology
2. Explain the foundations of, and current developments in criminological theory
3. Use reflection and analysis to apply theory to their own area of expertise
4. Utilise relevant research findings in the analysis of variations in crime
5. Explain theoretical and conceptual frameworks as they apply to criminal justice and the criminal justice system

Assessment strategy

Assessment consists of two 2,500 word essays, which will be representative of the module syllabus. Both pieces of assessment are worth 50% of the total marks. The assessment is predicated upon thorough academic analysis, and appropriate student reading and research.