module specification

SS7171 - Crime, Risk and Early Intervention (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Crime, Risk and Early Intervention
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 200
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
82 hours Guided independent study
82 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay, 2,500 words
Coursework 50%   Presentation 10 minutes
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

 The module explores the factors among children and young people, which are identified, through research, as being associated with future offending. The module starts by looking at the research and theoretical issues underpinning ‘risk factors’ and then moves on to look at early intervention programmes which have aim to target children who are identified as at risk, and how they might prevent future offending. Students are encouraged to consider critically the theory, ethics, and impact of these interventions.


 The module begins by situating early interventions targeted at young, people, children and families within a broader ‘crime prevention approach’. LO1

It then considers the range of risk factors associated with risk of future offending, including childhood experiences, parental support and the social environment. LO2     

The module moves on to look at governmental and non governmental interventions which have aimed to address risk factors. LO3

In doing so the principles of effectiveness and the impact of interventions are considered. LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Each week, this module will be delivered through two - three hour workshops featuring lectures, student presentations and seminar discussion. These aim to introduce the main themes. Students are expected to develop their thinking through further study. This must include academic reading.

Learning outcomes

 At the end of this module students will:

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

1. Explain the types of childhood experiences associated with risk of offending
2. Explain the social environmental factors which affect risk
3. Critically evaluate the evidence on ‘what works’ in early intervention
4. Analyse early intervention and public protection policies drawing on theory and research on risk

Assessment strategy

 Assessment consists of a presentation, worth 50% of the module mark, and an essay, also worth 50%.

The essay is 2500 words, and will assess learning outcomes 1 and 2. This is due in week 8.

The presentation will assess learning outcome 3 and 4. This will involve presenting an overview of an early intervention project including its rationale, practical detail and evidence of effectiveness. This is due in week 14


 Where possible, the most current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students in their handbooks.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.

Core Reading:

Blyth, M. and Solomon, E. (Eds.) (2009) Prevention and Youth Crime: Is Early Intervention Working? Bristol: The Policy Pres e-book in library

Chambers, M., Ullmann, B., Waller, I., (2009) Less crime, lower costs: implementing effective early crime reduction programmes in England and Wales, London: Policy Exchange.

Welsh, B.C. and Farrington, D.P. (eds) (2012)  The Oxford handbook of crime prevention Oxford: Oxford University Press

Further Reading:

Farrington, D. P. (2006) Childhood risk factors and risk focused prevention. In M. Maguire, R. Morgan & R. Reiner (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (4th ed.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Farrington, D. P., Welsh, B. C. (2007) Saving children from a life of crime: Early risk factors and effective interventions, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Graham, A. (2011). Early Intervention: The next steps. London: HM Government.

Independent Commission (2010) Time for a fresh start: The report of the independent commission on youth crime and antisocial behaviour, The police foundation.

Jolliffe, D. & Farrington, D. P. (2008). Does Mentoring Reduce Reoffending? Report for the Swedish National Council.

Rutter, M., Maughan, B., Mortimore, P., & Ouston, J. (1979).  Fifteen Thousand Hours.   London: Open Books.

Smith, J. D., Schneider, B. H., Smith, P. K. and Ananiadrou, K. (2004).  The effectiveness of whole‐school antibullying programs: A synthesis of evaluation research.  School Psychology Review 33: 547‐560.