module specification

SS7172 - Green Criminology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Green Criminology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 40%   Presentation
Coursework 60%   Essay, 3,000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

The module aims to explore what is meant by the term 'Green Criminology'. In its broadest sense, it refers to the study of harms committed against the environment by corporations, states and also ordinary people. A growing realisation that the health of this planet is intricately linked to the health of each one of us, has led to the development of a multi-disciplinary approach within Criminology incorporating a number of theoretical and philosophical perspectives. The module will therefore make use of a wide range of contributions from Human Geography, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology and others in order to link together and further our understanding of the complex nature of environmental harms and crimes in particular and criminogenic systems in general.

Module aims

The module seeks to enable students to:

  • gain an understanding of the wide range of theoretical perspectives connecting the varied issues that form the basis of Green Criminology;
  • explore these through specific case studies covering diverse topics like wildlife crime, waste management, animal experimentation, fracking etc;
  • examine and rethink the causes and consequences of environmental harms and crimes in all their complexity;
  • develop possible avenues for change;
  • ultimately, as a group, work towards an opening up of criminological paradigms under the 'conceptual umbrella' of Green Criminology.


1. What is Green Criminology? - introductory lecture
2. Which Green? environmental ethics, values and 'what do we want?'
3. Animal Rights - women, meat and inequality
4. Wildlife crimes - value systems and greed
5. Human-animal relations - theories and legislations
6. Waste management - the myth of 'gone tomorrow'
7. Fracking - power and Social Justice
8. Pollution (earth and space) - the myth of the lifeboat
9. Visualising Green Criminology
10. Presentations
11. Legislation, patents and policies - final thoughts
12. Revision session
13. Essay submission

Learning and teaching

Each week, this module will be delivered through three hour workshops featuring lecturing, group work, individual work and seminar discussions.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students should be able to:
1. critically evaluate the diverse aspects of Green Criminology that make it such a vibrant sub-field of Criminology;
2. draw from a range of theoretical perspectives on harms and crimes in relation to environmental issues, and apply these to a case study;
3. analyse the complex causes and consequences of environmental harms and crimes;
4. demonstrate their ability to apply relevant research findings in their own analysis of a specific topic.

Assessment strategy

The assessments consist of a presentation (40%) and an essay (60%).

The presentation will assess learning outcome 2, presenting to the seminar group in week 10. The presentation can be used as a preparation for the essay to be submitted in week 13 but does not have to be. Students can choose to either present an essay proposal or use the presentation for a different topic.

The essay will assess learning outcomes 1, 2 and 4 and should be submitted in week 13.


Adams, C (2013) The Sexual Politics of Meat. London: Bloomsbury

Beirne, P & South, N (2007) Issues in Green Criminology. Cullompton: Willan

Davies, A (2008) The Geographies of Garbage Governance. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Co

Liddick, D (2006) Eco-Terrorism: radical environmental and animal liberation movements. Westport: Praeger

Light, A & Rolston III (eds) (2003) Environmental Ethics: An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell

Monbiot,G (2007) Heat: How we can stop the planet from burning. London: Penguin

Natali, L (2016) A Visual Approach for Green Criminology. Basingstoke: Palgrave

O'Brien, M (2007) A Crisis of Waste? Understanding the Rubbish Society. Abingdon: Routledge

Regan, T (2004) The Case for Animal Rights. Berkeley: University of California Press

Rogers, H (2005) Gone tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage. New York: New York Press

Sollund, R (ed) (2008) Global Harms: Ecological Crime and Speciesism. New York: Nova Science Pub

South, N & Bisman, A (eds) (2013) Routledge Handbook of Green Criminology. London: Routledge

Spapens, T; White, R & Kluin, M (eds) (2014) Environmental Crime and its Victims. Farnham: Ashgate

White, R & Heckenberg, D (2014) Green Criminology. London: Routledge

and entries on Green Criminology in key journals like:

British Journal of Criminology
Theoretical Criminology

and others