module specification

SS7173 - Transnational Organised Crime (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Transnational Organised Crime
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
155 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   4500-word essay OR 20 minute multimedia artefact with 500-word transcript
Running in 2024/25

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

Module summary

The aim of this module is to give you a thorough theoretical and operational understanding of transnational organised crime and the social, political and economic dynamics in which it thrives. There will be a focus on trafficking, including of drugs, people and arms, corruption and money laundering as well as looking at      how organised crime groups are using the internet for criminal purposes. Corporate and state-corporate crime and the way they intersect with organised crime, particularly in fragile states is also given a specific focus. On this module, you will also gain an understanding of the difficulties experienced when trying to prevent and regulate transnational organised crimes. You will be encouraged to actively participate in discussion and debates linked to key themes and given opportunities for reflective learning. You will develop the skills to investigate, critically examine, and present, orally and in writing, detailed analysis of transnational organised crimes, and the role played by states, corporations and individuals.

Prior learning requirements

Available for Study Abroad? YES


Identifying transnational organised crime - this session introduces the module and covers definitions of transnational and organised crime (LO2).

Theoretical frameworks for understanding organised crime - explores key theories on organised crime and transnational crime (LO2).

Understanding the social and economic dynamics of organised crime - examines the social and economic contexts for transnational organised crime including globalisation, neoliberalism and world-systems, and looks at some case studies of ‘fragile state’ (LO3).

Drug trafficking, money laundering and corruption - examines drug trafficking flows and the relationship between drug trafficking, money laundering and corruption (LO 1, 2, 3).

Modern slavery and human trafficking - examines types of modern slavery, the structural conditions which allow it to flourish, and how people become victims (LO 1, 2, 3).

Weapons trading and trafficking - explores arms trafficking flows, structural and political drivers, corruption and the drugs-arms trafficking nexus (LO 1, 2, 3).

Corporate and state-corporate crime - examines types of corporate crime, corporate crime and violence, causes, and commonalities with organised crime (LO 1, 2, 3).     

Cyber-organised crime - looks at types of cybercrime, the relation between cybercrime and organised crime groups, and cyberviolence (LO 1, 2, 3).

Money laundering and fraud - explores financial organised crime with a focus on money laundering and fraud (LO 1, 2, 3).

Responses to transnational organised crime - examines the barriers to prevention and regulation (LO 1, 3, 4).

Assessment support session - supports students with their assessments (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The teaching sessions will involve a blend of lectures, seminar activities, workshops and online materials. You will be set tasks prior to the lecture/seminars such as reading academic material, an official report, news piece or a case study, watching/ listening to a relevant documentary or short film. In the sessions, you will be expected to actively participate in discussions and debates linked to key concepts, themes, and case studies related to transnational organised crime. You are expected to attend, engage in all sessions, and collaborate with colleagues. You are also expected to undertake 10 hours of independent reading/study per week to develop your knowledge and critical thinking skills; to support your engagement in the sessions and the completion of assignments. Workshops will also include opportunities for assessment preparation and reflective learning. Following classroom sessions, to consolidate your learning you will have access to further reading and resources to further develop knowledge and understanding.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a good understanding of various transnational organised crime phenomena including drugs, people and weapon trafficking, corruption, money laundering and cybercrime.

2. Apply various theories of transnational organised crime to a range of substantive examples and case studies.     

3. Examine the localised and international social, political and economic factors influencing transnational organised crime.

4. Critically evaluate international and UK interventions to tackle transnational organised crime.

5. Investigate, critically examine, and present, orally and in writing, detailed analysis of transnational organised crimes, and the role played by states, corporations and powerful individuals.