module specification

SC4054 - Traditional Criminological Theories and Concepts (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Traditional Criminological Theories and Concepts
Module level Certificate (04)
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
Unseen Examination 100%   Multiple choice test 50 questions 1.5 hours
Running in 2023/24

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

Module summary

In the module you will be introduced to origins of criminological thinking, through an exploration of some of the key thinkers who shaped the discipline’s development and created theories to explain and understand crime. You will develop an understanding of the social context in which relevant theories emerged, be able to recognise their limitations, and some of their biases. You will also be able to recognise the policy implications of the theories you explore, as well as their enduring influence on policy and criminological research.

Prior learning requirements

Study Abroad? YES


You will start the module by examining the classical thinkers of the later 18th and early 19th century, who argued that crime should be understood as a rational choice. You will then move on to exploring early biological theories, whose proponents called for the development of a scientific approach to understanding crime.

(LO1, LO4)

You will move on to consider early psychological and sociological understandings of crime and deviance, which further influenced the development of criminology.

(LO2, LO4)

For each other the theories covered you will be encouraged to recognise how ideas about the causes of crime have been associated with attempts to manage its impact.

(LO3, LO4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching typically consists of a 1 hour lecture, followed by a 2 hour workshops/seminars. You will be expected to engage in approximately 6 hours of independent study per week.

Learning outcomes

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

1) Explain the emergence criminology.
2) Identify key authors who have shaped the emergence and development of criminology as subject discipline.
3) Explain different criminological theories which have sought to explain crime.
4) Demonstrate transferable skills in academic reading, revision, and reasoning required for modules at levels 5 and 6.

Assessment strategy

The assessment for this module will be a one and half hour 50 question on-line multiple-choice test, which will require you to recall key authors and their associated ideas.