module specification

SC4061 - Shades of Deviance (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Shades of Deviance
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
Coursework 100%   Written piece of work, 2000 words
Running in 2023/24

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

Module summary

This module will explore crime and deviance from an unorthodox perspective. What is seen as wrong or bad changes over time and place. Indeed, what is accepted in one country may be criminal in another – and behaviour and views that were seen as normal in the past may be seen as deviant today. This module focuses on socially and legally prohibited acts, while also looking at social problems, harms and emerging behaviours yet to be clearly defined as deviant. Drawing on a wide range of examples, Shades of Deviance will challenge you to rethink your views on morality, criminality, deviance and societal harm.

The module aims to:

1. Develop your awareness that what is seen as criminal or deviant behaviour can change over time and place.
2. Encourage you to re-think your views on morality, criminality, deviance and harm with regard to a range of acts and behaviours.
3. Allow you to question why views towards crime and deviance may change.
4. Allow you to consider the appropriate societal responses to various forms of harms and acts of deviance.

Prior learning requirements

Available to Study Abroad? YES


This module focuses on socially and legally prohibited acts, while also looking at social problems, harms and emerging behaviours yet to be clearly defined as deviant. It will aim to demonstrate that there are ‘shades of deviance’ in human behaviour and that what is seen as harmful, and indeed immoral and illegal can change over space, time and context. (LOs 1-4)

Areas studied will depend on student interest, staff expertise and societal developments, but may include assisted dying, stalking and sexting, disease spreading, designer dogs, graffiti and street art, human experimentation, sex with robots, cheating and drug use in sport and plagiarism at university. (LOs 1-4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will use a range of learning, teaching and delivery methods, including workshops, small group and whole group discussions, talks and lectures and blended learning sessions.

You are expected to attend and actively engage in all sessions. In addition, you are expected to undertake 6-7 hours independent reading/study per week to develop your knowledge of the module content.

On some weeks there may be readings and/or tasks that need to be completed before the class. Resources will be provided via Weblearn and/or email.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate an understanding that behaviour viewed criminal or deviant can change over time, place and context.
2. Discuss and analyse are range of behaviours associated with criminality and deviance.
3. Discuss why views on crime and deviance may change.
4. Discuss appropriate societal and legal responses to various harms or forms of behaviour labelled as criminal or deviant.

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by an item of written coursework that will allow engagement with one or more of the subject areas covered during the module. In doing so students will demonstrate an awareness of and ability to analyse and reflect on specific acts and behaviours often labelled deviant or criminal.