NS4501: Understanding Criminology

NS4501: Understanding Criminology

Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

Module Title Understanding Criminology
Module Code NS4501
Module Tutor Sarah Nixon
School School of Natural and Social Sciences
CAT Points 30
Level of Study 4
Brief Description

This module provides a broad introduction to the nature and concerns of the discipline of criminology, introducing students to different perspectives on the definition, causes and meanings of crime. It explores the nature of responses to these crimes by examining the impact on victims, the community and policing and justice models designed to reduce and/or prevent such activity. It further examines increasing attention paid to the diversion of offenders away from such engagement.

Indicative Syllabus

Definitions and key concepts in crime and criminology.

Exploring institutions in criminal justice

Introduction to theories on crime and ciminal behaviour.

Youth and community justice.

Crimes against the environment.


Local, national and global crime and responses.


Learning Outcomes

A student passing this module should be able to:

1. Understand the contested nature of what is (and is not) considered to be ‘crime’; 

2. Have an awareness of the different sources of information available to academics, policy-makers and the public on crime;

3. Understand and discuss different contrasting schools of explanation on specific topics within Criminology;

4. Recognise links between schools of criminological thought and selected current policies on crime and disorder;

5. Assess the usefulness and limits of official statistics and other data related to crime and victimisation.


Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 72
Independent Learning Hours: 228
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 60% Portfolio: 2000 words or equivalent
002: 40% Exam: Unseen, Closed Book: 1.50 hours
Special Assessment Requirements None
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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