Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Provide an introduction to the main traditions and perspective within sociological criminology and engage critically with the theoretical models and debates associated with them.
  • Familiarise students with the conceptual language appropriate to an understanding of these traditions and perspectives.


  • This module provides an introduction to the main traditions and perspectives within sociological criminology and explores the history and development of criminology as an academic discipline.
  • Students will be given an opportunity to engage critically with major, and competing, schools of thought located within contemporary sociological criminology, and to consider the various understandings of what is meant by the 'criminological project'.
  • This will include an examination of the ways in which criminology has responded to more recent changes to the nature of social life.
  • The module will illustrate how bodies of theoretical knowledge may be used to further our understanding of particular types of crime, specifically, crime in the city, state crime, crime in a domestic setting and corporate crime.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understanding the main contours of sociological criminology.
  • Understand the key concepts (e.g. crime, deviance, subculture, societal reaction, social censure, deviant/criminal career) associated with this area of study.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical schools of thought and their historical development.
  • Appreciate the main contours of contemporary sociological criminology.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of the key terms and concepts associated with this area of study.
Subject-specific Skills:
Key Skills:
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate, synthesise and present ideas and information obtained from a variety of sources.
  • Demonstrate a range of numeracy skills.
  • Demonstrate competency in the use of IT resources.
  • Demonstrate a capacity to improve own learning and performance.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching is based on lectures and seminars and is structured around the learning outcomes above.
  • Lectures are designed to provide a broad framework by addressing major themes, ideas, issues and debates.
  • Students will be encouraged to develop their learning skills in relation to note taking, wider reading and further study, and time management.
  • Each seminar will be organised around a particular theme and have designated reading.
  • Students will be encouraged and expected to be active participants.
  • a programme of student presentations will help facilitate this involvement.
  • Assessment is by summative essay and a summative examination.
  • titles/questions will be oriented towards the learning outcomes.
  • These modes of assessment are intended to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of this area of study, and demonstrate their ability to draw on and use appropriate conceptual language.
  • A formative essay, given part way through the module, is designed to help students develop the skills and abilities required for summative work.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Total 200
Lectures 22 1 Per Week 1 Hour 22
Seminars 11 Fortnightly 1 Hour 11
Preparation and Reading 167

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one two-hour written examination 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one assessed essay 1500-3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

2 essays of 1000-1500 words

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University