Sociology

Thinking Like a Criminologist

Module code: L3120
Level 4
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This modules introduces you to the key skills involved in thinking like a criminologist. The module places a joint emphasis on gaining both a theoretical and practical understanding of criminology as a discipline. You will develop skills in interpreting crime statistics, critically assessing definitions of crime and engaging with media debates about crime and justice. These will be informed by introductory criminological theory to provide a foundation including positivism and classicism, Durkheim and the Chicago School.

Key topics will include:

  • what is crime?
  • who is a criminal?
  • how can we use crime statistics?
  • the history of crime
  • media representations of crime
  • the use of official reports and policy documents.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the emergence of criminology as a discipline and recognise its defining features.
  • Employ relevant theoretical concepts to explain and evaluate definitions of crime and justice.
  • Recognise the importance of crime statistics and criminal justice policy to criminology.
  • Produce a portfolio of work that includes exercises pertaining to different aspects of the module. These will be undertaken over the course of the term.