Understanding the Criminal Justice System (L3123)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

This module provides an introduction to the criminal justice system focusing on key debates around social control and the historic development of institutions. This involves assessing the development of key components of the justice system including:

  • prisons
  • the police
  • probation
  • the courts
  • community justice.

You will also critically examine contemporary debates including race and crime, gender, power and punishment, issues of overpolicing and criminalisation, youth justice and crime prevention. The module also aims to situate the British justice system within an international context to allow for a comparative understanding.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 22 hours of contact time and 128 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.