Punishment and Penology (Spr) (L4104B)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module will will examine both the theory and practice of punishment and will encourage you to take a critical approach to analysing these. The focus will mainly be on England and Wales, but where relevant comparison will be drawn with other countries such as those in Europe, North America and Australasia. After exploring a range of theoretical approaches in relation to the justifications for and purposes of punishment, you will consider a range of empirical examples. The latter will be largely contemporary with some historical examples also used.

Topics will include:

  • justifications for punishment
  • Durkhemian, Marxist and Foucauldian perspectives on punishment
  • Garland's The Culture of Control (2001) and The New Penology (Feeley and Simon, 1992)
  • contemporary imprisonment
  • women in prison
  • children and young people in custody
  • immigration detention centres
  • alternatives to imprisonment
  • radical critiques such as abolitionism and feminist jurisprudence.


46%: Lecture
54%: 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.