Thinking Like a Criminologist (L3111)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

This modules aims to introduce students to the key skills involved in thinking like a criminologist. It 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.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 130 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, there may be changes to this module in response to COVID-19, or due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

It may not be possible to take some module combinations due to timetabling constraints. The structure of some courses means that the modules you choose first may determine whether later modules are core or optional.


This module is offered on the following courses: