Thinking Like a Criminologist (L3120)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

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.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

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.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: