Carceral Technologies (L4111A)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

You’ll develop your understanding of control societies, as articulated by Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Mark Fisher and Ruha Benjamin. You’ll examine their present-day, empirical applications in criminal justice practice.

You will develop a critical understanding of the contexts, critical arguments and theories behind subjecting people to a variety of carceral technologies.

Topics covered will be drawn from contemporary research, and could include:

  • probation
  • sex offender treatments
  • boot camps
  • the fabled ‘good’ prison
  • neurointerventions
  • electronic monitoring
  • smart cities.

Such technologies can incorporate logics of class and racial subjugation, deepen such hierarchies and engender new systems of social control. Criminologists ask “is a more humane future possible?” Throughout this module we will attempt to answer this ever-more-pressing question.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 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 2024/25. 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: