Sociology and Criminology

Criminology of Violence and Death

Module code: L5104B
Level 6
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework

The module examines a variety of violent crimes. Specifically, it focuses on hate crime, state violence/terrorism and murder. The underlying aim of the module is to understand motivations for violent crime and to critically assess appropriate criminal justice responses.

The module will focus on three key areas of violent crime: hate crime, state violence/ terrorism and serial murder, which are areas of increasing topical and policy concern. Each will be examined in relation to policy and the lived reality for victims and offenders. The module examines different victim groups, which might include ethnic minorities, the disabled or women, situating them within the wider field of victimology. The aetiology of offenders will be examined, which spans people who commit 'everyday' violent crime to those who are passionately committed to extremism. Finally, you will evaluate cultural and media representations of violent crime. 

On completion of the module you will have a more critical overview of crimes of hate and their policy responses.

Module learning outcomes

  • Deploy established criminological and victimological techniques of analysis and inquiry to examine crimes of violence and approaches to death; case studies; policy and practice.
  • Devise and sustain arguments about the criminology of death and violence and situate them within a conceptual understanding of crime.
  • Be critically aware of cultural and media representations of crimes of violence and approaches to death, and employ criminological and victimological concepts and techniques of inquiry to analyse these.
  • Be able to comment on key case studies and their influence on criminal justice responses, drawing on a developed conceptual understanding.
  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and systematic understanding of relevant contemporary and established research in the area, including an appraisal of its limits, ambiguities and uncertainties.
  • Critically evaluate research on crimes of violence and approaches to death in order to make judgments about ways of tackling and preventing these, including but not limited to appropriate criminal justice responses.