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SP10337: Social justice and criminal justice policy: from redistribution to recognition

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 12      [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 240
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 20%, PF 80%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • CW 20% (CW 20%)
  • PF 80% (PF 80%)

Information regarding synoptic assessment for this unit will be published shortly. In the meantime please contact the Director of Studies or consult your programme handbook for further details.

Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
This unit aims to:
* Encourage students to think more broadly and critically about the meaning of 'justice'
* Critically examine criminal justice using analytical perspectives rooted in the subject of social policy
* Provide students with an in-depth understanding of the concept of 'social justice' and its application within the social sciences and to a range of case studies
* Broaden students' understanding of what constitutes crime, justice, victimisation, and harm.

Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:
* describe and critically assess different conceptions of justice, recognising the ways in which approaches to justice are shaped by social organisation, political and economic factors
* identify and assess the value of a social policy approach to justice
* apply the concept of social justice to a range of different problems and situations, and recognise the value and limitations of this conceptual framework.

The unit will foster the following intellectual skills:
* the ability to develop a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement
* the ability to assess the merits and appropriateness of different approaches to justice
* the ability draw on evidence from a range of sources and demonstrate an ability to synthesise them.
The unit will foster the following professional/practical skills:
* written and oral communication skills, both individually and in group environments
* the ability to use a range of information and communication technologies effectively for processing and communicating information.
The unit will foster the following transferable/key skills:
* the ability to develop and present a well-structured, coherent essay
* the ability to develop and present an argument through oral presentation
* the ability to marshal evidence and theory to support or challenge an argument in such a way as to demonstrate a critical awareness of the origin and bases of knowledge
* the ability to work and communicate as individuals
* skills in working and communicating effectively as a team
* skills in information technology
* critical and analytical skills.

The unit is made up of three parts: the first considers different theoretical perspectives relating to the conceptualisation of social justice and how these relate to wider issues of social inequality and the conceptualization of crime in British society and beyond. The second part of the unit considers how criminal justice policy is made: the key actors and institutions such as the state, judiciary and civil society, and the centrality of the issue of social protection within this: what it is, how social regulation happens and what challenges face liberal democratic societies in enforcing it. The third and final section of the unit applies the material studied in the previous lectures to a set of topical case studies related to such areas as financial crime, corporate crime, and health and safety regulation. A particular focus in this part of the unit will be on how processes of globalisation are transforming crime and the implications for social justice.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP10337 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
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