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SP20341: Theorising crime, justice and punishment

[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: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 50%, PF 50%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • PF 50% (PF 50%)
  • Exam 50% (EX 50%)
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:
1) Equip students with a firm understanding of a range of criminological theories related to crime, justice, and punishment
2) Enable students to assess and compare the merits of different criminological theorisations of crime, justice, and punishment
3) Foster an understanding of the development of criminology as a discipline, and its canonical texts and theories - as well as to appreciate what might have been excluded from the discipline, and why.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the unit students will be able to:
* Identify and evaluate a range of criminological theories on crime, justice, and punishment
* Compare and contrast criminological conceptions of crime, justice, and punishment, and assess the merits of these different approaches
* Appreciate the role of theory in the research process, and critically evaluate the contributions of key criminological thinkers.

Skills:
The unit will foster the following intellectual skills:
* The ability to draw on and synthesise evidence from a range of sources
* The ability to assess the merits and appropriateness of different explanations for crime and deviance
* The ability to develop a reasoned argument and exercise critical judgement The unit will foster the following professional/practical skills:
* The ability to critically reflect on different theoretical/methodological approaches within criminology
* Written and oral communication skills The unit will foster the following transferable/key skills:
* The ability to develop and present a well-structured, coherent essay.
* 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 apply key concepts in criminology and cognate disciplines to a range of problems
* The ability to work and communicate as individuals, as well as in a team
* Skills in information technology
* Critical and analytical skills.

Content:
This core, second year unit aims to deepen students' understanding of criminological theory. The unit explores and evaluates different conceptions of 'crime', 'justice' and 'punishment', and provides an overview of different theoretical approaches in criminology, setting these in critical, historical perspective. We give due consideration to the key questions in criminology - concerning the causes of crime, the function of punishment, and the purpose of justice - and explore how different theoretical approaches have been put to work to answer them. A range of approaches are considered - from early criminological approaches to penology and explanations for crime, to strain theory, sub-cultural theories of deviance, social learning theory, critical criminological approaches, and cultural criminology.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP20341 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Notes: