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Programme & Unit Catalogues

SP10336: Criminal justice processes and practices

[Page last updated: 01 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Credits: 12 [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 240
Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 20%, PF 80%
Assessment Detail:
  • CW 20% (CW 20% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • PF 80% Portfolio (PF 80% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: By the end of the unit students will be able to:
1. outline and critically assess key institutions and processes within the criminal justice system in England and Wales, with reference to other nations' systems;
2. utilize key concepts and theories in criminal justice;
3. illustrate and critically assess the delivery of criminal (in)justice through key examples;
4. draw connections between empirical evidence, policy, theoretical explanations, and institutional practice.

Aims: This unit is an introduction to the criminal justice system in England and Wales, including key institutions (e.g. police and courts), their roles and the work they do, how the various parts fit together, and the people and processes therein. You will develop your skills to critically assess the work done by the criminal justice system, drawing on key concepts and theories (e.g. due process, crime control, police culture), and alternative systems in other nations and countries (e.g. Scotland, France, New Zealand). These ideas will then be illustrated and developed through important examples of (in)justice, such as: miscarriages of justice; female offenders' and victim-survivors' experiences within the system; and attempts to tackle racism.

Skills: The unit will foster the following intellectual skills:
* the ability to draw on evidence from a range of sources and demonstrate an abil-ity to synthesise them
* an ability to assess the merits and appropriateness of different explanations for crime, deviance, and victimisation
* develop a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information and exercise criti-cal judgement

The unit will foster the following professional/practical skills:
* an ability to critically reflect on different theoretical/methodological approaches within criminology
* written and oral communication skills, both individually and in group environments

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
* skills in working and communicating effectively as a team
* skills in information technology
* critical and analytical skills.

Content: This unit will cover topics such as:
1. Policing the Streets
2. Arrest and Detention in Policy Custody
3. Prosecutors and Defence Counsel
4. Courts and Jury Trials
5. Sentencing & Punishment
6. Restorative Justice
7. Imprisonment, Release & Parole
8. Appeals & Miscarriages of Justice.

Programme availability:

SP10336 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
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