Theories of Crime and Harm - SOCI5050

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 5 30 (15) Phil Carney checkmark-circle


The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical understanding of the nature and extent of crime and deviance in contemporary society, and the main ways in which they can be explained and controlled. Focusing upon contemporary sociological theories of crime against a background of the classical ideas within the field, this module will provide undergraduates with an opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date debates in an area of great interest in contemporary society.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 44
Private study hours: 256
Total study hours: 300


This is a compulsory module for Criminology single honours and joint honours courses including:
Criminology BA
Criminology with Quantitative Research BA
Criminology and Cultural Studies BA
Criminology and Social Policy (and Social Change) BA
Criminology and Sociology BA
Law and Criminology BA/LLB

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Examination - (3 hours) - 50%
Coursework - in-class test - 20%
Coursework - Essay (2000 words) - 30%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework.

Indicative reading

Lilly, J. et al (2014) Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences, Sixth Edition: Sage.
Hale, C., Hayward, K. J., Wahidin, E., and Wincup, E., (2013) Criminology, Third Edition: Oxford University Press
Hayward, K. J (2004) City Limits: Crime Consumer Culture and the Urban Experience: Glasshouse/Cavendish
Vold, G., Bernard, T. and Snipes, J., (2002) Theoretical Criminology: Oxford University Press.
Tierney, J., (2009) Criminology: Theory and Context, Third Edition: Prentice Hall

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Critically assess a range of theoretical accounts of crime and deviance and their control;
8.2 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the social, economic and cultural dimensions of crime and deviance;
8.3 Demonstrate awareness of classical and contemporary ideas about the cultural and ideological character of crime and deviance;
8.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the links between sociological theorizing of crime and deviance and the socio-historical context in which these theories emerged;
8.5 Apply research evidence to develop a critical understanding of deviance, social control and related social problems.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Effectively communicate information in a clear and coherent manner
9.2 Synthesise items of knowledge from different schools and disciplines of enquiry
9.3 Perform advanced library investigations in order to demonstrate a critical awareness of complex issues


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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