Sociology of Crime and Deviance - SO505

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Autumn and Spring 5 30 (15) DR P 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 unit will provide undergraduates with an opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date debates.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

42-3 hours: 22 hours of lectures and 20 hours of seminars or workshops (no seminars in weeks 1 or reading weeks, optional seminar in week 24)


Every Year

Method of assessment

50% coursework (20% In-class test: 30% Essay 2500 words ) and 50% 3 hour examination (summer term)

Indicative reading

There is no text that covers the course as a whole. The following books are recommended for this course.

Carrabine, E. et al. (2014) Criminology: A Sociological Introduction (3rd ed.). London: Routledge
Lilly, J. et al (2018) Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences. (7th ed.) Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage
Tierney, J., (2013) Criminology: Theory and Context. (3rd ed.). Edinburgh: Pearson.
McLaughlin, E., J. Muncie and G. Hughes (2013) Criminological Perspectives: Essential Readings (3rd ed.). London: Sage.
Downes, D and Rock, P (2016) Understanding Deviance: A Guide to the Sociology of Rule Breaking (7th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press
M. Maguire, R. Morgan, and R. Reiner, The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, various editions. Oxford: Oxford OUP
Morrison, W. J., (1997) Theoretical Criminology: From Modernity to Postmodernism. London: Cavendish

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:
critically discuss the ways in which particular forms of crime and deviance are hidden, whilst others are highly visible;
describe and assess a range of theoretical perspectives relating to crime and deviance and their control;
understand the social, economic and cultural dimensions of crime;
understand some of the links between sociological theorizing of crime and deviance and the socio-historical context in which these theories emerged;
synthesize items of knowledge from different schools and disciplines of enquiry;
analyse popular discourses, texts or programmes on the matter of crime and deviance.


  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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