Youth and Crime - SOCI5350

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module provides students with a sociological and criminological understanding of contemporary issues relating to youth crime. More specifically, the module provides a critical understanding of young people's involvement in crime and deviance and the various responses to youth crime, especially how young people are dealt with by the youth justice system. The module begins by examining current trends in youth offending and explores media responses. We then go on to look at 'the youth problem’ from an historical context. The module then goes on to focus in depth on four key substantive themes such as; gangs and violent crime; drugs, alcohol and nightlife; young people, urban space and antisocial behaviour; and the youth justice system in England and Wales. Throughout the module, attention is given to the importance of understanding the connections of youth crime with race, class and gender and at the same time, engages with key theoretical ideas and debates that inform our understandings of youth crime. This unit provides an opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date debates in an area of great interest in contemporary society.


Contact hours

Total contact time: 21 hours.
Total Private study time 129.
Total study hours : 150


All BA Criminology Single and Joint Honours Programmes: BA Criminology, BA Criminology and Sociology, BA Criminology and Law, BA Criminology and Social Policy, BA Criminology and Cultural Studies

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

One essay of up to 3,000 words, which forms 45% of the overall module mark.
One final exam (45% of the overall mark)
Class participation (10% of the overall mark).

Reassessment methods

Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework.

Indicative reading

France, A. (2007) Understanding Youth in Late Modernity Open University Press
Goldson and Muncie (eds.) (2006) Youth Crime and Justice London: Sage
Maguire, Morgan, and Reiner, (eds.) (2007) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, Oxford: Oxford UP (Chapter by Tim Newburn, on youth, crime and criminal justice)
Muncie, John (2014) (fourth edition) Youth Crime London: Sage
Muncie, J. Hughes, and McLaughlin (eds.) (2002) Youth Justice: Critical Readings London: Sage
Smith, R. (2006) Youth Justice: Ideas, Policy and Practice Cullompton: Willan

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 understand and recognise the strengths and weaknesses of various criminal justice approaches to youth offending and current
debates in youth justice policy
8.2 Systematically understand the relationship between young people, crime and deviance, within political, media and historical contexts.
8.3 Understand and critically evaluate the key theoretical debates that underpin the study of young people, crime and deviance in
contemporary British society.
8.4 Have an understanding of youth crime and youth justice policy from an international and global perspective, and be able to apply
underlying concepts and principles outside in other contexts

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Demonstrate effective skills in presentation and debate, both verbal and written, and in utilization of research and empirical data to
specialist and non-specialist audiences
9.2 Synthesise the theoretical contributions of different schools and disciplines of enquiry
9.3 Gather appropriate library and web-based resources for undergraduate study; make critical judgments about their merits and use the
available evidence, including quantitative data sources and evidence.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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