Youth and Crime - SO535

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2020 to 2021.


This module provides students with a sociological and criminological understanding of contemporary issues relating to youth crime. More specifically, the module provides both a practical and 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 how we can research your crime through a lens of 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, research methodologies 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.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

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).

Indicative reading

Muncie, John (2014) (fourth edition) Youth Crime London: Sage
France, A. (2007) Understanding Youth in Late Modernity Open University Press
Goldson and Muncie (eds.) (2006) Youth Crime and Justice London: Sage
Smith, R. (2006) Youth Justice: Ideas, Policy and Practice Cullompton: Willan
Muncie, J. Hughes, and McLaughlin (eds.) (2002) Youth Justice: Critical Readings 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)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Understand and recognise the strengths and weaknesses of various criminal justice approaches to youth offending and current debates in youth justice policy
Understand the relationship between young people, crime and deviance, within political, media and historical contexts.
Understand the key theoretical debates that underpin the study of young people, crime and deviance in contemporary British society.
Have an understanding of youth crime and youth justice policy from an international and global perspective


  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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