Criminal Justice in Modern Britain:Development, Issues and Politics - SOCI5360

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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) Emma Cooke checkmark-circle


The module will be organised around the following themes:
• The history, development and structure of the institutions of the CJS
• Current issues facing the CJS
• Crime, crime control and social exclusion
• Crime prevention and community safety

Within the organisation of the module students will be encouraged to cooperate on issues based around the above themes and to participate verbally within the context of class discussions, group presentation and class debate.


Contact hours

Total contact time: 44 hours
Private study hours: 266 hours
Total learning hours: 300 hours


Compulsory to all undergraduate Criminology programmes. Also available as an option to the Cultural Studies and Sociology undergraduate programmes, and to the MA Criminology.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
50% coursework, 50% exam, as follows:
Reflective report of 1500 words (20%)
Essay of 3000 words (30%)
3-hour examination (50%)

1Reassessment methods
100% Coursework

Indicative reading

Cavadino, M., (2007) The penal system: an introduction, 4th ed, London, SAGE Publications
Davies, M., (2005) Criminal justice : an introduction to the criminal justice system in England and Wales, 3rd ed,, Harlow, Longman
Hale, C., (2009) Criminology, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press
Maguire, M., (2007) The Oxford handbook of criminology, 4th ed, Oxford University Press

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 Show understanding of the structure and history of the main institutions of the CJS
8.2 Consider the relationships between the formal and informal structures for preventing and reducing crime
8.3 Identify, retrieve and interpret information (including quantitative data) on patterns of crime and punishment and to relate these to specific debates and issues
8.4 Follow and critically assess debates and controversies surrounding the CJS and how these relate to broader social policy strategies in particular in promoting social exclusion or inclusion
8.5 Assess CJS policies in terms of their impact upon issues concerning race, gender and class
8.6 Indicate awareness of the historical, cultural and political conditions which have moulded the institutions of the CJS
8.7 Examine current debates around crime and crime prevention and relate these to the relevant theoretical perspectives

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Display well developed communication skills through their essay writing
9.2 Complement their own learning and performance through independent learning and library research
9.3 Apply quantitative and problem solving skills


  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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