Critical and Global Criminology - SOCI8680

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Phil Carney checkmark-circle


Critical criminology constitutes a broad and multi-disciplinary tradition that studies the complex relationships between crime, control and power. The module will aim to acquaint students with the richness of writings in this field, the variety of political positions and the development of different traditions in the UK, US and the European continent. Critical criminology has also taken a recent interest in the processes associated with globalisation, thus giving rise to an emerging sub-discipline, global criminology. The module will also examine how this allows new understandings of crime, power and control, which link the global to the local. Various theoretical perspectives will be encountered, including those of new deviancy theory, Marxism, Foucauldian thought, left realism, abolitionism, social harm perspectives and, more recently, cultural criminology.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 21
Private study hours: 179
Total study hours: 200


Criminology MA
Criminology with a term abroad MA
Sociology MA
Two year masters versions of the appropriate programmes listed above

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework – essay (5000 words) - 100%

Reassessment methods

100% coursework.

Indicative reading

Aas, Katja Franko (2010) "Global Criminology" in E. McLaughlin and T. Newburn (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Criminological Theory. London: Sage
Aas, Katja Franko (2007 ) Globalisation and Crime. London: Sage
Cohen, S. (1985) Visions of Social Control: Crime, Punishment and Classification. Cambridge, Polity.
DeKeseredy, W. (2011) Contemporary Critical Criminology. Abingdon: Routledge
Ferrell, J., K. Hayward and J. Young (2008) Cultural Criminology: An Invitation. London: Sage.
Findlay, M. (1999) The Globalisation of Crime. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Foucault, M. (1981) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (trans. Alan Sheridan). London: Penguin.
Hall, S., et al. (1978) Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State and Law and Order. London: Macmillan.
Morrison, W. (2006) Criminology, Civilisation and the New World Order. London: Glasshouse.
Ruggiero, V., South, N., and Taylor, I. (eds.) (1998) The New European Criminology: Crime and Social Order in Europe. London: Routledge.
Scraton, P. et al. (1987) Law, Order and the Authoritarian State: Readings in Critical Criminology. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
van Swaaningen, R (1997 ) Critical Criminology: Visions from Europe. London: Sage.
Taylor, I., Walton, P., and Young, J. (1973) The New Criminology: For a Social Theory of Deviance. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Taylor, I, Walton, P, and Young, J. (1975) Critical Criminology. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Young, J. (1999) The Exclusive Society. London: Sage.
Young, J. (2007) The Vertigo of Late Modernity. London: Sage

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 Analyse to a level appropriate with postgraduate study the key concepts associated with critical criminology.
8.2 To trace the roots of critical criminology in social constructionism and subcultural theory and evaluate their relevance in the present period.
8.3 Understand the different critical traditions, British, continental and American, in criminology.
8.4 Analyse the historical development of critical criminology both within the traditions and as a response to the changing conditions of late
8.5 Understand the recent interest of critical criminology in globalisation and practices of crime and control that link the global with the local.
8.6 To critically appraise at a level appropriate to postgraduates the epistemological limits of positivism and the need for critical methods.
8.7 To evaluate the implications for criminology of the revelations of state crime and the emerging criminology of war and genocide.

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

9.1 Demonstrate skills commensurate with postgraduate study in presentation and debate, both verbal and written, and in utilization of
research and empirical data
9.2 Be able to synthesis complex theoretical items of knowledge from different schools and disciplines of enquiry.
9.3 Be able to gather library and web-based resources appropriate for postgraduate study; make critical judgments about their merits and use
the available evidence to construct a developed argument to be presented orally or in writing.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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