CR4001 - Explaining Crime: An Introduction to Criminology

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will be introduced to the study of crime, the core themes and issues associated with criminological knowledge and methods of enquiry, as well as the key issues and debates within the discipline of criminology.
Weekly lectures and seminars will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to introduce you to key issues in the definition and conceptualisation of crime, deviance and control; to situate the study of crime and criminology within the interior and exterior contexts of theory, research, policy and practice; to provide an understanding of some key perspectives, approaches and methods of studying crime and criminology; and to allow you to undertake study on all aspects of the module culminating in 1. writing an essay and 2. producing a group poster presentation, which together will demonstrate your detailed knowledge and understanding of one particular type of crime, and how you might use one particular theory to explain why people commit this crime type.

How will I learn on this module?

This module will be delivered using a combination of lectures, seminar activities and academic tutorials. You are also required to do a good deal of directed and independent study: Directed learning generally will take the form of preparation for seminars (including both reading and written work) either individually or in small groups; Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation of sources, the consolidation of lecture and seminar materials, and revision/preparation for the various types of assessment included in the unit. Students must come prepared to actively engage in informed (through reading) discussions in your seminar groups.
At level four, the primary emphasis will be on the development of foundational knowledge, that is, understanding and skills in ‘description’. Within the module you will develop both generic and subject specific skills including: subject specific knowledge; group work skills; presentation skills; essay writing skills; bibliographic and referencing skills; reflective skills; research skills; time management; and IT Skills.
You are at the beginning of your studies and this is a level four (year 1) module. Consistent with this, the primary emphasis in your assignments should be on demonstrating descriptive knowledge, while showing that you are working towards a more evaluative approach.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Developing your ability to research, understand and describe the fundamental features of the study of crime and criminology is central to this module. In this regard, it will enable you to challenge and question your perceptions and attitudes to crime; not accept traditional / generalist explanations of crime and criminality; consider ‘society’ – people and places – victim / offender / communities / local / national / international; consider what changing crime patterns and trends say about society; begin to develop a critical/analytical way of thinking – build a multi-dimensional ‘picture’ of crime – which is historically and culturally relative – and inter-related.

In addition to your intellectual development, you will receive support from your peers in the classroom and from the module tutors throughout the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. To identify and explain key issues in the definition and conceptualisation of crime, deviance and control.
2. To situate the study of crime and criminology within the interior and exterior contexts of theory, research, policy and practice.
3. To show an understanding of some key perspectives, approaches and methods of studying crime and criminology.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. To work alone and as part of a team, to research, analyse, and present discussions about particular criminological issues.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1. To have confidence in your own thinking and assessment of events and issues, but also to be open to challenge and debate.

How will I be assessed?

The seminar programme will support the formative assessment for this module. Student groups will research and discuss specific criminological issues about their chosen crime type.

Two assignments will form the summative assessment for this module.
1. The essay will assess learning outcomes 1, 2, 4 and 5 (50%).
2. The group poster presentation will assess learning outcomes 2, 3, 4 and 5 (50%).

Feedback will be provided within the required timescales. All students will be given an indication of how their work could be improved and additional generic feedback will be provided via blackboard.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code LM39

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

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