CR4013 - Crime Myths and Realities

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What will I learn on this module?

Whilst learning about a number of significant criminal case studies from the UK, you will learn to develop critical thinking skills relating to crime and the way crime is researched, reported and represented. In the course of the module, you will also learn some of the vital skills necessary to be a criminologist, relating to critical thinking, academic referencing, researching crime and society, and interpreting crime statistics.

How will I learn on this module?

This module will be delivered using a combination of lectures and seminar activities. 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 seminar groups.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

This is a team taught module, with two or three staff members available to support you via lectures, seminars, scheduled tutorial hours and via email and the electronic learning portal. There is also substantial support from your fellow students during seminars and outside of class. Your academic development will be facilitated through engagement with the newly emerging academic literature and by debating with your peers and academic tutors about your understanding of the literature.

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 and Understanding:
• Understand the complex nature of crime as a social phenomena in context, and key questions relating to researching crime.
• Understand fundamental academic principles relating to critical thinking, referencing, research and crime data.
• Understand and critically engage with several real-life case studies involving criminal/harmful events.

Intellectual / Professional Skills and abilities:
• Developing core academic skills including referencing, interpreting crime data, critical thinking, and essay writing.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Developing self-confidence in thinking and writing criminologically, as well as developing the ability to discuss and debate ideas with others.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment is given continually during seminars and in preparations for the essay to encourage participation and critical thinking.
Oral formative feedback regarding work for in-class assignments.

Summative Assessments:
In-Class Assignments (40%)
4 x in class assignments (worth 10% each) focussing on critical skills
- Referencing
- Research Methods
- Interpreting Crime Data
- Critical Thinking

Summative Essay (60%)
One 1500 word essay which entails a critical discussion of crime myths and realities relating to a case study covered on the module.

These assessments address MLO 1,2,3,4 and 5. Written summative feedback will be provided on the essays.





Module abstract

This module equips you with the skills needed to become a criminologist by asking you to critically consider prevailing assumptions about crime and society. By looking at a series of recent case studies from the UK, the module examines a range of social problems, harms and criminal acts and offers a critical perspective on dominant understandings of crime. On this module, you will be asked to consider a number of provocative questions relating to both myths and realities about crime. Questions you may be asked to consider include: Are some children really born evil? Do the police take crimes less seriously when targeted at sex workers? Does the mainstream media deliberately help cover up certain crimes? Is the criminal justice system racist? How do some celebrities get away with perpetrating serious sexual offences for so long?

Course info

UCAS Code M900

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

Module Information

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