CR5008 - Youth, Crime and Deviance

What will I learn on this module?

Youth crime, acts of deviance and public and political attitudes towards young people are hugely contemporary issues and this makes youth crime a fascinating area of criminological study and one of much importance. Through this module, we will critically discuss key trends in youth crime and deviance, the historical development of the concept of youth, public perceptions of young people, both classical and contemporary theories and perspectives of youth crime and deviance, the development of the youth justice system over time, and serious youth violence, which includes an exploration of issues such as knife crime, gangs, drug and county lines. In addition to gaining robust knowledge and understanding of youth crime, and developing key academic and transferable personal skills, the module aims to inspire the next generation of academics, policymakers and practitioners dedicated to improving the lives of some of the most disadvantage young people in our society.

How will I learn on this module?

The module aims to further develop key graduate skills, including independent study, research, critical thinking and analysis, oral and written communication, organisation and time management. The module will be delivered through weekly two-hour lectures and one-hour seminars. The lectures will typically adopt a workshop style format, with an emphasis on interactivity and student engagement. The lectures will incorporate discussions of theory, research, policy and practice. The seminars will each focus around an activity, with students expected to engage in preparatory reading in advance. The seminars will aim to further develop student Students will also be expected to learn through independent study (supported by an e-reading list and tutorials) and the completion of assessments.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The academic, professional and personal development of students will be facilitated by classroom based support from module tutors, external guest speakers and peers. Support will also be offered by tutors via weekly feedback and tutorial hours and email communication. An extensive e-reading list for the module will also be provided, alongside detailed lecture slides and seminar briefs which will be posted on the module eLP site.

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 critically analyse, and engage in debates about concerns about youth crime and deviance within contemporary society
2. To analyse the different ways in which research, key theories and concepts on youth crime and deviance help to explain this key social problem and underpin responses to it.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. To collaborate with others and to work as part of a team to formulate questions about, critically discuss and evaluate particular case studies.

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 too.

How will I be assessed?

The module will have two summative assessments:

- A 1200 word group blog (MLOS KU 1, 2, IPS 1, PV 1).

- A 2,500 word essay – worth 70% of the module mark. (MLOS kU 1, 2, 3, IPSA 1, PVA 1).

Formative feedback will be given through the lectures and seminars, where the emphasis will be on student interactivity and engagement in constructive tasks.





Module abstract

Through this module, students will develop rich theoretical and applied knowledge and understanding of many aspects of the study of youth crime and deviance. The module is divided into three broad sections. In the first section, we will explore youth crime trends, public perceptions of young people, the different ways in which children and young people have been viewed over time and different theoretical explanations for and perspectives on youth crime. In the second section, we will explore and critically discuss the evolution of youth justice policy and the development and operation of the youth justice system. The final section of the module will focus on the issue of serious youth violence (which includes knife crime, gang violence and county lines). In addition to learning more about the various facets of this, we will assess the merits of enforcement and public health-based responses. The module will draw on a number of case studies and typically includes contributions from guest speakers working in the youth justice and public health arenas, and young people’s charities.

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 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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