Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 31/03/2022 09:53:17

Title of Module: History of Crime & Justice

Code: CRIM07001 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:G  O'Donnell

Summary of Module

The aim of this module is to explore the social and historical contexts of crime and criminal justice and to explain how changes in society, over various historical periods, have moulded the criminal justice system of the time.

The core theme in this module is the historical development of the nature of punishment and its objectives as well as the socio-political movements that brought about change. The module will therefore look at changes and developments regarding state vs church, capital and corporal punishment, torture, ideology and change.

Alongside this, the module also looks at the historical development of the police, the evolution of police practice and philosophy, crime control and police reform.

The history and reform of prisons is also studied as is the changing ideology of prisons and prison reform.

The module also gives students the opportunity to study criminals and crime patterns: statistics, the ‘dark figure’, morality and moral panics, hooligans and garrotters, the emergence of the ‘dangerous’ classes, women and juveniles. All within the context of why punishment has changed in the past 200 years.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check mark

Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
check mark







Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Evidence an awareness of the changing nature and extent of crime and criminality.

L2. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the social, legal and economic factors that have affected crime and criminal justice in historical society.

L3. Identify the main historical changes with regards to the purposes and practices of punishment.

L4. Explain the historical development of the police and policing.

L5. Demonstrate a practical knowledge of academic conventions

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 7.

Demonstrating a broad knowledge of the history of crime and criminal justice.

Demonstrating an awareness of the evolving / changing nature of knowledge and understanding in the history of crime and justice.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 7.

Using some of the basic theoretical skills associated with an understanding of the subject.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

Presenting and evaluating arguments, information and ideas which are routine to the subject.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

Conveying complex ideas in a well structured and coherent form.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Exercising some initiative and independence in carrying out defined activities at a professional level.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
Students will engage in a variety of teaching activities – lectures, seminars, group work – that are designed to introduce them to the basic ideas and approaches. At all times, learning and teaching will encourage students to look at the application of theories and concepts to punishment, its reform and the agencies involved, in an attempt to evaluate them. This will be done through lectures/presentation with ‘stop off’ points for questions and discussion. Use will be made of case study material and interactive material that encourages the students to look at their own views on punishment, the police and the purpose of prisons. Seminar discussion and exercises will allow for formative assessment that is designed to give students instant feedback on their understanding and grasp of the key aspects of the theories, ideas and concepts. To further this end, Moodle will be used where multiple choice tests and questions for discussion will be available.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity8
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop2
Asynchronous Class Activity36
Independent Study128
Personal Development Plan2
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Emsley, C. (2005) Crime and Society in England 1750 – 1900. (3rd edition).London: Longman

Fitzgerald, M. et al (1981) Crime and Society: Readings in History and Theory. London: Routledge

Gatrell, V. (1996) The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People 1770-1868. Oxford: OUP

Hay, D. et al (1975) Albion’s Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in 18th C. England. London: Allen Lane.

Taylor, D. (1998) Crime, Policing and Punishment in England 1750 – 1914. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All full-time students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

Programme BoardSocial Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUG Criminal Justice
ModeratorC Atkinson
External ExaminerD Parker
Accreditation Details
Version Number


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Formative assessment and regular feedback on student performance and understanding is at the heart of teaching, learning and assessment at this Level of study. Formative assessment will be undertaken via Moodle and during seminars. This will take the form of readings and other sources posted on Moodle, with questions for discussion.
Summative assessment will be a short essay of around 1,500 words (contributing towards 60% of the final grade) that will cover the aims of Learning Outcomes 1 and 2. This assessment will test students’ understanding of the key legal, social and political factors that influenced the historical nature of crime and its punishment.
Outcomes 3 and 4 will be assessed through a 1 hour long (unseen) class test (contributing towards 40% of the overall grade). Students will be required to make outline answers to 2 questions from a choice of 4. This will enable the students to show their grasp of the historical importance of reform to our contemporary criminal justice system.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck mark  check mark6048

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)  check markcheck markcheck mark4048
Combined Total For All Components100% 96 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

[Top of Page]

  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.