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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 29/03/2022 12:03:16

Title of Module: Criminology Foundations

Code: CRIM08002 SCQF Level: 8
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:H  Myles

Summary of Module

The aim of this module is to provide an introductory overview of criminology and to explore the main concepts, theories and approaches in the study of crime and criminal behaviour. A brief synopsis of the module content is as follows:

Origins and development of theory: context and consequences of theory, definitions and measurement of crime, Classical and Positivist Schools of thought.

Criminological theories: individual explanations – physiological, biological, psychological, psychoanalytical, and psychiatric.

Criminological theories: sociological explanations – Chicago school, functionalism, control theories, subcultural, social reaction theories.

Criminological theories: political explanations – conflict theories, critical criminologies: ‘new’ and feminist, realist theories

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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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:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Demonstrate practice of academic conventions.

L2. Examine crime and criminal behaviour from individual, sociological and political perspectives.

L3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different theories in terms of their ability to aid an understanding of crime in society.

L4. Demonstrate an ability to critically analyse a criminological theory through the use of film.

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 8.

Demonstrating a broad knowledge of the scope, defining features, and main areas of criminology.

Understanding of core theories, principles and concepts

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Interpreting and explaining criminological theories and their contributions to our understanding of criminal behaviour.

Retrieving, interpreting and manipulating primary and secondary information from a variety of sources including electronic database sources.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Undertaking critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues which are within the common understandings of the subject.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Students will develop their ICT skills through the use of online research engines and tools such as Moodle. They will practise their oral communication skills by interacting with peers during the seminars.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Students will exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in carrying out learning activities.

Students will take responsibility for own work and contribute to the collective learning activities of the group.

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.

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Learning and Teaching
Learning and teaching will take place via lectures and interactive seminars that will introduce key ideas and debates. Films will be used in lectures and seminars to stimulate discussion about the representation of theories in popular culture and to help students visualise the theories in action. In addition to class discussion, students will be encouraged to make use of the VLE site to take part in online activities such as discussion boards. Students will be provided with formative feedback on their input to the seminars and online discussion boards.
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 Activity12
Asynchronous Class Activity72
Independent Study92
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:

Lilly, R.J., Cullen, F.T. and Ball, R.A. (2002) Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences. (3rd edition) London:Sage.

Burke, H.R. (2005) An Introduction to Criminological Theory.(2nd edition) Cullompton: Willan.

Vold, G.B. and Bernard, T.J. (2002) Theoretical Criminology. (5th edition) Oxford: OUP.

Williams, K.S. (2004) Textbook on Criminology. (5th edition) London: Blackstone Press.

Rafter, N. and Brown, M. (2011) Criminology Goes to the Movies. New Work: New York University Press.

Newburn, T. (2017) Criminology. Routledge.

Daly, S. E. (2021) Theories of Crime Through Popular Culture. Switzerland: 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:
Attending seminars, working through Lecture material, taking part in online discussions, completing assignments.

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Supplemental Information

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


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
A critical, peer-assessed essay (40%) demonstrating knowledge and understanding of three theories, and engagement with the learning outcomes and marking criteria.
A report (60%) which analyses one of the theories within the module in relation to a film.
(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) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck mark 400

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Report of practical/ field/ clinical workcheck mark  check mark600
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

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

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  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.