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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 31/03/2022 08:55:10

Title of Module: Comparative Justice

Code: CRIM10003 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:TBC 

Summary of Module

This module introduces the student to comparing criminal justice traditions around the globe. It considers the theoretical and practical difficulties in studying and understanding other criminal justice systems. It explores different jurisdictions of criminal law, criminal justice agencies and other stages of the criminal justice process including sentencing and punishment. The inquiry-based nature of the student-centred module allows the students to compare and contrast other aspects of  criminal justice and/or countries outside of these examples after agreement with the module coordinator. It will also explore concepts of criminal justice policy, political and social forces and how these influence criminal justice in different countries around the world.

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. Critically identify the criteria which distinguish different criminal justice systems (D2)

L2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different aspects of criminal justice systems around the world (A1)

L3. Evaluate aspects of at least two criminal jurisdictions outwith Scotland. (B2)

L4. Critically compare and contrast contemporary criminal justice systems (A5).

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 10.

Demonstration of a broad and integrated knowledge and understanding of criminal justice and the way in which the concepts within criminal justice are socially constructed;

Demonstration of a critical understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives and approaches relating to the social scientific engagement with comparative criminal justice.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Retrieval and interpretation of specialised knowledge and information from a variety of primary and secondary sources which examine criminal justice outwith Scotland;

Conception, development and production of a substantial piece of work evaluating some key aspects of theoretical approaches to the study of comparative criminal justice.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Reasoned argument, synthesising relevant information and exercising critical judgement in the analysis of complex or abstract ideas and perspectives;

Critical engagement with learning through the employment of self-identified media to deliver assessment output.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Effective use of electronic information retrieval technology

Communication of complex ideas in writing using electronic assessment platforms

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Exercising of autonomy and initiative in planning and delivering the assessment, developing the capacity for independent work;

Provision of constructive criticism through the critical discussion of ideas in seminars.

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 ‘interactive lectures’ that will introduce key concepts and themes. A series of seminars will also take place to allow learners to consider key ideas, themes and issues. Some seminars may involve group work, others may require students reading texts before attending or consideration of approaches to questions. Due consideration will be given to the latest demands of the National Student Survey.

The module will have an extended online presence, with learners engaging in a number of digital learning and assessment preparation activities, primarily through the module’s Moodle site. A central focus of the learning, teaching and assessment strategy will be personal development planning processes. Students will be encouraged to understand the processes of researching, learning, and writing in order to develop their transferable skills and subject specific knowledge. It is by their engagement with these and information, communication and digital literacies and capabilities that students can develop into lifelong learners.

The module supports the acquisition and development of graduate attributes and employability, lifelong learning and citizenship competencies by:

1) Surfacing assessment-employability linkages to ensure the skills and competencies learners are developing are made explicit and allowing learners to evidence the development of these skills and competencies;

2) Supporting learners in the development of their digital capabilities through, for example, the use of online research engines and electronic tools. Learners will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their digital skills and competencies and develop their understanding of ‘digital influence’;

3) Providing learners with the opportunity to work with peers in order to develop leadership and negotiation skills and support the development of diversity awareness and interpersonal sensitivity;

4) Supporting learners in the development of self-reflection and evaluation skills and competencies through the explicit focus on personal development planning.
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 Activity24
Independent Study140
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:

Dammer, H.R. & Albanese, J. (2013) Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (5th Edition). California: Wadsworth Cengage Learning

Head, J.W. (2011) Great Legal Traditions: Civil Law, Common Law, and Chinese Law in Historical and Operational Perspective. Carolina: Carolina Academic Press

Reichel, P.L. (2012) Comparative Criminal Justice Systems: A Topical Approach New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Shahidullah, S.M. (2012) Comparative Criminal Justice Systems. Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett

Terrill, R.J. (2015) World Criminal Justice Systems: A Survey (9th Edition). Massachusetts: Anderson

(**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:
Students are expected to adhere to the universities guidelines on engagement and attendance. Attendance will be taken in this module. For the purpose of these procedures, the University uses the following definition of Academic Engagement:
Students are academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on Moodle, and complete assessments and submit these on time.
It is recognised that from time to time students will have justifiable reasons for nonattendance and students who are unable to attend classes for any reason should report their absence to their programme leader and/or their personal tutor. For more information on who absences should be reported to in your school, please refer to the relevant Programme Handbook.

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Supplemental Information

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


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Component One 70% - Essay
Addressing learning outcomes 2 & 4, the first assessment in this student-centred module not only allows students to study any two abstract criminal justice traditions, it allows them to inquire into and critically compare any aspect or aspects of criminal justice in at least two criminal jurisdictions outwith Scotland (after negotiation with the lecturer).
Component Two 30% - Student group designed and facilitated one-hour seminar addressing learning outcomes 1 & 3. Students will be asked to design a session that reflects on lecture content and builds on it through a combination of discussion topics and practical activities.
(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
Essay check mark check mark700

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Clinical/ Fieldwork/ Practical skills assessment/ Debate/ Interview/ Viva voce/ Oralcheck mark check mark 301
Combined Total For All Components100% 1 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 (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). 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.