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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 31/03/2022 13:42:42

Title of Module: Youth & Gang Violence

Code: CRIM09019 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:R  Deuchar

Summary of Module

The purpose of this module is to provide students with a critical overview of both classic and contemporary theories about what causes violent crime, with a particular focus on the wide-ranging impact of youth violence in society. Students will develop an understanding of the nature and impact of youth violence, and its relationship to theoretical perspectives on social disorganisation, subcultures and masculinity. Specifically, the module will enable participants to explore the differing nature and causes of youth violence and gang culture in cities within the USA, Scandinavia and the UK, and to develop an insight into problem-oriented, community-centred and assets-based policing initiatives that have been implemented to tackle the issues. In addition, students will explore the wide-ranging but conflicting international insights about violence in schools, including the symbolic violence that pupils themselves may become exposed to.

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 a broad knowledge of classic and contemporary theories on the causes of violence, with a particular focus on youth and gang violence.

L2. Critically analyse a range of theoretical principles that attribute violent and gang-related offending to issues of masculinity, social disorganisation and subcultural delinquency.

L3. Critically explore the conflicting international insights about the nature and impact of violence in schools, and the way in which school culture can perpetuate violence.

L4. Critically appraise and evaluate the impact of problem-oriented policing, focused deterrence strategies, assets-based and inter-professional approaches to reducing and preventing youth violence within society.

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 9.

Demonstrate and work with a broad knowledge of the theoretical principles underpinning violence, with a particular focus on youth and gang culture.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Draw upon a range of skills, techniques and practices to intervene and prevent violence, within the context of case studies.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Undertake critical analysis of the responsibilities of and opportunities for contemporary policing and wider agencies to prevent and reduce violence.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Communicating complex information to a range of audiences and for a range of purposes.

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
Students will engage in lectures, seminars and workshops that will introduce them to the theoretical perspectives underpinning violence in society, as well as examining international perspectives about gang culture and its relationship with violent offending among young people. They will examine case histories of young, marginalised people who are exposed to a range of social pressures and who have turned towards violent offending and gang culture as a coping mechanism for dealing with these pressures. Through critically examining case studies, students will also examine the international evidence surrounding violence in schools, and its relationship with issues surrounding social support and empowerment. By engaging in discussion and analysis of focused, problem-oriented, assets-based policing strategies and interventions characterised by inter-professional partnership work, they will identify the ways in which agencies can collaborate closely to prevent youth violence from escalating.
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 Delivery22
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity14
Asynchronous Class Activity8
Independent Study156
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:

Brown, J. and Munn, P. (2008). ‘School violence’ as a social problem: charting the rise of the problem and the emerging specialist field. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 18 (3-4), 219-230.

Deuchar, R. (2009) Gangs, Marginalized Youth and Social Capital. Stoke on Trent: Trentham.

Deuchar, R. (2013) Policing Youth Violence: Atlantic Connections. London: Trentham/IOE Press.

Goldson (ed) Youth in Crisis: ‘Gangs', Territoriality and Violence. London: Routledge

Hayden, C. and Martin, D. (eds.) Crime, Anti-Social Behaviour and Schools. 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:

Students 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:

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Supplemental Information

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


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Formative assessment will require students to engage in a variety of virtual/online reading, discussion forums and tasks that will enable them to engage and become familiar with existing evidence about what stimulates violence, and the particular nature and impact of youth violence.

Summative assessment:
Written essay (60%) – 2000 words on one of a choice of questions that ask students to critically reflect on the strengths and limitations of classic and contemporary theories on why young people become involved in violent offending, the nature of gang culture in society or the impact of violence in schools.

Formative assessment will require students to engage in a variety of virtual/online reading, discussion forums and tasks that will enable them to engage and become familiar with existing evidence about what stimulates violence, and the particular nature and impact of youth violence.

Presentation of no more than 15 minutes (40%), where students are asked to outline and evaluate one policing or inter-professional intervention strategy on the prevention or reduction of violence.
(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 6017.5

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentation   check mark4017.5
Combined Total For All Components100% 35 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

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

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.