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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 04/05/2022 15:46:40

Title of Module: Crime, Media & Culture

Code: CRIM08011 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:C  Atkinson

Summary of Module

This module explores, in historical and comparative perspectives, representations for crime and criminal justice across a shifting media landscape. By foregrounding theories of media and the conceptual approach of cultural criminology this modules equips learners with exciting and cutting-edge concepts and approaches to describe, explain and understand how media coverage of crime and criminal justice serves to produce (and reproduce) particular narratives of crime and constructions of people, events and place.

In exploring constructions of crime and criminal justice across both ‘factual’ and ‘fictional’ representations across multiple media this module invites learners to explore issues of power, inequality visibility, erasure, and resistance. Typically the syllabus may include learning related to several of the following topics, amongst others:

  • Streaming serial killers
  • Images of organised crime
  • The spectacle of terror
  • The prison in popular culture
  • Representing and reporting policing
  • Vigilantism on social media
  • Video games, virtual reality, violence and the metaverse
  • Science fiction and the future of crime and justice

The module will discuss the wider social, economic, political and cultural impact of media representations of crime and justice. In doing so it will engage with important sociological themes – of power, inequality, social class, age, gender, ethnicity, health and disability – as they intersect with and are represented in, between, and across the topic areas.

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 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Identify, describe and evaluate theories and concepts that explain the relationship between crime, media and popular culture

L2. Describe and explain representations of crime and criminal justice in traditional media

L3. Demonstrate a discerning understanding of how various issues related to crime and criminal justice are represented in the contemporary plural media landscape

L4. Effectively communicate complex ideas about crime, media and culture using appropriate academic approaches and 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 8.

Demonstration of a knowledge of the scope, defining features, and power of the media in representing, surfacing, foregrounding and obscuring a broad range of issues of crime and criminal justice in contemporary society.

Demonstration of a discerning understanding of a defined range of core theories, concepts, principles and terminology pertaining to media representations of crime and justice.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in using materials associated with the subjects of crime, media and culture.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Undertake critical analysis and evaluation of ideas, concepts, information and issues that are covered throughout the module and relevant to the inquiry of crime, media and culture.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Demonstrate an ability to identify, collect and interpret data presented in various formats from research and repositories relevant to the study of crime, media and culture. Work individually and collaboratively to disseminate and present information and analysis

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Participate in seminars in ways that show awareness of own and others’ roles, responsibilities and contributions when carrying out and evaluating tasks.

Work, under guidance, with others to acquire an understanding of current knowledge, topics and debates in the subject area.

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 ‘interactive teaching events’ utilising multiplate platforms that will introduce key concepts and themes relating to crime, media and culture. 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 activities, primarily through the module’s online learning platform. 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, databases 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:

Jewkes, Y. (2015). Media and Crime. London: SAGE.

Ferrell, J., Hayward, K. and Young, J. (2015). Cultural Criminology: An Invitation. London: SAGE.

Grubb, JA. and Posick, C. (Eds). (2021). Crime TV: Streaming Criminology in Popular Culture. New York: New York University Press

Marsh, I. and Melville, G. (2014). Crime, Justice and the Media. Abingdon: Routledge.

Mason, P. (Ed.) (2008). Criminal Visions: Media Representations of Crime and Justice. Cambridge: Polity Press

Carrabine, E. (2008). Crime, Culture and the Media. Cambridge: Polity Press.

(**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 academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled on-campus and online teaching sessions, asynchronous online learning activities, course-related learning resources, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure at the following link: Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure

For the purposes of this module, academic engagement equates to the following:
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:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardSocial Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelCriminal Justice
ModeratorJ Miller
External ExaminerD Parker
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Poster 35%
Essay 65%
(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
Presentationcheck mark  check mark350

Component 2
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 markcheck mark650
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 (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
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.