Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2015/6

Module Convenor: Prof Paul Almond

Email: p.j.almond@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
Criminology is a lecture-led module examining the nature of crime as a social phenomenon, theoretical explanations of criminal behaviour, and official responses to crime. The module will incorporate tutorial classes and a piece of assessed coursework.

This module aims to encourage an understanding of crime as a social phenomenon, of theoretical and empirical analyses of offenders and offending behaviour, and of social and legal responses to crime. It is intended to encourage students to develop core analytic and critical skills in relation to their knowledge of this area.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes
By the end of this module it is intended that students will be able to:

  • Identify and explain a range of theoretical approaches to issues concerning crime as a phenomenon, offenders and offending, and social responses to crime;
  • Apply and utilise theoretical criminological concepts to practical issues within the field of crime, law and social control;
  • Examine, analyse, and criticise, competing explanations of crime and crime-related issues;
  • Formulate, develop, and communicate critical arguments about criminological issues and ideas in written and oral form;
  • Critically evaluate a range of sources and concepts, and appraise established and accepted public/political notions of crime and crime control.

Additional outcomes:
This module will encourage the development of analytical and critical approaches to literature and sources. The written work and examination will encourage students to develop their oral and written communication skills, and the ability to work independently.

Outline content:

  • What is crime? (Social constructions, the extent of crime, public perceptions)
  • Theories of crime (Sociological and theoretical accounts of offending)
  • Explanations of crime (Biological, psychological, and scientific accounts of offending)
  • Factors relating to offending behaviour (Race, gender, age, and occupation)
  • Responses to crime (Policing, penology, the theory of crime control)

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching will be by lectures (25 hours) and tutorial classes (5 hours). Lectures will provide an overview and explanation of an area to facilitate individual learning; tutorial classes will consist of discussion of questions and issues raised in advance. Active participation in tutorial classes is essential.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 25 2
Tutorials 5
Guided independent study 75 88 5
Total hours by term 100.00 93.00 7.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Students are required to submit an assessed essay of 7 pages in length, formatted in accordance with the rules as set out in the School Guide (Programme Assessment) Assessed Work Rules, counting for 50% of the module mark; this is scheduled to ensure that students can receive formative feedback on performance in order to assist them in their subsequent exam performance.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One 2-hour examination (two questions to be answered out of a choice of questions) accounting for 50% of the overall module marks.

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    See School Guide (Programme Assessment), but note that only the failed element(s) must be retaken with marks for the passed element being carried forward.

    Last updated: 27 March 2015

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