Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

BASS Philosophy and Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Foundations of Criminological Scholarship

Unit code CRIM10441
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


This module is designed to give all first year students studying Criminology a number of
essential transferable skills and subject specific skills that they can then build on
throughout their undergraduate career and beyond.

Topics covered by this course include:

- Introduction to academic study at University
- Time management strategies
- Effective reading and note-taking methods
- Using e-sources
- How to reference and use evidence in essays
- Critical thinking and writing
- Presentation skills training
- Revision and exam techniques


The unit aims to:

- Develop students' skills in producing written evidenced argument, using university-level, academic standard writing.
- Develop students' abilities to communicate ideas and to present arguments verbally
- Give students a formal space within the curriculum in which to reflect on the requirements for University level learning, researching, reading and writing

Learning outcomes

This module is designed to give all first year students studying criminology a number of essential transferable skills and subject specific skills that they can then build on throughout their undergraduate career and beyond.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching in academic year 20/21 will reflect both University policy and local and national lockdown restrictions operating at the time of delivery. We will offer face-to-face teaching where possible and provide a like for like on-line experience for those unable to be on campus. Our teaching models will be flexible and allow us to adapt to changing conditions, however, the common intention across units is to provide (1) media, activities and other learning material that should be engaged with before scheduled teaching; (2) a timetabled 2-hour online lecture/workshop slot used for a range of online Q&A and follow-up activities; (3) a timetabled weekly 1-hour seminar/activity slot that will be face-to-face if possible and ‘live’ online if not/preferred; (4) weekly opportunity for 1:1 support. In total, there will be the opportunity for up to 30 hours of contact time.

Knowledge and understanding

- Understand what University study involves and the various expectations (e.g. work and attendance, assessment criteria, etc).

- Know the roles of different staff members (e.g. academic advisors, teaching staff, teaching support office, etc)

- Understand what a critical academic argument involves

- Know how to select reliable and relevant academic sources of information

Intellectual skills

 - Critically reflect upon their own work and other people’s arguments.

- Be able to produce evidenced, well-constructed, logical criminological arguments in both written work and in group work discussions.

Practical skills

- Locate, use, cite and reference using the Harvard system academic literature, legal sources and official data sources appropriately within written work.

- Have a familiarity with the various e-learning resources (including bibliographic databases, e-journals and books and assess the quality of web sources).

- Demonstrate a University level essay writing technique, with appropriate spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

 - Utilize effective revision and exam techniques

- Use active reading and note-taking methods learned

- Demonstrate good presentation skills

- Work effectively in a team

- Demonstrate critical thinking and writing skills

- Show an awareness of the services supplied by the University’s Careers Service and ways to enhance employability during the first year

- Effectively use the library and its services.

Assessment methods

100% Coursework (3000 words).
Non-assessed essay (1500 words); 5% will be deducted from the overall mark for non-submission of this formative essay.
Compulsory non-assessed group presentation.


Feedback methods

Extensive individual and generic feedback on the non-assessed essay given via Blackboard and in class, as well as additional advice in preparation for the assessed essay. Students will also receive written and verbal feedback on their group presentation.

Recommended reading

R. Van den - Budgen, Critical Thinking for Students, (Oxford: How To Books 3rd ed., 2000)
A. Northedge, The Good Study Guide, (The Open University 2005)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Supervised time in studio/wksp 26
Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Marion Vannier Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Restricted to BA (Criminology) students ONLY for which this subject is compulsory.

Pre-requisites: None.

See Law School timetable


Return to course details