BASS Politics and Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Victims, Crime and Justice

Unit code CRIM30792
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course provides students with an opportunity to explore and critically evaluate various theoretical and practical aspects of victimology and victimisation. Teaching will promote active learning through a mix of online activities, seminar and workshop , and will focus on providing students with a clear understanding of both the broad subject of victimisation, and more specific aspects of the subject area. The course considers the patterns and extent of victimisation, the development of victimology, the impact of victimisation, the developing role of victims in the criminal justice system, and the contested nature of victimhood. The course will also cover specific topics and case studies (e.g. hate crime, #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, Honour Based Abuse) and the complex relationship between being a victim and an offender.


The unit aims to:- Introduce students to theoretical and practical aspects of victimology- Foster understanding of the nature of victimisation and the criminal justice response.- Critically evaluate the complex debates and concepts about the nature of victimisation.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course unit, students should be able to critically discuss various perspectives of victimology and be able to evaluate these perspectives in relation to real life cases.

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be delivered through a blended approach, which will involve a mixture of online activities and resources, seminars and workshop-style sessions (all subject to current COVID-19 restrictions).The weekly sessions will involve both an overview of the topic area to introduce and explore key aspects of the topic, and various learner-centred activities designed to promote active learning in seminars and online (e.g. debates, examining case studies, problem-solving exercises). The course unit will also be supported by online resources available on Blackboard, which students will be expected to consult and contribute to during the course unit, and will include group discussions, exercises to assist in the preparation of the assessments and the provision of further materials (links for further reading, extra guidance, online resources, etc.) to enhance understanding of the topics. Seminars will provide a chance to clarify understanding, and the opportunity to work on aspects of the subject in greater depth within small groups. There will be weekly office hours offering students the opportunity to receive one-to-one support. Help in constructing the podcast for the assessment will be provided in class, Blackboard and during the assessment guidance sessions.

Knowledge and understanding

- Critically discuss the nature of victimisation and the contested concept of the victim.

- Understand the relationship between victims and the criminal justice system.

- Evaluate the development of victimology.

- Apply the above to analyse representations of victims.

Intellectual skills

- Research, analyse and communicate, in an informed and critical way, theoretical explanations and empirical and policy findings concerning ’victims’.

Practical skills

- Discuss, illustrate, debate and evaluate key points/perspectives and communicate these in a clear and effective way.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

- Demonstrate the ability to work effectively in a team.

- Research, organise and deliver key information and findings.

- Prepare an analysis of a case that effectively presents the key points to a wider audience.

Employability skills

(i) analyse, critique and (re-)formulate a problem or issue; (ii) rapidly and thoroughly review/rate argument and evidence from targeted bibliographic searches; (iii) plan, structure and present arguments in a variety of written formats and to a strict word limit, (iv) express ideas verbally and organise work effectively in small teams for a variety of written and oral tasks; (v) obtain, manipulate and (re-)present different forms of data; (vi) manage time effectively; (vii) reflect on and improve performance through feedback.

Assessment methods

20% Group Podcast (to be completed during the final weeks of the course).80% Assessed Coursework (3500 words)

Feedback methods

There will be plenty of opportunities to gain feedback:


                There will always be time to ask questions during and at the end of the all teaching sessions;

                There will be sessions and online resources specifically dedicated to the assessments. You will receive additional verbal guidance and feedback on your ideas;

                There are weekly office hours where you can receive feedback and support;

                There will also be extra ‘assessment and feedback support’ appointments available towards the end of the unit;

                Additional documents with extra guidance and information on the assessments will be available on Blackboard, which will be updated during the semester, as appropriate;


Recommended reading

Walklate, S., (2007) (ed) Handbook of Victims and Victimology. Cullompton: Willan.

A comprehensive reading list will be available via the library’s resource lists (Link2Lists), with most of the readings available electronically.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 13
Independent study hours
Independent study 40

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Claire Fox Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Across their course units each semester, full-time students are expected to devote a ‘working week’ of 35-40 hours to study. Accordingly each course unit demands 12-13 hours of study per week consisting of (i) timetabled teacher-led hours, (ii) preparation, required and further reading.

Restricted to: to all students University wide are permitted to take this course, but they must be FINAL YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

This course is also available to incoming study abroad students university wide.

Pre-reqisites: None
Co-requisites: None

See Law School timetable

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