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BA Criminology / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Criminology and Criminal Justice in Action
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||School of Social Sciences|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
With a wide-range of guest speakers, this course explores the ‘inside story’ of various career options within the criminal justice system and related fields, and explores the contested role of criminological theory and research in this applied work. Who are the ‘experts’ seeking to influence the professions and with what success? Does criminological knowledge form a key, if implicit part of everyday life in the professions? What are the everyday pressures experienced by front-line and managerial staff? How are the services dealing with the impact of funding austerity and Covid-19? Delivered with support from some of the key criminal justice agencies, this course will allow you to understand the lived experience of staff, gain insights into criminology ‘in action’, and develop practical skills that will enhance your professional development.
Indicative content: (1) Introduction to the course; (2) Experts, evidence & ‘research utilisation’; (3) Criminology in criminal justice; (4) Ethics in criminal justice research; (5) Criminal justice ‘question-time’ panel; (6) View from practice: prisons; (7) View from practice: police; (8) View from practice: probation; (9) View from practice: youth justice; (10) Course summary & assignment support.
None, though prior knowledge of the criminal justice system would be an advantage
The unit aims to (1) encourage intellectual awareness of the issues involved in criminal justice-related professions; (2) explore the potential of criminology to impact on those professions; and (3) enhance student employability through the development of marketable skills.
On completion of this unit successful students will be able to appreciate: (1) the potential of criminological theory and research to impact upon criminal justice agencies; (2) the breadth of careers in the Criminal Justice System and other related fields; (3) the challenges and demands of working in these fields.
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching in academic year 21/22 will be flexible and allow us to adapt to changing conditions, however, the common intention across units is to provide a blended offer of the best in online and on-campus teaching that includes: (1) a subject hour used for a range of exercises and activities; (2) high quality learning materials; (3) a tutorial; (4) 1:1 support via a subject-specific contact hour.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- (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.
|Written assignment (inc essay)||100%|
Formative feedback (both individual and collective) will be given on (1) on tasks and contribution in class, (2) the group presentation; (3) developing essay plans. Detailed summative feedback will be given on the submitted essay via Blackboard (Grademark).
Local and national websites of the key criminal justice agencies. Loader I, and Sparks I (2010) Public Criminology? London: Routledge.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
Across their course units each semester, full-time students are expected to devote a ‘working week’ of around 30-35 hours to study. Accordingly each course unit demands around 10-11 hours of study per week consisting of (i) 3 timetabled teacher-led hours, (ii) 7-8 independent study hours devoted to preparation, required and further reading, and note taking.
Indicative content (subject to availability of guest speakers)
- INTRODUCTION and CJS ‘REFRESHER’
- EXPERTS, EVIDENCE & ‘RESEARCH UTILIZATION’ FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE
- CRIMINOLOGY IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE
- ETHICS & CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESEARCH
- CRIMINAL JUSTICE ‘QUESTION TIME’ PANEL (TBC; NB, guest speakers)
- VIEW FROM CJ PRACTICE: PRISONS (guest speakers)
- VIEW FROM CJ PRACTICE: POLICE (guest speakers)
- VIEW FROM CJ PRACTICE: YOUTH JUSTICE (guest speakers)
- VIEW FROM CJ PRACTICE: PROBATION (guest speakers)
- SUMMARY & GROUP PRESENTATIONS
This course is restricted to students in the School of Law, BA Econ, SoSS, BA Social Sciences (BASS) students. Other students may be accepted at the discretion of the Course Unit Director
This course is available to incoming study abroad students university wide.