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BASS Politics and Sociology / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||School of Social Sciences|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This course introduces some of the central issues and concepts involved in a critical consideration of the nature and functioning of penal systems. We will explore the main theoretical perspectives and apply them to some contemporary problems in the field.
Indicative content: (1) What is punishment/some philosophical explanations?; (2) The social function of punishment (i): social structure; (3) The social function of punishment (ii): discipline; (4) The social function of punishment (iii): culture; (5) The social function of punishment (iv): risk & probation; (6) How do we punish?: the fine; (7) How do we punish? Restorative Justice; (8) How do we punish: The prison; (9) How do we punish: life imprisonment and the death penalty; (10) Course overview and assessment preparation
None, though prior knowledge of theoretical approaches to explaining crime and deviance would be an advantage.
The unit aims to provide a thorough understanding of the main theoretical perspectives on punishment and their application to current issues in penal policy.
On completion of this unit successful students will be able to: (1) provide a critical account of the main theoretical perspectives on punishment; (2) explain how these can be used to understand contemporary issues in penal policy; (3) accurately summarise and evaluate complex material; (4) apply theoretical ideas to address practical/policy problems.
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching methods 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) whole-class sessions used for a range of exercises and activities; (2) high quality online learning materials; (3) a tutorial; (4) 1:1 support via a subject-specific contact hour.
- (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 (1) on tasks and contribution in class, (2) developing essay plans. Detailed summative feedback will be given on the submitted essay via Blackboard (Grademark).
Garland, D. (1990) Punishment & Modern Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Emily Turner||Unit coordinator|
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.
Restricted to: LLB (Law with Criminology) if not choosing LAWS20452 or LAWS20412 and BA (Criminology) for which this subject is compulsory. LLB (Law), BA/LLB (Law with Politics), BA (Econ) and BA Social Sciences (BASS).
Other students from the Faculty of Humanities as approved by the Course Unit Director.
This course is available to incoming study abroad students university wide.
Please see Law School timetable