BA Criminology

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Victims, Crime and Justice

Course unit fact file
Unit code CRIM30791
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
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 Matters, 'Honour'-Based Abuse) and the complex relationship between being a victim and an offender.

Indicative content: (1) Who are the victims of crime?; (2) Changing perspectives in victimology and research victimisation; (3); Victims and the Criminal Justice System; (4) Victims, Protests, and Social Movements; (5) Vulnerability and resilience: responses to victimisation, and understanding fear; (6) Victimology of difference; (7) Vicarious Victimisation: families, friends and the community; (8) Victims and restorative justice; (9) Victims and popular culture; (10) Victimisation by the powerful, ‘victimless’ crimes and forgotten victims.


The course aims to (1) introduce students to theoretical and practical aspects of victimology; (2) foster an understanding of the nature of victimisation and the criminal justice response; (3) critically evaluate the complex debates and concepts about the nature of victimisation.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to: (1) critically discuss the nature of victimisation and the contested concept of the victim; (2) understand the relationship between victims and the criminal justice system; (3) evaluate the development of victimology; (4) apply the above to analyse representations of victims; (5) research, analyse and communicate, in an informed and critical way, theoretical explanations and empirical and policy findings concerning ' victims'.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning across course units consists of: (1) preparatory work to be completed prior to teaching sessions, including readings, pre-recorded subject material and online activities; (2) a weekly whole-class lecture or workshop; (3) a tutorial; and (4) one-to-one support via subject specific office hours.

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

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written assignment (inc essay) 80%

This unit is summatively assessed by a 3000 word essay worth 80% of the overall mark, and by a group podcast worth 20%.

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 all teaching session;
  • 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 resources 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 (2017). Handbook of Victims & Victimology. London: Routledge.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 70

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

Pre-reqisites: None

Co-requisites: None


Please refer to your personalised Criminology timetable    

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