BASS Politics and Criminology

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Youth, Crime and Justice

Course unit fact file
Unit code CRIM31101
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course introduces students to the complex area of youth crime, the contemporary forces that shape youth justice policy, and the ways in which the criminal justice system has responded to it.

Indicative content: (1) Defining & managing 'juvenile offenders'; (2) Explaining youth crime; (3) From theory to practice; (4) Policing youth; (5) Criminal responsibility & sentencing; (6) The youth justice system; (7) Working with young people who offend; (8) Restorative justice approaches; (9) Incarcerating youth; (10) Responding to troubled youth.


This course unit aims to (1) introduce you to the complex area of youth crime, the contemporary forces that shape youth justice policy and how the criminal justice system has responded to it; (2) prompt you to question and critique established 'knowledge' and practice by considering alternative approaches; (3) allow you to consider the perspectives of key professionals and stakeholders working with young people in conflict with the law.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to (1) understand different theoretical approaches to young people and crime; (2) present the main elements and legal institutions that comprise the Youth Justice System; (3) critically assess recent policy developments in this area; (4) evaluate the success of interventions with young people; (5) appreciate how different societies construct the youth and crime problem and its solutions.

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.

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 25%
Written assignment (inc essay) 75%

This unit is summatively assessed by a 3000 word essay (worth 75% of the overall mark) plus a group presentation (worth 25%).

Feedback methods

Formative feedback (both individual and collective) will be given on (1) on tasks and contribution in class, (2) developing essay plans. Detailed summative feedback will be given on the submitted essay via Blackboard (Grademark) and on the presentation (prior to the Christmas break).

Recommended reading

Goldson, B and Muncie, J (eds) (2015) Youth Crime and Justice. London: Sage. 2 edition

Study hours

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

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jo Deakin 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.


This course is offered to all students university wide including incoming study abroad students.

Pre-requisites: none


Please refer to your personalised Criminology timetable    


Return to course details