BASS Politics and Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Journeys out of Offending

Course unit fact file
Unit code CRIM30662
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


Lifecourse studies clearly show that most people who become involved in offending desist, and while there are a number of influential theories of this process, it is likely to be both variable and multi-faceted in relation to the intersections of offending and person profile. To what extent does criminal justice practice take account of this criminological literature, and in what ways can it be seen to help - or hinder - those processes? This course surveys the contemporary landscape of criminal justice practice insofar as it supports desistance and reintegration.

Indicative content: (1) Background & history of rehabilitation; (2) Theories of desistance; (3) Desistance in practice: journeys out of offending; (4) Diversity & desistance 2; (5) Young adults, maturity & desistance; (6) Managing potentially dangerous offenders; (7) Working with domestic abuse perpetrators; (8) Women and desistance; (9) Mental health, vulnerability & desistance; (10) Desistance and sexual offending.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Explaining Crime and Deviance CRIM20412 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
CRIM30662 Pre Req - CRIM20412 is an essential pre requisite of CRIM30662


(1) To introduce students to the concept of desistance and the management of 'risky' populations; (2) To provide students with an overview of the scope and delivery of 'offender management' in prisons and the community in England and Wales; (3) To provide students with an opportunity to examine the management, control and treatment of people processed through the criminal justice system.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to: (1) demonstrate an understanding of the concept of desistance; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the management of 'risky populations'; (3) locate current sentencing policy and practice within the political climate of evidence based practice; (4) identify and understand the challenges of diversity in the treatment of people being managed by the criminal justice system; (5) critically evaluate current relevant legislative policy.

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; (3) a smaller group workshop 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 20%
Written assignment (inc essay) 80%

This unit is summatively assessed by a 3000 word essay (worth 80% of the overall mark) plus an in person multiple choice and short answer online exam (worth 20%).

Feedback methods

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

Recommended reading

E.L. Hart and E.F.J.C Van Ginneken (eds) New Perspectives on Desistance. Palgrave Macmillan: London.

Study hours

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

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Emily Turner 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: LLB (Law with Criminology), BA (Criminology) and BA Social Sciences (BASS).

Pre-requisites: LAWS20412 Explaining Crime & Deviance unless agreed with the prgramme director

This course is available to incoming study abroad students.


Please refer to your personalised Criminology timetable    

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