BASS Sociology and Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Understanding Violence and Social Disorder

Course unit fact file
Unit code SOCS22110
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 5
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


The aims of this unit are to: 

- Equip students to understand typologies of violence and disorder from multiple perspectives 

- Encourage students to link the contested notions of violence and social harm to a range of settings and practices 

- Enable students to discuss their interpretations of violence in an interactive manner 

Teaching and learning methods

This course unit is designed to run during Semesters 1 and 2. Students will attend a workshop on alternate weeks that will last for 3 hours. 

Teaching delivery will mostly take the form of active on-campus learning in the form of interactive, student-led workshops. This on-campus learning will be complemented by a variety of e-learning tasks that will be embedded into teaching practice – thereby providing a blended learning environment. For example, prior to an on-campus workshop, students will be given a task to complete online as part of their preparation to bring to the workshop and discuss further. This may take the form of watching a video clip or reading a news article and then posting their reactions or answers to a question on a discussion board. The points on the discussion board can then be drawn out in the workshop, thereby ‘warming up’ students to the topic and making them better prepared for discussion. Therefore, students will experience a range of learning styles to inform their overall experience. 

The 30 contact hours are broken down as follows: 10x workshops spread over 2 semesters, each lasting 3 hours. 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Analyse the differences between typologies of violence 

Intellectual skills

  • Assess the ways in which violence and harm are contested concepts 
  • Explain the implications of different responses to violence at the local, national, and global levels 

Practical skills

  • Create a discussion on an aspect of violence and disorder 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Communicate verbally about violence and the debates surrounding it 

Assessment methods

Essay (2000 words, end of semester 1, 50%)

Podcast (8 minutes, end of semester 2, 50%)

Feedback methods

Feedback to students is provided in the following ways: 

- Informal and verbal feedback during workshops on student contributions – this can also be discussed with staff beyond workshops 

- Students can discuss and/or submit a detailed one-page plan for their summative work (essay and podcast), staff will provide written feedback within 10 working days 

- e-Learning can provide informal feedback on the design and structure of podcasts and associated technical issues 

- Written feedback for summative assessments to be provided within standard SoSS timeframes 

Recommended reading

Lauwaert, L., Smith, L.K., Sternad, C. (eds.) (2019) Violence and Meaning. Palgrave Macmillan. 

Stanko, E.A. (ed.) (2005) The Meanings of Violence. London: Routledge. 

Tyner, J.A. (2016) Violence in Capitalism: Devaluing Life in an Age of Responsibility. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 

Zahn, M.A., Brownstein, H.H., and Jackson, S.L. (2015) Violence: From Theory to Research. Abingdon: Routledge. 

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Additional notes

Contact hours 30 (10x workshops spread over 2 semesters, each lasting 3 hours)

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