These are the 2018-19 modules and these are under review for 2019-20.
Crime in Context (20 Credits)
This module develops your ability to analyse and comment upon various issues relevant to an understanding of crime and crime control. The module includes exploration of how crime is experienced through a number of social factors, such as gender, ethnicity, social class and age, together with wider structural issues. The extent to which crime is socially constructed is explored through analysis of crime statistics and the influence of the media.
Forensic Practice and Law (20 Credits)
The module develops the concepts you study in ‘Introduction to Forensic Investigation’ further and explores the multi-agency approach to criminal investigations in more detail. Particular focus is placed on the relationship between law and forensic investigation and the significance of the chain of evidence from crime scene to court and you will gain a thorough understanding of the multi-agency approach used in forensic investigations and the roles of key personnel involved in forensic investigations.
Introduction to Criminological Thinking (20 Credits)
This module introduces you to the ways in which notions of crime and criminality are constructed, explained and understood. You will be introduced to the historical, social and cultural contexts of the development of criminology and the key shifts in criminological thinking about crime and the justice system. The approach is to break down theories into manageable units but also to recognise that theories overlap, develop over time and contradict one another. The focus is on a critical approach to the application of theories which have an impact on criminal justice policy and practice.
Introduction to Forensic Investigation (20 Credits)
This module examines the key forensic concepts that underpin the entire degree programme, such as the principle of evidence (what constitutes forensic evidence?), Locard’s exchange principle (‘every contact leaves a trace’) and individualisation (linking evidence to particular sources). You will also be introduced to key investigative concepts, such as logic, reasoning and building arguments, so that you develop an ability to assess the value of forensic evidence within the context of a specific investigation.
Crime and Social Control (20 Credits)
This module builds on the theoretical knowledge of the year one module, Introduction to Criminological Thinking. The primary aim of this module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of formal and informal means of control in the historical and social context of crime and responses to crime. An important component of this is studying how the main institutions of the criminal justice system – the police service, the prison service, and the probation service – emerged and have developed over time.
Crime Offenders and Society (20 Credits)
This module builds on the issues introduced in Crime in Context in year one, and aims to develop your critical understanding of the nature of crime and the characteristics of specific types of crime. The complexity of crime as a problem is a central theme including addressing relatively under-researched issues such as the criminalisation of certain groups, crimes committed by the state, organised crime and white collar crime.
Crime Scene Investigation (20 Credits)
This is the fundamental module that explores crime scene investigation theories, procedures and methods and it includes topics such as contamination, search methods, recovery and packaging of evidence. There is a significant practical component and this provides you with valuable experience in the examination of volume and major crime scenes. You will also learn how to follow standardised forensic procedures and complete forensic documentation and the module also aims to dispel the myths around crime scene investigation.
Recovery and Identification of Human Remains (20 Credits)
This module focuses on the methods and procedures involved in locating, recovering and identifying human remains. It aims to provide an understanding of the key profession, such as pathology (post mortem examinations), odontology (use of teeth in identifying humans), anthropology (use of bones in forensic investigations), archaeology (locating and recovering human remains) and ecology (use of environmental materials in forensic investigations and focuses on mass disasters (e.g. tsunamis, bombings etc.) and mass graves, as specialist cases.
Applications of Criminology (20 Credits)
This module draws together knowledge and conceptual understanding from years one and two. It consists of a series of research-informed lectures designed to demonstrate the application of theory and research to our understanding of contemporary crime issues. It aims to enable you to apply a range of criminological theories, methods and perspectives to in-depth examples of crime and criminal activity. It also explores the strengths and limitations of criminological research.
Expert and Professional Witnesses (20 Credits)
This module familiarises you with the English legal system in order to develop an understanding of the law, structure and processes that an investigator/scientist is required to adhere to when presenting their evidence in court. The roles, responsibilities and scope of both professional witnesses and expert witnesses are explored in detail, and the module culminates in moot court exercises that will build your confidence and practical experience.
Fire and Explosion Investigation (20 Credits)
This module builds on the Crime Scene Investigation module studied in year 2 by applying the knowledge gained to the investigation of fire and explosion scenes, and where possible, the module is taught by current fire investigators and includes a trip to a fire facility where demonstrations of fire dynamics are provided. The practical component of the module allows you to gain valuable experience in fire and explosion scenes, and the assessments further develop your practical scene skills.
Youth Crime and Justice (20 Credits)
This module explores the changing concepts and discourses used to address the notion of youth, youth crime and justice. You will investigate contrasting media representations of youth crime and deviance, and explore research into the area of youth offending. You will also explore the link between youth justice policy and legislation and the tension between different ideas about how youth crime should be approached and dealt with.
Likely optional modules
These are the 2018-19 modules and these are under review for 2019-20.
A number of modules which are core for Single Honours students are optional for Combined Honours students. In year one, these are Crime, Punishments and Societies; Law and Criminal Justice; and Introduction to the Criminal Justice System. In year two, this is Research Methods. In year three, this is the Individual Study. Please see descriptions of these modules above.
Crimes, Punishments and Societies (20 Credits)
This module is an opportunity for you to explore some of the contextual issues that arise when exploring academic areas of criminology, criminal justice and policing. In particular, this module is concerned with the different societal, historical, cultural, geographical and political contexts in which crime and justice occur.
Introduction to the Criminal Justice System (20 Credits)
This module is designed to provide you with a grounding in the wider role and function of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in the UK. This will act as a foundation for your further undergraduate study, providing context and background knowledge to your subject areas. The main aim of the module is to introduce you to the various stages of the justice process and the agencies that manage them. You will also develop an understanding of the interactions of the various professionals at all stages of the criminal process, from initial reporting to the reintegration of offenders. Through the use of case studies and alternative theories you will develop a critical understanding that the way things are is not the way they necessarily need to be and that change (both future and historic changes) can be beneficial as well as damaging to the functioning of the CJS.
Introduction to Forensic Biology (20 Credits)
This module explores the structure and function of forensic science in the United Kingdom, by exploring the UK forensic providers, the national forensic regulations, key standards, relevant laws / policies and the stringent quality procedures that forensic science personnel and laboratories must adhere to. The module also aims to educate you on the role of the forensic biologist, to explore the key concepts of forensic biology and how they apply to case work and to introduce the stringent procedures that forensic scientists must follow to ensure evidence continuity and integrity and train students to complete forensic documentation.
Law and Criminal Justice (20 credits)
This module aims to introduce you to the criminal law and the criminal justice system in the UK. It will explore some of the basic legal principles necessary for understanding how the criminal law and criminal justice system operate. This module also aims to enable you to think critically about laws and legal processes. This will be achieved by exploring how social and political factors can influence the interpretation and enforcement of law.
Psychology and Crime (20 Credits)
The module aims to introduce you to the discipline of psychology and its applications to the study of crime and offending behaviour. It explores the contribution of psychology to the development of explanations of various types of crime and antisocial behaviour. The module also encourages you to critically evaluate the literature you read, by examining the strengths and limitations of relevant research and literature.
Crime and Popular Culture (20 Credits)
The module aims to give you the opportunity to examine theories and issues in criminology through the lens of popular culture. The module will explore the key role of popular culture in reflecting and shaping public views on crime and criminal justice. Through close engagement with a wide range of crime-related popular culture products (films, TV shows, music, novels, comic books, video games etc.), you will acquire an in-depth understanding of the cultural processes through which crime is constructed as a social problem.
Criminal Investigation (20 Credits)
The main aims of this module are to develop your knowledge and understanding of police investigations in the UK and the law underpinning these investigations. Key concepts will include ‘discretion’, ‘consent’ and legitimacy’. The module requires you to become acquainted with the structure and function of UK police forces and the concepts and procedures underpinning police investigations of volume, series and major crimes. In addition, you will acquire a knowledge and understanding of the current police law that is utilised to determine whether a crime has been committed and develop your investigative skills.
Criminology for a Just Society (20 Credits)
This module aims to develop a broad and nuanced understanding of sustainability and criminology’s potential to further it. It will also enable you to synthesise and consolidate prior learning in criminology and related disciplines and to apply that to address contemporary problems of environmental, social, cultural and economic justice. The module aims to encourage creativity, reflection, initiative and personal responsibility, and provide an opportunity for practical uses of subject-specific and transferrable knowledge and skills. In so doing it aims to enhance your employability.
Hate Crime (20 Credits)
This module introduces you to the concept of hate crime in its various forms, including race, religious, homophobic and disability hate crimes. The module examines the issues involved in hate crime and aims to develop your ability to identify relevant academic literature and to engage with the core issues in the area. There is particular reference to hate crime victimisation, legislation, and the policing of hate crimes.
Media and Crime (20 Credits)
This module explores the relationship between media, crime and criminal justice. You will explore criminological theories related to media and develop an understanding of the significance of pop cultural representations of crime and criminal justice within the public, political and cultural spheres.
Mental Health and Violence (20 Credits)
This module gives you the opportunity to explore the relationship between mental health and violent crime, and how this is responded to by the criminal justice system and other institutions. You will learn about criminological and psychiatric research into the relationship between mental disorder and violent offending and the ideologies and practices that are central to the management and treatment of mentally disordered and violent offenders.
Psychology and the Criminal Justice System (20 Credits)
This is an optional module only available to students who passed the module Psychology and Crime in Year One, or who are Applied Criminology/Psychology Combined Honours students. This module aims to give you an introductory understanding of forensic psychology and its impact on the criminal justice system. It will explore how psychology has changed criminal justice procedures, impacted on police practice and given a better understanding of people involved in the criminal justice system such as: perpetrators, victims and witnesses. Special attention will be paid to vulnerable people with lectures on addiction and mental health. Additionally, this module will explore the psychology of the court process and the prison system utilising psychology to understand trial proceedings, the impact of psychological processes on sentencing and the application of psychology to the treatment of offenders.
Research Methods (20 Credits)
This module addresses the purpose of research and highlights the ethical considerations important to high quality research. This is followed by a critical assessment of some of the key methods used, both quantitative and qualitative, for research design, as well as for generating and analysing criminological data.
Crime in a Global Context (20 Credits)
The aim of this module is to provide the opportunity to explore global criminological issues. You will be encouraged to consider the implications of globalisation on changing crime patterns. Topics covered in this module include terrorism, war crimes, state crime, organised crime and human trafficking.
Crime Scene Management (20 Credits)
This module extends the knowledge and understanding you obtained in the Crime Scene Investigation module by teaching the students about crime scene management and the role of the crime scene manager. This module continues the theme that crime scenes and people are sources of forensic evidence and provides more in-depth teaching on the roles and procedures of modern crime scene investigators and, in particular, develops your practical skills relating to crime scene investigations and the management of personnel and evidential resources in support of enquiries. This will include your ability to recognise, record, recover and contextualise fingerprints, shoe marks, tool marks, DNA evidence and other forms of material relevant to volume and major crime scenes.
Forensic Criminalistics (20 Credits)
This module investigates the collection, analysis and interpretation of a range of physical evidence types, with particular focus on marks and impressions, ballistics and documents. Critical scrutiny of these techniques will be a key aspect of the module, using case studies to illustrate key points and the concepts will be applied practically through compulsory practical sessions based on mock exhibits. This module includes extensive practical work, developing competency in laboratory work and completion of forensic documentation.
Forensic Individual Study (40 Credits)
This is an independent research project module, where you carry out research on a topic that you chose according to your own interests and career aspirations. You can select whether to do a literature based project or a practical project depending on the subject, and you will work alongside an academic supervisor who will guide you through the process. Forensic employers consider an independent research project to be a desirable experience for potential employees, as successful completion of such a project indicates independent thinking, problem solving, research abilities, resilience, and communication skills. Hence, this is a substantial piece of work and you work on this throughout the entire academic year.
Individual Study (40 Credits)
This module is core if you are a single honours student and optional if you are a Combined Honours student taking 80 credits in Applied Criminology. This module provides you with the opportunity to engage in an in-depth study on a topic of your choice, which is supervised by a member of the criminology team. It also provides an opportunity to apply your developing research skills and develop a critical appreciation of scholarship and methods of enquiry. There may also be an opportunity for you to undertake an empirical study (subject to achieving 60% plus in the second year Research Methods module).
International Justice and Human Rights (20 Credits)
This module aims to provide a critical understanding of both well-established and emerging principles of International human rights, focusing on their reality, impacts and effects on state practice. The module considers the interplay of law and power in international law and in-depth issues of international human rights such as the evolution of practices and regulating global business and environmental protection.
Police Cultures and Societies (20 Credits)
This module explores the challenging notion of police culture and its effectiveness as a means of examining what police officers believe and how they act. It will look at how police culture has evolved through a number of stages and seek to explain the types of behaviour seen within the police, the politicised dimensions of research into this area of study, and the effectiveness of strategies used to transform occupational cultures within law enforcement agencies.
Modelling Crime Events (20 Credits)
The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the potential of intelligence systems within the forensic investigation process, and the application of modelling techniques for crime scene reconstruction. The intelligence systems are not just employed by investigators in a ‘reactive’ manner (for example, in the use of DNA databases) but increasingly more proactively. Modelling is used to derive testable hypotheses for events before, during and after a crime and is often based upon principles from the physical sciences.
Prisons and Penality (20 Credits)
This module examines the nature of prisons and their role in society. It focuses on the aims and objectives of the prison service set within a historical context. It looks at current debates about security, justice and control as well as the privatisation of prisons and prison performance. Central to these issues are questions about what prison is for and whether prison works.
Psychology of Serious and Prolific Offending (20 Credits)
The module is open to students who successfully passed Psychology and Crime, or the first year of their Applied Criminology and Psychology programme. It aims to explore specialist areas of research and application within criminal and forensic psychology, particularly in relation to serious and prolific offending behaviours and ways to address them. The module will critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of the featured research and literature and in doing so facilitate your development of both subject specific and transferable skills appropriate to the level of study.
Victims and Victimology (20 Credits)
This module examines sources of information about victims such as national and local victim surveys, and also important issues within victimology, such as repeat victimisation and vulnerability. It covers theoretical perspectives including positivist, radical, critical and feminist approaches. It also looks at the place of the victim within the criminal justice system and how this has changed over time. It considers victim support initiatives and alternative forms of justice for victims, such as Restorative Justice.