Each Module is 20 credits
Crime: Representations and Realities
The aims of the module are to introduce students to key concepts relating to crime, crime control and the social construction of criminal problems in order to establish a solid foundation for their future studies. As well as seeking to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the relationship between crime and society, it equips them with key skills to critically evaluate different sources of knowledge about crime and crime control, thus enabling them to assess competing claims about crime as a social problem.
Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
This module prepares students for the rest of their studies as it will allow them to understand what the Criminal Justice System (CJS) is, what it looks like in England and Wales, and allow them to understand basic theories and concepts underlying it. It highlights the role of the police within, as well as its multi-agency set up. Students will learn about the main organisations of the CJS, including the legislative framework they work within, and will introduce them to core issues relating to CJS (such as equality and diversity. As the work of the CJS in current times is underpinned by evidence-based practice, students will also be introduced to research methods and their application.
The aim of this module is to provide students with a basic knowledge and understanding of policing in the UK. The module will examine the British Police, looking within the service at the functions, roles, and duties of staff and officers. The module will explore the history of policing including the concept and principles of ‘policing by consent’. There will be a consideration of police powers and relevant national policing strategies along with an examination of legitimacy and police accountability. The module aims to examine the professional role of the police and in doing so will consider the police code of conduct, professional standards and police misconduct.
Law, Policing and the Police
The aim of the module is to provide students with the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of key principles and concepts relating to the police role, within legal, political and social contexts. It also aims to present students with an understanding of the various organisational forms that policing takes within the extended police family, different functions and strategies of policing and the legitimacy of police use of powers in different policing contexts. The module further aims to provoke thought, encourage reflective learning practices, challenge preconceptions surrounding police practice and in so doing, introduce students to the challenges of police decision making.
Introducing Crime Scene Investigation
Crime scenes are sources of evidence and intelligence. The aims of the module are to provide students with the key concepts underpinning the role of Crime Scene Investigation, selected history, and the theories which support this important subject. The module begins by examining the role of the CSI (and some other scene attending personnel, such as police officers) and moves on to examine the basic theories associated with crime scene investigation
Science and Crime
The module aims to introduce students to key scientific principles, evidence based research and practice that relate to both the prevention and detection of crime. The historical development of the use of science will be explored, developing into the modern evidence based policing paradigm. Various aspects of police practice will be explored in order to discover what evidence exists, what is currently being utilised, and what new and emerging research is adding to the field of knowledge. The module will also introduce students to the basics of crime scene forensics and digital policing (including digital forensics) and the scientific techniques utilised in each, as well criminological theories and how they can be applied to policing practices, procedures and research.
Each Module is 20 credits
Human Decision Making: Theory and Practice
The aim of this module is to develop students’ understanding of issues surrounding multi-disciplinary approaches to the CJS which they were introduced to during Level 4 of their studies. This module aims to offer students opportunity to explore the link between theory and practice by offering a multi-disciplinary approach to human factors in decision making. The module aims to address two key areas: 1) insight into human factor psychology and decision making in theory; and, 2) provide an understanding of decision making in practice.
Evidence Relating to Criminal Investigation
The main aims of the module are to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of evidential issues and how these relate to police investigations in the UK. The module requires students to become acquainted with legislation and current case law. In addition, students will acquire a knowledge and understanding of the legal process both pre and post-trial.
The module aims to explore discrete aspects of criminal investigation practice in the UK, having first outlined the development of practice through the lens of the art, craft and science debate. The traditional dichotomy of proactive and reactive investigations will be critically analysed, and the extent to which covert and other strategies can be utilised within each type of investigation will be critically analysed. Aspects of detective training and development will also be discussed as will high profile inquiries, miscarriages of justice, and failed investigations that acted as drivers for change.
This module aims to consider the umbrella term of investigative interviewing as it encompasses the interviews of witnesses, victims and suspects. Policing has undergone significant change in the investigative process, following criticism of the manner in which evidence was obtained, in each of the spheres identified. Pressure was brought to bear on the police to improve the situation primarily because of its links to investigative bad practice and injustices. From the early 1990’s police investigative interviewing has undergone significant change with the use of psychological principles and research to complement interview practice. In the sphere of children’s evidence, for instance, the ABE guidelines were created and the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 enacted to improve the potential for such evidence to be placed before a court. The Cognitive interview and latterly the enhanced cognitive interview were also utilised for witness interviews. Finally, in relation to suspect interviewing. the PEACE model of interviewing was developed, and this will be explored in detail.
20 credit modules
Major Crime Investigation
This module critically examines the police investigation of major crimes, particularly in the form of homicide. It brings together student knowledge of policing and general crime investigation and develops their ability to critically analyse all aspects of major crime investigative practice. Drawing upon published research and high profile miscarriages of justice, as well as current and newsworthy major crime investigations, the students will be required to understand the processes, procedures and rationale that sit behind such important police investigations. There will also be critical discussion of how this process can be sustained in the austerity paradigm, and the ongoing considerations regarding privatisation of certain police functions.
Investigating Sexual and Domestic Abuse
This module critically examines the police investigation of rape (as well as other serious sexual assaults), and domestic abuse. It enhances student knowledge in relation to previous studies of criminal investigation, by developing their ability to critically analyse all aspects of the police response to rape. Similarly the same critical analysis will take place in relation to the police response to domestic abuse. It is no surprise that the police response to both of these types of crimes has attracted much criticism in the past. This module will analyse to what extent the police have improved, and discuss how they conduct their modern investigations in the wider criminal justice setting, and in partnership with other agencies. All content will be discussed against the backdrop of research relating to sexual and violent offending, case studies and case law. Some criminal justice practitioners will be invited to speak in order to add a practical element to the module.
Gangs and Serious Youth Offending
This module will consider the youth critically and will build on the Level 5 module Young People and the Youth Justice System. You will learn about how theory and research contribute to the development of initiatives and what the challenges of this are. Focus will be placed upon serious offending and gangs as these are often at the forefront of contemporary policies. Within this context, you will learn to successfully analyse difficult topics and literature and extract needed information.
40 Credit Module
Criminal Investigation Dissertation
The aim of the Individual Study is for students to develop their ability to carry out in-depth research on a specific aspect of Criminal Investigation and the Criminal Justice System, as chosen by the student. Students will identify a specific topic that they wish to study in collaboration with an academic supervisor, produce a research proposal and then carry out in-depth research/review of the literature and sources in order to prepare a dissertation. Students will substantially manage their own learning with the support and advice of their supervisor.
All optional modules are 20 credits
There are no optional modules in Year One, Two in Year Two, and One in Year Three. The list of Options is provided below.
Mental Health and Violence
The aim of the module is to give students 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. The module also aims to enable students to demonstrate knowledge of criminological and psychiatric research into the relationship between mental disorder and violent offending. The module also aims to enable students to understand and critically evaluate how this is responded to by the criminal justice system and the forensic mental health system, and the ideologies and practices which are central to the management and treatment of mentally disordered and violent offenders. The key issues and challenges in conducting research into this topic, with the mentally disordered population, and in these institutional settings, will also be discussed.
Introduction to Terrorism and Political Violence
The aims of the module are to provide the opportunity for students to develop a theoretical understanding of the key concepts and dynamics in defining a complicated and dynamic subject arena. Further aims are to provide the opportunity for students to develop an understanding of counter terrorism responses and their links to good practice in policing international and domestic security. To provide the opportunity for students to develop a critical insight into research, theory and practice techniques to assist with theoretically understanding the foundational principles of terrorism studies; and the challenges of management and response.
News Media, Crime and Justice
The aim of the module is to explore the multifaceted relationship between news media, crime and criminal justice. The module will provide students with opportunities to familiarise themselves with key theoretical debates in different areas of news media criminology. More specifically, the module will consider how news media portrayals of crime, criminals, victims and the criminal justice system have changed over time and examine these within their broader social, economic and political context. The module will also explore the connections between news media portrayals of crime and criminal justice policy. Finally, the module will equip students with critical skills relevant to undertaking media analysis from a criminological standpoint.
Accident, Disaster and Terror Scene Investigation
The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of critical incident accident, disaster and terror related investigations by outlining the investigation models, formulating the strategic approaches to be applied and identifying the specialist professionals that may attend the scene ,that do not work within core forensic roles. Once identified, the module goes on to assess the roles and procedures of these professionals in the wider investigation in addition to the issues arising from this multidisciplinary approach. There is particular focus on the location, recovery and identification of evidence and identification of the cause and manner in which mass disasters and critical incidents of both natural and deliberate origins occur.
Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Investigation
The aim of the module is to provide students with the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of digital crime and the increasingly important requirement for global business and modern society to protect digital assets and activities in cyberspace. Information Communications Technology (ICT) pervades our everyday lives. The challenge to understand cyber risk and deliver effective and accessible security becomes harder as technology continues to rapidly evolve and our systems become ever more complex. Consequently, the module will explore the threats faced by individuals and organisations; the extent of cybercriminal activities and the techniques and skills required to meet the challenge of digital crime.
Youth, Crime and Justice
The aim of the module is to explore the notion of ‘youth’ in relation to issues of crime, deviancy and criminal justice. The module introduces students to issues of youth in relation to the roles of offender and victim, and explores changing public and political discourse of youth offending and state responses to youth crime and deviancy.
Research Informed Policing
This module provides an applied outlook into the utility of research methods within the scope of areas such as ‘What Works’ and ‘Evidence Based Policing’. More specifically, it aims to develop the students’ understanding of Research Informed Policing which sees evidence combined with the practicalities of police work. Students will build on core research methods knowledge acquired in Level 4 (specifically Introduction to the Criminal Justice System) and all other modules where research was presented to underpin theory and practice. Students will utilise this knowledge to gain applied skills in regards to being able to understand and conduct qualitative, as well as quantitative analyses, and in an ethical context.
Cybercrime: Ethical, Professional and Legal Issues
The module aims to allow students to explore the ethical considerations surrounding technology, the roles of professional bodies in the development of careers in public service, industry and commerce, and the ethical obligations of a professional.
International Justice and Human Rights
As the title of this module indicates, this course aims to encourage students to think critically about law and the way in which it is constructed, conceived of and manifested in reality. In order to do so, the module introduces students to the key schools of legal philosophical thought – natural law, positivism, legal realism and so on, and uses the ideas and critiques which flow from these as a platform from which to interrogate law’s bias. In order to provide a more contemporary flavour and feel, students will consider current legal, moral and political issues such as abortion, euthanasia, the war in Iraq, the trial of Saddam Hussein in order to unveil the power dynamics at play. The main aim is to get students to think ‘outside the box’ with regards not only to the question of ‘what is law’, but with regards to the socio-political consequences of misconceptions as to the nature of law. To this end, the module aims to promote a vision and understanding of law which encompasses the social, the political, the moral, and the economic.
Expert and Professional Witnesses
The aim of the module is to familiarise the students with the legal system for England and Wales in order to develop an understanding of the law, structure and processes they will be required to adhere to as a forensic investigator. The module then goes on to explore the roles, responsibilities and scope of lay witnesses, professional witnesses and expert witnesses in forensic investigations and the methods and models that the expert uses to interpret the value of forensic evidence. The module culminates in moot court exercises to build confidence and practical experience and this is preceded by extensive training in communication and transaction theories. Case examples are used to demonstrate key theories where appropriate.
Psychology of Serious and Prolific Offending
The module 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 students’ development of both subject specific and transferable skills appropriate to the level of study.
Terrorism and Political Violence in the UK
The aim of the module is to provide students with an understanding of domestic threats of terrorism and political violence specific to the United Kingdom. The content will consider domestic historical and contemporary threats and key terrorist organisations and groups over time into contemporary society. The nature, groups, values, goals and modus operandi will be considered in relation to key organisations and groups. The module aims to examine policies, processes and legislation for peace and resolve to the issue of domestic terrorism. The module aims to draw out political dimensions between individual, society and governance in the context of counter-terror policing and security. The module aims to emphasise the importance of the relationships between the police and other counter-terror agencies within broader governmental counter-terror strategies and the relationship between these factors. The module aims to develop awareness of the increasing legal infra-structure which the police operate within and a critical understanding as it applies to different aspects of social life.
Transnational and Organised Crime
This course aims to provide the theoretical underpinning to understanding the global nature of organised crime and law enforcement responses. It is a key objective of this course that students will understand the complexity of cross border transnational crime and the characteristics that create problems for law enforcement agencies in the disruption and prosecution of criminality.