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[SI0201] - Offending and Victimisation

Module Code: SI0201
Module Leader: Kirsty Hudson
Year: 2
Semester: Both
Number of Credits: 20

Teaching Method: Lectures and seminars.
Assessment: Coursework (essays) 3000 words (40%) - Autumn Semester; Examination 2 hours (60%) - Spring Semester
Degree Schemes: Criminology, Social Science, BPS Social Science


Module Aims

  • To provide an in depth focus on criminological explanations and theoretical understandings of offending and victimisation
  • To build upon work undertaken by students in the following level one modules: Criminological Imagination, Theories of Crime and Punishment, and Introduction to Social Science Research
  • To equip students with a critical awareness of the differing patterns of crimes and victimisation over time and space and explanations for such variety.
  • To provide students with an understanding of victimology-centred theorising, and the relationship between victims, the offender and the criminal justice system.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Comprehension

  • Understand and evaluate a variety of criminological research studies and sources of data about crime patterns and offending behaviour.
  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the explanations behind the varying patterns of crime and victimisation.
  • Develop a sound understanding of the historical development of victimology from the 20th century onwards.
  • Demonstrate a firm knowledge of the relationships between victims, offenders and the criminal justice system

Skills (Application and Analysis)

  • Analyse the implications of crime trends and offender characteristics (social and psychological) for crime control policy.
  • Present a clear and informed written argument, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of data sources and theories, in essays on victimology, offenders and crime patterns.
  • Compare and evaluate a range of sources to conduct and present scholarly work on patterns of crime, offending and victimology.
  • Articulate informed views and develop arguments about victimology, offending and crime patterns in a small group setting in the form of oral presentations

Understanding (Synthesis and Evaluation)

  • Evaluate the different perspectives in victimology and explanations of major changes in this area since the early 20th Century.
  • Demonstrate an ability to synthesise ideas developed out of the victimology movement in order to better understand the relationship between victims, offenders and the criminal justice system.
  • Demonstrate an ability to evaluate and synthesise particular social, economic, political and psychological factors that have impacted upon crime trends and offending behaviour

Transferable Skills

The module will contribute to the development of the following transferable skills: use of library and internet resources, written presentation skills, critical analysis and problem solving; communication; critical thinking. These skills will be assessed through summative and formative assessment.


Synopsis of Module Content

This module explores three core criminological questions: how and why do patterns of crime change in time and space?; what are, and how do we best explain, the characteristics of various types of offenders and offending behaviour?; and what is, and how do we best understand, the nature of the relationship between victims, offenders and the criminal justice system?

Accordingly, the module content is organised into study blocks addressing different categories of crime. In relation to each crime category the module will provide a detailed examination of offending trends and patterns alongside an examination of the experiences of victims and their relationship with offenders and the criminal justice system. The frequent and diverse interconnection between offenders and victims is acknowledged and each study block will include ongoing attention to both groups.


Opportunities for Formative Assessment

Students may be required to make a presentation during seminar time in the Spring semester.


Arrangements for Feedback on Work

Students will receive written feedback on their assessed essay during the Spring semester. Students will receive verbal feedback from seminar tutors on their contributions to seminar discussions, and on work that they have been required to prepare for seminars.


Indicative Reading

Core text

Brookman, F., Maguire, M., Pierpoint, H., and Bennett, T. (2010) Handbook of Crime, Willan Publishing (Available as an Electronic resource)

Further reading

Cote, S. (ed.) (2002) Criminological Theories: Bridging the Past to the Future, London, Sage.

Hopkins Burke, R. (2009) An Introduction to Criminological Theory, 3rd Ed., Cullompton, Willan.

Jones, S (2006) Criminology, 3rd Ed. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Maguire, M., Morgan, R. and Reiner, R. (2007) (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. 4th Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Muncie, J. and McLaughlin, E. (2001)(2nd edn), The Problem of Crime. London: Sage

Newburn, T.  (2007) Criminology. Part 3. Cullompton: Willan

Tierney, J. (2006) Criminology: Theory and Context, 2nd Ed., London, Longman.

Walklate, S (2007) Understanding Criminology, 3rd Ed., Buckingham, Open University Press.

Walklate, S. (2007) Handbook of Victims and Victimology, Cullompton:Willan.

Walkate, S. (2012) Victims, Routledge