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The University of Southampton

CRIM1003 Introduction to Criminology

Module Overview

This module focuses on definitions and measurement of crime and deviance; it explores sociological theories and bio-psychological approaches of crime and deviance; it promotes critical thinking on the social construction of crime, moral panic and media effects.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module provides you with an introduction to the field of criminology including its origins and how the field is constituted by inputs from subject areas such as sociology and psychology. The unit explores the different ways in which crime is explained and as such you will develop a knowledge of the main perspectives in criminology and how they have been applied to generate criminological knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain and evaluate the main theoretical perspectives in criminology
  • Demonstrate a critical knowledge of the development of the field of criminology
  • An ability to explain and evaluate the main theoretical perspectives in criminology.
  • An understanding of how criminology has studied different forms of crime, the social dimensions of crime and the differing responses to crime.
  • Compare, contrast, analyse and critically evaluate criminological perspectives and their application to crime and criminal justice.
  • Challenge commonsense thinking and move beyond mere description to critical analysis; group working; communication; a recognition of the interconnectedness of phenomena.
  • A critical knowledge of the development of the field of criminology.
  • Critically assess the role of media in understanding our perceptions of crime
  • Contrast competing definitions of crime
  • Discuss criteria for “measuring” crime
  • A critical knowledge of key contemporary debates in this area.


Section 1: What is crime and how do we know about it? Section 2: What causes crime (I)? Sociological theories Section 3: What causes crime (II)? Biological and psychological theories Section 4: Crime, media and the fear of crime Section 5: Recap and Revision Seminars: 1. What do we really know about crime? 2. Sociological theories of crime and deviance 3. The social construction of crime 4. Bio-psychological approaches of crime and deviance 5. Moral panic and media effects

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study125
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Tim Newburn (2017). Criminology. 


Assessment Strategy

The assessed essay requires the student to engage with core debates within criminology linked to theoretical perspectives, while the end of module examination focuses on key social dimension and types of crime (including criminal justice responses). The assessment methods therefore are aimed at developing a knowledge of the field of criminology and its contemporary applications. Formative assessment takes place in seminars and via Black Board pages and takes a variety of forms including the of use of ‘quiz’; questions linked to set text essential readings and small group work in seminars on specific issues. These are also incorporated into Black Board pages and some of the ‘power point’ presentations include short formative activity designed to take place in the lecture itself.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


It is highly recommended to buy the suggested textbook (an older edition is ok). Please note that there will be further material to read for this module (normally accessible via the University library).

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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