Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

CRIM2009 Crime and Criminal Justice: Historical Perspectives (Quant)

Module Overview

This module is concerned with the interrelationships between society, crime and social change. A central theme running throughout the module is that we can only make sense of crime (and responses to it) today if we have an understanding of the past. Nevertheless, ‘history’, as we shall see, is contested terrain in which competing interpretations abound, especially in the study of crime and criminal justice.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To encourage informed and critical thinking about the relationship between crime, social change and social control. • To examine, in context of the above, a range of historical, empirical (particularly quantitative) and comparative studies in criminology. • To critically explore the relationship between theoretical perspectives and applied research in criminology. • To develop a critical knowledge of the social context of crime and its control. • To develop a critical knowledge of the historical development of key parts of the criminal justice system. • To develop a critical knowledge of historical and comparative studies in criminology

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the role of social change and its impact upon crime and its control.
  • Demonstrate a critical knowledge of the historical development of key areas of the criminal justice system.
  • Demonstrate a critical knowledge of historical and empirical studies in criminology.
  • Demonstrate skills in report-writing based on a synthesis of different sources, including official statistics, government reports and academic research.
  • Link current issues with processes of social change and inter alia recognise the value of history; extend critical skills to include historical analysis and debates;
  • Enhanced communication skills; reading skills; and skills of locating and using a range of sources in the development of assessed work and in preparation for seminars.
  • Challenge ‘common sense’ arguments; further enhance your critical thinking; experience working with a range of empirical, theoretical and policy documents; recognise the importance of the voices of ordinary people.


Modern criminology attaches importance to the social context of crime and especially the influence of the wider society. This unit takes this as its core theme and examines changes in crime and its control in socio-historical contexts including the processes of industrialization and urbanization and the impact that these had on definitions of crime, explanations of crime and approaches to its control

Special Features

Exploration of the important historical dimension to crime and criminal justice and the linking of this to contemporary developments in criminology. Lectures provide overview and identify key issues an debates. Students follow these up via essential and further readings. These activities feed-in to the seminar topics which in turn are reflected in the question included in the end of unit examination. The essay topic is directed towards the range of historical developments and processes explored in the first part of CRIM2002.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module is taught by means of two lectures a week in odd weeks of the semester, and a lecture and seminar in even weeks. It will also include two statistical workshops (2 hours). You are expected to undertake extensive reading to support lecture and seminar activities. Learning activities include Lectures, seminars, workshops, use of blackboard, PowerPoint, directed reading and independent exploration of library resources and internet sites.

Preparation for scheduled sessions30
Completion of assessment task40
Wider reading or practice40
Follow-up work14
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Godfrey, B.S., Lawrence, P. and Williams, C.A. (2008). History and Crime. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 60%
In-seminar assessments 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 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:


We encourage students to buy a core textbook, this is not covered within the cost of the module. This will be no more than £40. We do place several copies in the library but these are for reference only.

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

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.