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The University of Southampton

CRIM6001 Criminal Justice

Module Overview

This module identifies the central features of the administrative, political and policy-making context of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. It explores contemporary policy debates and perspectives in criminal justice and crime control. Students will study criminal justice policy within the context of broader social changes and political and ideological processes, and consider the ways in which policy debates inform, and are informed by, broader perspectives on criminal justice and the politics of crime control.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically examine the role and function of the criminal justice and the criminal justice policymaking context in England & Wales
  • Identify the main characteristics of the criminal justice system in England and Wales.
  • Demonstrate the relationship between major social trends and criminal justice policy.
  • Identify the issues associated with the implementation of criminal justice policy.
  • Demonstrate the crucial role of the public in criminal justice policy.
  • Explain the chief decision points within the Criminal Justice System.
  • Critically evaluate the extent to which social influences shape decision-making in the criminal justice system.


1. Introduction to Criminal Justice - theories and concepts 2. Criminal Justice - debates and issues 3. Making and implementing Criminal Justice Policy 4. Criminal Justice Policy Makers 5. Criminal Justice policy reform - does politics matter? 6. Criminal Justice policy - the public gets what the public wants? 7. Capturing the public voice 8. The role of the public voice - from policy to practice 9. Discretionary Practice in the CSI Lab 10. Myths, Stereotypes and Prosecutorial Decision-Making 11. Judicial Discretion 12. Criminal Justice Research

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Students will be provided with a full reading list, organized on the basis of individual blocks of work. They will be expected to undertake individual reading and prepare fully for each session. Learning will occur through analysis and discussion of the readings and of contemporary debate. Students will be expected to make themselves aware of topical criminal justice activity (e.g. government policy decision-making; news stories and contentious debates) and be prepared to discuss and summarise in seminars. Tutors will advise students on the planning of assessments and provide detailed feedback on assessments. A two hour block will be used for delivery of material; this will take the form of a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops

Independent Study176
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Davies, M; Croall, and Tyrer, J (2010). Criminal Justice. 

Maguire, M; Morgan, R and Reiner, R (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. 


Assessment Strategy

Students will prepare and develop a Policy Brief (40%) Major research essay (60%)


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 60%
Policy brief  (2500 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s)  (5000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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