Not available in 2020/21
Crime and Society: Representations and Realities

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Leonidas Cheliotis OLD.2.51


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Criminology. This course is available on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy and BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This is a first year course that offers a general introduction to some of the main subjects and ideas that are to be found in criminology, and that BSc Criminology students will encounter during throughout their degree. These subjects are taught in a critical manner, inviting students to challenge received wisdoms, general assumptions, and political claims. The second goal of the course is to enthuse the students; to offer them a glimpse of an exciting and stimulating programme ahead, not least by using a variety of media for presentations and as the basis for discussion, and in a series of practical tasks linked to particular subjects.

Indicative lecture content

1. What is Criminology?

2. What is crime?

3. Crime in the media

4. Crime and politics

5. What is happening to crime?

6. Who commits crime?

7. How we deal with crime I: formal social control

8. How we deal with crime II: informal social control

9. How do we prevent crime?

10. Victims and crime

11. Crime and the powerful

12. What is criminal justice?

13. Policing and its history

14. Policing: Is it effective?

15. Theories of punishment

16. A brief history of punishment

17. Thinking about prisons

18. Understanding crime: what’s the point of theory?

19. Criminology and social policy – ideas in practice

20. Crime, punishment and the future


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 essays in the MT and LT.

Indicative reading

Harding, J., Davies, P. and Mair, G. (2017) An Introduction to Criminal Justice, London: Sage

Newburn, T. (2009) Criminology: Key Readings, Cullompton: Willan

Newburn, T. (2017) Criminology, London: Routledge

Newburn, T. (2018) Criminology: A very short introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Open University (2016) Criminology Beyond Crime, Free course

Roberts, J.V. (2015) Criminal Justice: A very short introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press


Essay (40%, 1500 words) in the ST.
Project (40%, 1000 words) and presentation (20%) in the LT.

Summative assessment has three elements: a 1500 word essay (40%); a project studying social control out on London's streets (40%); and a presentation (20%)

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication