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Unit information: Responding to Crime and Social Harm in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Responding to Crime and Social Harm
Unit code SPOL10031
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Natasha Carver
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


Crime and related harms are major social issues requiring state intervention. This unit introduces students to the way states have attempted to control crime and social harm both in terms of offending and victimisation in national and international contexts. Specifically, the unit will:

  • Examine the main institutions and organisations responsible for the control of crime and social harm
  • Assess policy interventions in the context of wider theoretical debates about how states control (or not) crime and related social harms.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  1. Explain the development and operation of criminal, civil and regulatory institutions in responding to crime and harm
  2. Identify the operation of formal and informal social controls and alternative justice mechanisms in preventing and responding to crime and harm.
  3. Recognise how attempts to prevent or control crime may in turn create or reinforce harm.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through blended learning involving a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by study-group sessions and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

Summative assessment is by:

  • Engagement and Collaboration - Learning Journal (50%)

Policy Briefing of 1500 words (50%)

Reading and References

Davies, M. and Croall, H. (2015, 5th ed.) Criminal Justice, Harlow: Pearson Education, London: Palgrave Macmillan

Drake, D., Muncie, J., & Marland, L. (2010, eds.) Criminal Justice: local and global, Cullompton: Open University/Willan

Garland, D. (2001) The culture of control: crime and social order in contemporary society, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Rawlings, P. (1999) Crime and power: a history of criminal justice 1688-1998, London: Longman

Liebling, A., Maruna, S., and McAra, L., 2017. The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.