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Unit information: Criminology in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Criminology
Unit code LAWD30100
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Naughton
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


In contrast to Criminal Law, which is concerned with the rules which determine whether a person has committed a criminal offence, Criminology considers what factors may have led to the offender's breaking the law in the first place. The wide range of sociological accounts considered includes the importance of the environment within which the offender grows up, the type of friends the offender makes, the formation of delinquent groups or gangs and the effect of poverty.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • Describe and analyse the social character of crime and justice;
  • Evaluate the data and methods employed in criminological inquiry;
  • Be able to critically analyse the principal theoretical perspectives; advanced by criminologists and critical criminologists regarding the epidemiology and aetiology of crime.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Details

1 x summative assessment: Timed Open Book Assessment with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

There are no formal set texts for this unit. However, there the following text books usefully cover much of the ground:

  • Hopkins, Burke, R. (2019) An introduction to criminological theory. (5th Edition) Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge. KB300 BUR;
  • Jones, S. (2017) Criminology (6th Edition) London: Oxford University Press KB300 JON (Wills);
  • Newburn, T. (2013) Criminology Cullompton: Willan. HV6025 NEW;
  • Hale, C., Hayward, K., Wahidin, A. and Wincup, E. (2013) Criminology Oxford: OUP. KB300 CRI;
  • Muncie, J. McLaughlin, E and Langan, M. (2013) (eds) Criminological Perspectives: a reader London: Sage. KB300 CRI (Wills);
  • Lilly, J. R. Cullen, F. T. and Ball, R. A. (2002) Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences (3rd Edition) London: Sage. HV6018 LIL;
  • Barak, G. (2017) Unchecked corporate power: Why the crimes of multinational corporations are routinized away and what we can do about it. New York: Routledge. HD2741 BAR;
  • Atkinson, R. and Millington, G. (2019) Urban Criminology: The city, disorder, harm and social control. Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge;
  • Walklate, S. and McGarry, R. (2015) Victims, trauma, testimony and justice. Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge.