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School of Social Sciences

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BAEcon Economics
Learn how the social sciences can help you to understand today's world.

BAEcon Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Criminology and Criminal Justice in Action

Unit code LAWS20701
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Law
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The unit will include considering the 'criminology in textbooks' and how that compares to the real life experiences of practitioners in criminal justice. This involves exploring the changes and demands in criminal justice policies and practices, and the impact that these have on those occupying related professions. The relationship between theory, policy and practices will also be explored. As part of this course, there will be a series of opportunities to meet and talk to professionals working in criminal justice.

Typical activities include: 'Criminology Question Time', where students will put their questions to a range of criminal justice and third sector professionals; workshops led by professionals working with young and adult offenders; a field-trip to  an offender based organisation.

Students will also have a chance to 'consult' a hypothetical third sector or criminal justice organisation seeking to develop an evidence-based strategy for their work. This will form the basis of the group presentation assessment. As part of this, students will be able to work on the identification and development of key transferable skills that can boost employability, such as report writing, critical analysis, group project work and presentation skills. There will also be the opportunity to build contacts and network with the professionals who contribute to this unit.



This course introduces students to a range of criminal justice (and other relevant) professionals, providing opportunities to hear from professionals about the challenges they face. We will consider current debates and controversial practices in professional work with offenders, allowing students to explore the links between theory and practice in criminal justice. 

This course will:

  • allow students to explore the links between theory, research, policy and practice in criminal justice and related fields.
  • allow students to explore a range of criminal justice related professions and roles, with input from criminal justice professionals.
  • equip students with a set of transferable skills to increase discipline-related employability (CJS, voluntary or public sector).


Learning outcomes


Teaching and learning methods

This course is comprised of a mix of face-to-face teaching, online activities, assessment and feedback sessions, and students are also supported by directed study activities:

Face-to-face contact will be supported with a wide range of on-line activities. The weekly workshops will involve various activities (e.g. debates, presentations from practitioners, examining case studies, problem-solving exercises). The unit will also be supported by online resources available on Blackboard, which students will be expected to spend time working on outside of class. This work will include discussions, exercises and the provision of further materials (links for further reading, extra guidance, online resources, etc) to enhance understanding of the topics. Weekly office hours will offer students the opportunity to receive one-to-one support.

Knowledge and understanding

An awareness of:

  • the breadth of careers in the Criminal Justice System and other related fields.
  • the challenges and demands of working in these fields.

Intellectual skills

The ability to:

  • research, analyse and communicate, in an informed and critical way, the relationships between theory, policy and practice in criminal justice related fields.
  • evaluate scenarios and use knowledge to think through various problems and solutions.

Practical skills

The ability to:

  • discuss, illustrate, debate and evaluate key points/perspectives and communicate these in a clear and effective way.
  • assess own skillls and areas of personal development.
  • indentified and researched potential future careers.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

The ability to:

  • work effectively as part of a team.
  • research, organise and deliver information orally and in a written form.
  • produce and develop practical materials to assist with employability.
  • demonstrate a set of key transferable skills, such as interview techniques and presentation skills.
  • demonstrate digital literacy skills.

Assessment methods

Assessed Coursework (3000 words) - weighted 80%

A 10-15 Minute group presentation, supported by relevant presentation materials (e.g. PowerPoint, etc.) - weighted 20%

In addition, students are expected to participate in group online e-learning activities. There will be a series of approximately six weekly group projects that will need to be submitted.

Students in groups that fail to submit these assignments will be penalised two points off their final marks for each missed assignment. 

Feedback methods

Students will be able to receive written feedback on coursework plans and support from teaching staff for the group assessment.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 200

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jo Deakin Unit coordinator
Claire Fox Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This course is restricted to students in the School of Law, BA Econ, SoSS, BA Social Sciences (BASS) students. Other students may be accepted at the discretion of the Course Unit Director

Pre-requisites: none
Co-requisites: none

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