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SOC1034 : Investigating Inequalities and Crime

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Emma Clavering
  • Lecturer: Dr Gethin Rees
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims to enable students to develop and refine their study skills and does this by introducing them to a range of debates in the sociology of crime, most notably around the ways inequalities impact upon criminal behaviour.

In terms of introducing key debates, the module will introduce students to particular perspectives of inequalities. It will explore representations of crime and criminal justice and this may include police recording procedures and statistical data and dramatic media constructions of dastardly villains and heroic law-enforcement (or vice versa); the impact of class, gender, ethnicity, age and their various interactions and combinations on crime; and various aspects of the criminal justice system (such as police, prosecutors, courts and sentencing, punishments and the role of victims). In completing this module students will have a foundational understanding of the important role social divisions and inequalities have in society, specifically with regard to connections with criminality.

In terms of the development of study skills, one chapter of The study Skills Handbook (Cottrell 2014) will be assigned each week as structured guided learning. As part of this, students will undertake activities that enable them to practise the skills necessary for successful completion of their undergraduate sociology degree. Students will have activities on successful time-management; identifying authoritative sources; referencing; critical reading and note-taking; essay plans; critical thinking; evaluating theory; evaluating data; and presentation skills. The assessments of the module will require students to demonstrate their developing study skills techniques, with a poster for the first assessment and an essay requiring critical reading, thinking and writing for the second assessment.

Outline Of Syllabus

Representations of Crime
Inequalities/Social Divisions and Crime
The Criminal Justice System

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture82:0016:00PIP Timetabled Lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities12:002:00Online Supported Learning Material (Not Timetabled/Asynchronous)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching161:0016:00PIP Timetabled Seminars.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00PIP Timetabled Workshops to Support Assessment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1134:00134:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Workshops introduce students to the main conceptual ideas and frameworks covered in the module in order to help them comprehend the required and supplementary readings.

During the seminar each week, the students have the space to reflect and discuss the ideas and approaches within the sociology of deviance/criminology literatures amongst their peers, as well as an opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings with the seminar leader. The seminar will enable students to develop their critical listening, argumentation and presentation skills via discussion facilitated by Zoom breakout rooms.

The structured guided learning will involve students engaging with one chapter of The study Skills Handbook (Cottrell 2014) each week as. As part of this, students with undertake activities that will enable them to practise the skills necessary for successful completion of their undergraduate sociology degree.

The guided independent study will involve each student reading and reflecting for the forthcoming seminars, developing their own skills and preparing for the two assignments.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M602000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessments take two forms, a poster that is submitted approximately halfway through the module, and an essay submitted at the end of the module. The poster will focus upon the relationship between inequalities and crime and should be predominantly a non-textual (or limited textual) piece, yet still articulating the key links between social inequalities and crime.

The second assignment will be a more traditional 2,000 word essay, with students having a choice of three questions: one on representations of crime and criminal justice, one on inequalities and one on the Criminal Justice System.
Students choose one of these questions. The assessment questions therefore assess each of the intended learning objectives.

Reading Lists