Skip to main content


SOC1034 : Investigating Inequalities and Crime

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Emma Clavering
  • Lecturer: Dr Lisa Garforth
  • 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 (including writing, researching and referencing). It does this by exemplifying and illuminating these skills through two central sociological debates: social inequalities and the study of crime and criminology.

In terms of introducing these central debates to students, the module will begin by exploring important perspectives on inequalities starting with social divisions such as class, gender and ethnicity which speak to processes of othering, marginalisation and exclusion.

The focus will increasingly shift towards questioning 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).

In completing this module students will have a foundational understanding of societal concerns relating to social divisions and inequalities, alongside an understanding of ways in which these concerns are reproduced with regard to connections with and notions of 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.

In addition, there will be a workshop series led by experts from the Academic Skills Kit Team, focused on academic searches, writing critically, and referencing skills to provide important skills that students can utilise across their learning.

The assessments of the module will require students to demonstrate a range of study skills techniques, with a poster requiring students to produce a strong, clear argument along with presentation skills for the first assessment, and an essay requiring critical reading, thinking and writing for the first assessment and poster for the second assessment.

Both assignments will include a short reflective element inviting the student to review the study skills process and with that their experience, and to build on this as part of encouraging ongoing active learning skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

Core Study Skills including writing skills, time-management, researching a topic, the difference between strong and weak sources, using and applying Harvard Reference Style, evaluating theory and data, and presentation skills.

Social inequalities and Social Divisions

Representations of Crime and The Criminal Justice System

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:00PIP Timetabled Lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching161:0016:00PIP Timetabled Seminars.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops51:005:00Study Skills activities led by ASK Team + Module Leader
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00PIP Timetabled Workshops to Support Assessment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1134:00134:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures 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 seminars each week, the students have the space to gain key study skills alongside reflecting on and discussing the ideas and approaches within the sociology of social divisions, deviance and criminology literatures amongst their peers, as well as an opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings with the seminar leader. Seminar will enable students to develop their critical listening, argumentation and presentation skills via discussion facilitated in small groups.

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.

There are 2 Workshop series: one aimed at supporting students prepare for the two assignments; and the other allowing time for students to develop additional academic skills to support them across their undergraduate career.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster1M401250 words
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 on social inequalities. The format requires students to set out the argument succinctly, yet still articulating key debates on social inequalities.

The second assignment will be a more traditional essay, with students having a choice of key questions across crime, criminology and criminal justice debates covered in the second half of the module.

Both assignments will include a short reflexive section to encourage students to review their emergent study skills as part of active learning.

The assessment questions therefore assess each of the intended learning objectives.

Reading Lists