Undergraduate Course: Introduction to Criminal Justice (LAWS08136)
|School||School of Law
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course provides an introduction to a wide range of questions about criminal justice, drawing on criminological theory, research and practice. The course introduces the key institutions, processes and controversies in thinking about criminal justice and crime control. Throughout the course there is an emphasis on the relationships between theory, research and practice and you are encouraged to think critically about the nature of "evidence" in relation to crime and control.
The course provides a critical introduction to the agencies and processes involved in crime control. You will engage with questions such as: who are the key institutions and actors in the criminal justice system, what role/s do they play, and how do they work with offenders? What are the problems and controversies in the way they operate? In what terms are criminal justice interventions effective, or not? Are criminal justice processes "fair" and how might they inadvertently disadvantage already vulnerable groups?
The course aims to develop your ability to appraise arguments critically in terms of their logical coherence and the use made of evidence. It encourages you to think about how theoretical and empirical research knowledge can be applied to practical problems in how the criminal justice system operates. In particular, it encourages you to develop your own critical understanding of concepts of justice and injustice as they apply to crime control.
On completion of this course, you will be able to:
- describe and assess key elements of the criminal justice process;
- describe and assess key developments in contemporary criminal justice and crime control;
- describe and assess the ways in which the criminal justice system may inadvertently disadvantage vulnerable or minority groups;
- describe and assess the contribution of empirical research to an understanding of crime control; and,
- critically assess the use of evidence.
The course will develop your ability to:
- Think independently and critically
- Make critical and informed evaluations of practice and policy
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Students will be given the opportunity to produce a formative essay mid-way through the course. Personal, detailed, written feedback will be given to each student within three weeks of submission, and tutors will provide generic feedback to their tutorial groups. Generic written feedback will be produced on the summative assessment (exam) at the end of the course after the exam board. Students have the opportunity to view their submitted exams. Those students who do not pass the exam are strongly encouraged to have an individual meeting with the Course Organiser to discuss their exam and means of improvement.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||2:00|
|Resit Exam Diet (August)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Describe and assess key elements of the criminal justice process
- Describe and assess key developments in contemporary criminal justice and crime control
- Describe and assess the ways in which the criminal justice system may inadvertently disadvantage vulnerable or minority groups
- Describe and assess the contribution of empirical research to an understanding of crime control
- Critically assess the use of evidence.
|There is no one textbook that completely covers the content of the core lecture programme. Students may, however, find the following books of use throughout the course, especially in preparation for tutorials. |
- Newburn, T (2012) Criminology. Cullompton: Willan. This is a useful and comprehensive introductory text book which covers many key areas of controversy in contemporary criminal justice.
- Hucklesby, A and Wahidin, A (eds) (2009): Criminal Justice. Oxford: OUP. This is a good, comprehensive UK-focused text book.
- Maguire, M., Morgan, R. and Reiner, R. (2012): The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (5th edn). Oxford: OUP. This is a more advanced text book, with an up-to-date review of research in British criminal justice.
In addition, there will be set texts for each week's tutorial, which students are expected to read.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course will develop your ability to:
- Think independently and critically.
- Critically evaluate practice and policy.
|Keywords||Introduction to Criminal Justice
|Course organiser||Mr Alistair Henry
Tel: (0131 6)50 9697
|Course secretary||Ms Krystal Hanley
Tel: (0131 6)50 2056