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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Criminologies of Atrocity (LAWS10218)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will introduce students to scholarship in and beyond criminology on atrocity crimes, which include war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

The first section of the course surveys the scholarship in criminology and a wider set of disciplines, and in relation to perpetrators and victims of atrocity. The second, short, section looks at the legal context of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the historical context of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. The remainder of the course develops a framework for further development of these approaches and issues through applied research on atrocity crimes in the former Yugoslavia. This section will include: a methodological session on using judicial sources as data; a methods session on using computer assisted qualitative data analysis software; and two workshop sessions linked to the final assessment.

Ultimately, this will equip students to conduct their own original analysis of data relating to atrocities, by utilising theory to interrogate empirical evidence.
Course description 1. Atrocity and criminology
2. Atrocity beyond criminology
3. Perpetrators and atrocity
4. Victims and atrocity
5. International Justice and atrocity
6. The Yugoslav wars and atrocity
7. Methodology: testimony as data
8. Methods: Computer Assisted Quantitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) and coding
9. Workshop: Formulating questions and case selection
10. Workshop: Developing codes and coding transcripts
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students should have successfully completed an ordinary level course in criminology, history, international law, politics or sociology.
Spaces on this course are allocated as part of the Law Honours Course Allocation process. Places are generally only available to students who must take Law courses. To request a space on this course, please email
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.

**Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.**
Priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Law department, and it is highly unlikely that there will be additional spaces for general exchange students & independent study abroad students to enrol; we will look into this on a case-by-case basis in September/January. Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space.

These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Students should have successfully completed an ordinary level course in criminology, history, international law, politics or sociology.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  32
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course will be assessed by one full-length paper of 5000 words, worth 100% of final mark, submitted in the form of a research article and based on a research project developed by the candidate over the period of the course.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. By the end of the course students should have attained: A detailed knowledge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia contextualised by predecessor, contemporary and successor international criminal trial venues and their domestic equivalents; an understanding of key elements of the criminal justice process and the parties involved; an essential knowledge of the contours of the Yugoslav wars from 1991 to 2001; a detailed knowledge of core criminological scholarship on atrocity crimes backed by knowledge of its relationship to scholarship in other disciplines (history, political science, social psychology, sociology); a knowledge and understanding of the roots and development of criminologies of atrocity.
  2. By the end of the course students should have developed: Core skills in qualitative data analysis, including basic knowledge of principles of data-coding; and knowledge of Computer Aided Qualitative Data Software (NVivo); capacity to assess criminological data in terms of validity and reliability
  3. By the end of the course students should have had experience of distilling and applying intellectual frameworks to conceptualise and analyse complex problems; critical judgement regarding the work of others and one's own work; the ability to present a structured argument and analysis derived from a larger body of material (theoretical, methodological and empirical)
  4. By the taking the course students should develop autonomy and creativity in formulating a research question and selecting appropriate data; experience in working with others in groups and respecting the input of others; experience of working under the guidance of a supervisor (i.e. course organiser)
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Andy Aitchison
Tel: (0131 6)51 4563
Course secretaryMs Tracy Noden
Tel: (0131 6)50 2053
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