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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Punishment and Society (LAWS10057)

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 Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course is a study of punishment as a means of dealing with offenders and as an institutional feature of societies. Part I of the course will analyse current practices and problems in sentencing, prisons, probation, community service, juvenile justice, reparation, etc. and will examine the policy frameworks -- such as rehabilitation and just deserts -- which inform these practices. Part II of the course will discuss how forms of punishment relate to types of society and how punishment changes over time. Sociological and historical studies of punishment are used as a basis for understanding contemporary developments in penal policy.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements 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.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
The aim of the course is to introduce students to key features of penal systems in Scotland and in England and Wales (and elsewhere, where relevant), and (in the second semester) to different sociological accounts of contemporary penal practices, including those based on theories offering explanations as to the general relationship between punishment and society. By the end of the course, students should be able to: identify the main penal sanctions available in Scotland and in England & Wales; explain the workings of these sanctions and analyse their rationales; summarise research evidence as to these sanctions' effectiveness and effects; describe and summarise the leading sociological theories of punishment; analyse the theoretical strengths and weaknesses of these sociological theories; and apply and assess these theories in relation to particular sanctions, historical trends, or societies.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPunishment & Society
Course organiserDr Richard Jones
Tel: (0131 6)50 2032
Course secretaryMiss Emma Hughes
Tel: (0131 6)50 2008
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