In this topic, students will examine and analyse a range of major approaches to understanding crime and legal institutions and will be invited to reflect on potential applications in practice. The approach taken requires students to look thematically at criminological or socio-legal explanations for social problems as well as to study one or two problems in depth. Students will be expected to read intensively for their research essay and show competence in the analysis of case studies by using adequate theoretical underpinning. They will also be expected to understand the policy implications of the different theories examined, including some of the shortcomings associated with particular policy responses. Students will be expected to link theory to practical and empirical cases.
This topic aims to provide students with an intensive exposure to criminological and socio-legal research. It will assist in the development of competencies supportive of knowledgeable civic engagement. It will arm students with tools for unpacking policy into theoretical or ideological assumptions. It will prepare students for engagement for masters or doctoral level study in criminology or socio-legal studies