Introduction to Criminology and Sociology

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
10 January 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA M903 Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA P300 Media and Digital Culture (Including Foundation Year),
BA L2CH Social Sciences,
BA LFCH Social Sciences,
BA L304 Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LMHX Sociology and Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L313 Sociology with Data Science (Including foundation Year),
BA LY13 Social Sciences (Including Foundation Year),
BA L351 Sociology and Health (including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module is designed to offer an introduction to Criminology and Sociology and explore their links with other subject areas. This will encourage interdisciplinary and critical thinking and offer opportunities for seeing connections and considering other perspectives. Such an approach is supported by a ‘colloquium’ approach to the module which means experts will be invited to teach some sessions but the students’ whole experience is overseen and coordinated by a Module Leader.

It begins by looking specifically at Criminology with a view to supporting students to understand the representation of crime in areas such as film, tv and the media. It supports students to understand factors shaping crime and control and ways of thinking about these. The second term focuses on Sociology and provides an introduction to some key issues addressed by sociologists and to some key theories they use to analyse these.

Students will be challenged to consider key issues in contemporary society and Criminology by engaging in inclusive debates during seminar sessions. Students will also gain confidence in their knowledge of Criminology and Sociology and analytical skills by beginning to learn how to read and understand empirical Social Science, and how to use reason and evidence in their writing.

The module does not assume any prior knowledge of any of the topics. It aims to instil the skills and knowledge students will need to begin to understand the world of Criminology and Sociology. Students will also practise key academic skills to prepare them fully for academic life as an undergraduate in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide an introduction to the main concepts within Criminology and Sociology.

  • To encourage students to think critically and carefully about issues in contemporary society through some key social science perspectives.

  • To introduce students to the interdisciplinary aspects of Criminology and Sociology.

  • To have an understanding of the social contexts of everyday crime and crime control.

  • To encourage students to be confident in the expression of their thoughts and ideas in seminars and groups whilst maintaining a compassionate approach to self and others in that context.

  • To enable students to become familiar with the academic conventions of university life.

  • To understand the basic principles of research in the social sciences.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the main concepts related to criminology and the social context of crime.

  2. Apply some key criminological concepts to the study of criminal case studies.

  3. Be aware of some of the key debates surrounding sociological topics.

  4. Apply and incorporate into assessments, reference to relevant and appropriate research and research methods.

  5. Reflect on tasks and learning with a view to understanding self as a learner in Higher Education.

  6. Demonstrate an ability to design a PowerPoint poster on a topic related to Criminology or Sociology (or both) and record a short presentation on it.


Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

 By the end of this module, students will have practised the following transferrable skills:

  1. Application of theory to practice and real-world problems.

  2. Team working through problem-solving and discussion in small groups.

  3. Time management and managing workload by keeping up with weekly activities and timely completion of assignments.

  4. Resilience and confidence building through practising and applying your critical thinking, debating and analytical skills.

  5. Reflective practice by engaging in regular self-evaluations.

  6. IT skills through the use of various technologies, such as Moodle and Microsoft Word.

Module information


  • Becoming Criminologists at Essex - supporting your learning and development.

  • Who commits crime and how do we know?

  • Who controls crime and how do we know?

  • Crime in Film and TV.

  • Crime Case Studies Workshop.

  • Crime and the media 1.

  • Crime and the media 2.

  • Gangs.

  • Writing Studios – Case Study Assignment Guided Preparation.

  • Criminology and Sociology.

  • Colchester through the lens of Sociology.

  • University of Essex through the lens of Sociology.

  • Sociology and Identity: Class, Gender and Ethnicity 1.

  • Sociology and Identity: Class, Gender and Ethnicity 2.

  • Sociology and Politics.

  • Assessment Support: Writing Studio and Tutorials– Guided essay plan.

  • Sociology and Sociolinguistics-The impact of what we say and how and where we say it.

  • Sociology and the World of Work.

  • Society and Global Challenges 1.

  • Society and Global Challenges 2.

Sustainable Education

Some topics taught in this module lend themselves to the discussion on sustainability: 

  • Society and Global Challenges 1 and 2

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week.
  • One 2-hour seminar per week.

Teaching and learning on Essex Pathways modules offers students the ability to develop the foundation knowledge, skills, and competencies to study at the undergraduate level, through a curriculum that is purposely designed to provide an exceptional learning experience. All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner.

Students are set a reading task for each week from one of the set texts specifically chosen for the module. They are also expected to complete detailed lecture notes each week to use as a basis for class discussion in the seminars and tutorials.

Worksheets are provided during the course of the year with relevant information from newspapers and journals although students are encouraged to become independent learners in this regard. Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to present their own work in seminars and tutorials on a non-assessed basis. All students will have access to Academic Support Hours.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Formative case study  20/11/2023  0% 
Coursework   Case Study Report (Criminology) and Reflection  18/12/2023  30% 
Coursework   Research Essay (Sociology)  25/03/2024  35% 
Practical   Individual PowerPoint posters on a current topic related to Criminology or Sociology  13/05/2024  35% 

Additional coursework information

Formative assessment

  • A formative case study is to be submitted in Week 7.
  • In addition, throughout the year, students will work on in-class individual and group exercises and activities during seminar sessions including support with the use of Compassionate Group Management Skills. Some activities are designed to help students grasp and engage with the concepts learned in lectures and the readings, others are aimed at helping students work toward their summative assignments. For the latter activities, students will receive feedback during dedicated seminar sessions on how to improve before submitting their summative assignments.
  • There are also formative opportunities for work on reflection, essay writing and presentations within IA195 which support work in this module.

Summative assessment

  • Criminology Case Study (1,000 words); Reflection on the task and learning experience to date (200 words).
  • There are 2 parts to this assessment:

 1. Students will select one case of interest from a choice of three offered. They will analyse a case following a scaffolded approach in which they will demonstrate an understanding of and apply key criminological concepts.

2. Students will write reflections on the task and their learning experience to date.

  • Research Essay (1,500 words) – Students will choose a question from a selection based on topics covered in the module which will allow them to explore that subject in more depth.
  • Individual PowerPoint Posters and recorded presentation (7-10 minutes) - Students will choose a question related so Sociology and/or Criminology, and design a PowerPoint poster to demonstrate the research undertaken, knowledge gained and their considered response to the question.

Reassessment strategy

  • Failed coursework - resubmit a piece of coursework (1,500 words) which will be marked as 100% of the new module mark. The reassessment task will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Vincent Eade, email: veade@essex.ac.uk.
Vincent Eade
Lucy Anthony (lanthony@essex.ac.uk)



External examiner

Miss Jan O'Driscoll
University of Chester
Dean of Lifelong Learning and Director of Foundation Years
Available via Moodle
Of 62 hours, 62 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Pathways

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