This introductory module aims to provide a brief history of criminological ideas, an overview of the criminal justice system in Britain, and an examination of the current debates in crime and control. The key aim of this module is to provide a critical introduction to the problem of, and responses to, crime. The module engages with taken-for-granted notions about the meaning and causes of crime and ideas about criminals. In particular, it examines different forms of crime, the relationship between the crime problem and wider questions of social order and power, the role of criminal justice, and the effectiveness of penal sanctions in dealing with crime and deviance.

By the end of the module, students should:
(a) have an understanding of the social context of everyday crime and crime control;
(b) be familiar with and be able to critically assess the key sociological and criminological concepts that have been used for studying crime, deviance and control;
(c) be aware of some of the key contemporary debates surrounding the politics, efficacy and images of crime and control;
(d) identify the specific research tools that sociologists and criminologists have employed to study crime and deviance, and be able to locate and critically evaluate crime data.

The module assumes no prior knowledge and is open to students from a wide range of academic backgrounds.