LAW40610 Crime and Society

Academic Year 2022/2023

A defining feature of modern societies is a heightened awareness of crime and its consequences. Individuals take account of victimisation risk when planning their routine activities; governments respond with repressive legislation and an increased use of imprisonment; confidence in rehabilitation wanes; expertise is side-lined; victims move centre stage; and there is an emphasis on performance measurement and efficiency. These arrangements have been described in terms of a ‘crime complex’, or a ‘new punitiveness’, or a technique of ‘governing through crime’ or a ‘search for order’. But such developments do not necessarily reflect rising levels of crime. Across Europe and the US the trend, in general terms, is downward. In Ireland, the level of serious crime has risen and fallen since the 1980s. The purpose of this module is to relate strategies of crime control to factors such as a country's political and welfare arrangements, its policy-making infrastructure, and any local peculiarities of context. The emphasis is comparative and the experience of other countries is used as a lens through which to view the situation in Ireland.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students will be able to:

Demonstrate a detailed awareness of current controversies about how societies have been reconfigured to deal with crime and assess the relative status of competing explanations.

Analyse source material from a variety of disciplinary areas (e.g. law, psychology, sociology) to reach reasoned decisions about how to address crime and ameliorate its consequences.

Evaluate complex theoretical arguments and render them intelligible to a non-specialist audience.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: 5000 word essay Week 12 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

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