SOC10110 Sociology of Crime & Deviance

Academic Year 2023/2024

The aim of this module is to introduce students to a broad range of theoretical and substantive debates about different aspects of crime and deviance. Crime is a hugely prominent aspect of social life but public and political debate surrounding it often emphasizes the extreme or the atypical, and as a result our understanding of these issues does not always reflect the full social context or dynamics involved. How and why we define behaviour as deviant or criminal can reflect a variety of factors – including morality, tradition and power relations – and defining behaviour in that way can have very significant consequences for those directly involved as well as for wider society. Because of this, it is important to understand the factors involved in criminalising particular activities, why people engage in behaviour that breaches social norms or criminal laws, why such behaviour is more likely to occur under particular conditions, and how these issues affect different groups in society.

In this module we consider some of these important issues – how we define behaviour as deviance, how and why some actions are criminalised, and the impact that crime/deviance has on society generally. The module examines the nature of crime in Ireland and situates this within a wider historical and comparative context. We consider different theoretical frameworks that have been developed to explain crime and deviance. We examine the social dimensions of crime, including its impact on different groups of people. We also explore the nature of various forms of crime, highlighting the need to consider the specific circumstances and meanings associated with each.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
• demonstrate an awareness of how crime and deviance are defined and measured, and the consequences of this;
• describe the key features of crime in Ireland;
• provide a detailed description and assessment of the main theoretical frameworks that seek to explain crime and deviance;
• demonstrate an understanding of the social context of crime, in terms of such factors as gender, age, and race/ethnicity; and
• demonstrate an understanding of the nature and dynamics of particular forms of crime.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will involve a series of lectures on different aspects of crime and deviance. The focus will be on ensuring as much engagement from students as possible. 
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
Examination: End-of-semester examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Assignment: Assignment Week 6 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will be provided with written feedback on any assignments after they have been graded.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 13:00 - 13:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: Weeks 2-12 Wed 15:00 - 15:50