CR6004 - Crimes of the Powerful

What will I learn on this module?

Crime just doesn’t happen on the streets. It takes place in homes, in offices, in natural habitats – places hidden from view and scrutiny. Often it is kept hidden because of powerful actors. You will examine a range of criminal and harmful behaviours, as well as deviant and anti-social activities under the organising theme ‘crimes of the powerful’. The module situates and understands crimes and victimisations within a framework where questions of structural relationships and personal power in society are key to why some crime is visible and some is not. You will be expected to challenge orthodox representations of crime and demonstrate an intellectual openness to new ideas, whilst adopting a critical and analytical approach to the control, regulation and prevention of invisible and hidden crimes and/or victimisations.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn in two main environments – online/recorded lectures and in person workshops. Tutor-led lectures will be used to explore real world case studies of crimes of the powerful. Workshops will be designed to be interactive and engaging and will be used as a space to discuss, debate, and reinforce knowledge and concepts and to explore examples, past and present, of crimes of the powerful as well as additional case study materials. Supporting resources will be indicated or made available via the eLearning Portal.

Under the guidance of the module tutors, you will be expected to identify an appropriate area for research and to engage in a focussed, detailed in-depth portfolio-based case study of crime and/or victimisation in the context of ‘the powerful’. You are encouraged to identify an appropriate subject area for research, to devise a manageable and well-focussed project, plan a schedule of work and to function successfully as an independent learner.

Whilst this module contributes to your subject specific knowledge of a research rich critical criminology, it enables you to develop a reflective, questioning and inquiring approach to the discipline whilst enhancing your intellectual and professional skills.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

This is a team taught module and staff members are available to support you via email, in seminars, and during scheduled office hours. There is also substantial support from library based resources and your fellow students during seminars and outside of class. With these combined forms of support you will develop your own research expertise and a critical edge to your understanding of criminology and victimology.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. To understand crimes and victimisations within a framework where structural relationships and ruling class crime in society is recognised.
2. To form a critical argument in relation to the nature of invisible or hidden crimes and victimisations in society.
3. To explain a range of criminal and harmful behaviours, as well as deviant and anti-social activities under the organising theme ‘crimes of the powerful’ drawing on different resources and case examples.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. To collaborate with others and to work as part of a team whilst undertaking tasks in the workshops.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1. To demonstrate cultural and social awareness in regards to why certain geographic locations and certain groups in society remain outside of mainstream research.

How will I be assessed?

The seminar programme will support the formative assessment for this module, allowing for guided support and discussion around all components of the assessment.

There is one summative assessment on this module a Portfolio Case Study. The portfolio will address core writing skills in addition to all five MLOs.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code C8M9

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full time/4 years full time with optional study abroad year

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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