CR4013 - Crime Myths and Realities

What will I learn on this module?

Whilst learning about a number of significant criminal case studies from the UK, you will learn to develop critical thinking skills relating to crime and the way crime is researched, reported and represented. In the course of the module, you will also learn some of the vital skills necessary to be a criminologist, relating to critical thinking, academic referencing, researching crime and society, and interpreting crime statistics.

How will I learn on this module?

This module will be delivered using a combination of lectures and seminar activities. You are also required to do a good deal of directed and independent study: Directed learning generally will take the form of preparation for seminars (including both reading and written work) either individually or in small groups. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation of sources, the consolidation of lecture and seminar materials, and revision/preparation for the various types of assessment included in the unit. Students must come prepared to actively engage in informed (through reading) discussions in seminar groups.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

This is a team taught module, with two or three staff members available to support you via lectures, seminars, scheduled tutorial hours and via email and the electronic learning portal. There is also substantial support from your fellow students during seminars and outside of class. Your academic development will be facilitated through engagement with the newly emerging academic literature and by debating with your peers and academic tutors about your understanding of the literature.

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 and Understanding:
• Understand the complex nature of crime as a social phenomena in context, and key questions relating to researching crime.
• Understand fundamental academic principles relating to critical thinking, referencing, research and crime data.
• Understand and critically engage with several real-life case studies involving criminal/harmful events.

Intellectual / Professional Skills and abilities:
• Developing core academic skills including referencing, interpreting crime data, critical thinking, and essay writing.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Developing self-confidence in thinking and writing criminologically, as well as developing the ability to discuss and debate ideas with others.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment is given continually during seminars and in preparations for the essay to encourage participation and critical thinking.
Oral formative feedback regarding work for in-class assignments.

Summative Assessments:
Online Test(s) (25%)
Online assignment(s) focussing on critical skills covered on the module:
- Referencing
- Research Methods
- Interpreting Crime Data
- Critical Thinking

Summative Essay (75%)
One 2000 word essay which entails a critical discussion of crime myths and realities relating to a case study covered on the module.

These assessments address MLO 1,2,3,4 and 5. Written summative feedback will be provided on the essays.





Module abstract

This module equips you with the skills needed to become a criminologist by asking you to critically consider prevailing assumptions about crime and society. By looking at a series of recent case studies from the UK, the module examines a range of social problems, harms and criminal acts and offers a critical perspective on dominant understandings of crime. On this module, you will be asked to consider a number of provocative questions relating to both myths and realities about crime. Questions you may be asked to consider include: How do we tell the difference between reliable and unreliable sources of information? What is the best approach to measuring crime? What different methods can we use to research crime? How does the media shape our understanding of crime? In addition, you will also examine a number of fascinating recent real life case studies, and explore the broader social and criminological issues surrounding these cases.

Course info

UCAS Code M900

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

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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