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Crime and justice

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Crime, disorder, and justice are increasingly pressing concerns across the world. Fear of crime and proliferating global threats contribute to an increasing sense of insecurity. Local concerns – for example street crime – are now accompanied by twenty-first century global concerns about human trafficking, cyber-crime, terrorism and human rights violations to name but a few. These ‘threats’ have implications for justice, as the boundaries between crime control and civil liberties are being increasingly redrawn. You’ll explore crime and justice in both global and local contexts, and in particular the way that crime and justice are being continually redefined by global economic, social and political change.

Modules at Level 3 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
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Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1625.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1465.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2018.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

Crime and how to respond to it are major concerns and this course offers critical questions to help you to better understand complex local and global trends in crime and crime control. It asks you to question why particular behaviours are criminalised at certain points in time and in certain places but not in others and why some harmful acts are not defined as crimes at all.

Crime and justice is designed to enable you to gain an understanding of the contemporary nature of crime and criminal justice ‘beyond borders’. You will learn how to recognise the different ways in which crime is constructed, conceived and controlled. You will discover how criminologists have explained and rationalised these issues and explore how ideas and theories have been constructed to underpin these explanations. The course structures your understanding of crime and justice through a sustained engagement with relevant and accessible topics brought together under the themes of power, violence and harm.

Key issues for this course are:

  • What do we mean by ‘crime’ and ‘criminal justice’?
  • In what ways do crime and criminal justice have a global dimension?
  • What is the difference between crime and the idea of social harm?
  • How is the concept of violence intrinsic to understanding both crime and criminal justice?
  • How does power work itself into networks of crime and the practices of criminal justice?

Throughout the course these issues will be explored through a series of topics, ranging from the production and selling of drugs, cities, slums and transgression, cyber-crime, human trafficking, corporate crime, torture and genocide to surveillance and global monitoring, the science of risk prediction, cultures of control, trans-national policing, international criminal courts and universal human rights. Throughout we ask what are the implications of only recognising ‘crime’ through the criminal laws enacted by individual societies? What are the consequences of responding to harms, disputes and conflicts primarily through the agencies of criminal justice? Asking such questions sheds light not only on 'the problem of crime' and 'the effectiveness of criminal justice', but also encourages imaginative thinking of how these issues might be reformulated and readdressed.

Vocational relevance

This course is for anyone who has a serious interest in studying one of society’s most pressing social problems at a local and global level. It is of professional relevance for those who work for, or who wish to work for, the agencies of the criminal justice system, or for organisations concerned with the care and resettlement of offenders, civil liberties, human rights, social justice, victim support, crime prevention, community safety and conflict resolution.

Entry

This is a Level 3 course, for which you are expected to be acquainted with the social sciences or with humanities. Level 3 courses build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at Levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject, preferably with the OU. The skills you need include understanding and using abstract ideas, reading and extracting concepts and arguments, developing your own arguments, and recognising and assessing different viewpoints. Ideally you should have already taken a Level 2 social science course. Your regional or national centre will be able to tell you where you can see reference copies of study materials, and can advise you about appropriate skills.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Preparatory work

You could ease yourself into studying criminology by taking an active interest in all aspects of media coverage of crime and the criminal justice system.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Large print versions of the study materials can be provided on request. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

 

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Course books and website.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

One of the TMAs is called the ‘independent essay’, and is an opportunity for you to conduct your own small-scale research on a topic of interest to you in the course, supported by your tutor. 

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2014. We expect it to be available once a year.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code DD301
Credits 60
OU Level 3
SCQF level 10
FHEQ level 6
Course work includes:
5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
Examination
No residential school

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