Accessibility statement

Crime, Media & Culture - SOC00051H

« Back to module search

  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Ruth Penfold-Mounce
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

Working broadly from the perspective of cultural and visual criminology this module engages with theories and debates about the media and its relationship with crime, examining representations of crime and justice in the news media and in popular culture. It considers the role of power and perception through of crime through the media and formation of a mediated crime oriented culture.

Professional requirements


Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • Provide a theoretically informed understanding of the interaction between media representation, crime, criminal justice and culture
  • Develop student’s understandings and appreciation of the significance of media narratives and images for different audiences
  • Consider the extent to which the media undermines or bolsters existing structures of power and authority
  • Reflect on the significance of popular culture portrayals of crime on perceptions of crime and criminal justice 

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Evaluate the relationships between crime, criminal justice, media representations and cultural dynamics.
  • Display an understanding of the links between crime, criminal justice, the media and cultural contexts.
  • Offer analysis of the extent to which cultural contexts and media representations shape crime control.
  • Discuss issues of crime, media and culture within a global context.
  • Critically analyse key literature and ideas surrounding crime, media and culture
  • Express an argument in scholarly but accessible formats
  • Evaluate the use of media images from the news, popular culture and social media

Module content

Content for the module could include:

Week 2 Studying Crime, Media and Culture 

Week 3 Visual Criminology and the Spectacle of Crime: Trial By Media

Week 4 Female and Child Killers

Week 5 Serial Killing

Week 6 Film and Prisons

Week 7 Crime Fiction

Week 8 Future Imaginings of Crime and Law Enforcement

Week 9 Organised Crime


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 35
Book/Journal Article Review
N/A 35
Visual Analysis
N/A 30

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Formative assessment is conducted via peer and staff feedback on a visual analysis of an image in preparation for summatively assessed visual analysis.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 35
Book/Journal Article Review
N/A 35
Visual Analysis
N/A 30

Module feedback

Oral feedback is provided by staff and student peers in seminars through discussion.

Feedback on summative work is provided in written format and additional oral feedback (based on the written feedback) is provided by personal supervisors.

Indicative reading

Carrabine, E. (2015) Visual criminology. The Routledge handbook of qualitative criminology, London: Routledge.

Greer, C. (ed.) (2019) Crime and media: A reader, London: Routledge.

Jewkes, Y. (2015) Media & Crime (3rd Ed) London: Sage.

Martin, G. (2019) Crime, Media and Culture, London: Routledge.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.