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Victimology and Victimisation - SPY00032I

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Susan Watson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

This module focuses on victimology as an explanatory force for understanding the experience of being a victim of crime and harm. It will explore various theoretical perspectives of victimhood including ideal victim theory. These ideas will be applied to a range of specific victimisations including state, corporate and environmental crime and harm incorporating international perspectives in doing so. It will explore the interaction between victims, the criminal justice system and processes and agencies beyond criminal justice.

This course aims to enable students to:

  • Develop a critical appreciation of research on victimisation (its nature, extent, patterns, contexts and consequences), and of the discipline of victimology within which much of this research is located.

  • Explore debates about a number of issues to which the boundaries of victimisation or the impacts of victimisation are central, and the implications of different positions.

  • Introduce students to the international and global dimensions of victimology and victimisation.

  • Give detailed consideration of specific case studies to interrogate the role of state organisations, corporations and NGOs in both creating victimisation and in dealing with its aftermath.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  • Articulate Christie’s ‘Ideal Victim Theory’, its purpose, usefulness, and be able to critically apply it to a range of victim related scenarios

  • Critically evaluate responses of the CJS, government and NGOs to different types of victim groups

  • Understand the intersectional, situational and constructed nature of victimisation and responses to it (i.e. these are located in time and place, and dominant values/belief systems)

  • Critically assess policy and practice responses to victims

  • Articulate what a victim centred response would be like to a variety of forms of victimisation.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay: Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay: Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

Indicative reading

  • Bottoms, A E (2010) Hearing the Victim: adversarial justice, crime victims and the state. Collumpton: Willan.

  • Doak, J (2008) Victims’ Rights, Human Rights and Criminal Justice.Bloomsbury: Hart

  • Duggan, M (2018) Revisiting the ‘ideal victim’: Developments in critical victimology. Bristol: Policy Press.

  • Hall, M (2009) Victims of Crime: Policy and practice in criminal justice. Collumpton: Willan

  • Hall, M (2010) Victims and Policy Making: a comparative perspective. Abingdon: Willan.

  • Walklate, S (2018) Handbook of Victims and Victimology. 2nd edition. Collumpton: Willan

  • Wolhuter, L; Olley, N and Denham, D (2009) Victimology: victimisation and victims’ rights. London: Routledge-Cavendish.

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.