Accessibility statement

Social Policy, Crime & Criminal Justice - SPY00050H

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Rachel Vipond
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

This module brings together students from the University of York and HMP Buckley Hall to engage in a shared learning experience which takes place on the prison site. The module takes the five pillars of welfare and applies these to an understanding of crime and criminality. The module provides those who are both inside (those in custody) and those outside (students) with a unique opportunity to examine the lived experience of prison life and the implications for social welfare.

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module brings together students from the University of York and HMP Buckley Hall to engage in a shared learning experience which takes place on the prison site. The module is based on the highly successful ‘Inside-Out’ Prison Exchange project that runs in the USA.

The module will provide students who are both ‘inside’ (those in custody) and ‘outside’ (those in university) with a unique experience that will involve high levels of reflection not only on the course materials but on the process and meaning of learning. The distinctive element of the module is its ability to break down barriers created by social division giving all students involved an insight into the lived experience of their peers.


Module learning outcomes

Our aims for this course are that it will:

  • Develop substantive and critical knowledge and understanding of the relationship between social policy ideas and research and crime;
  • Co-create a model of learning that supports students’ capacities for critical engagement with knowledge (evaluation and synthesis) through dialogue;
  • Foster open and thoughtful dialogue between all students in order to grow and liberate self-reflective capacities and socially transformative perspectives in students through the learning experience; and
  • Create a learning environment that is simultaneously comfortable, challenging and capacitating, and which supports future educational engagement.

Module content

The module will explore the pillars of welfare - education, housing, employment, health and social security - in relation to crime and criminal justice allowing the experiences and knowledge of prisoners and students to be shared. All sessions will take place at the prison site. The Department will provide transport.


Task Length % of module mark
Reflective Log
N/A 33.3
Web blog
N/A 3.4
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 3.3

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The assessment is designed to engage prisoners and students on a level playing field and so a group presentation will facilitate joint working throughout the term and a reflective essay will be used that is not based on additional academic reading that prisoners will be unable to access.


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

Module feedback

All students will receive feedback on the group presentation in week 10 (one week after the presentations are made).

Students will also receive written feedback on the essay within 4 weeks of submission.

Indicative reading

Emma Wincup 'Understanding Crime and Social Policy', Policy Press

Jones-Fine and Nellis 'Crime and Social Exclusion'., John Wiley

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.