Violence, Victimisation, and Social Harm SOCIO5111

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course presents a critical criminological analysis of violence and victimisation. This involves a focus on interpersonal and structural forms of harm, covering: poverty, place and repeat victimisation; gendered violence and victimisation; the harms of hate crime; and violence and victimisation in the criminal justice system. Alongside patterns and prevalence, it considers meanings and representations, emphasising the social and political context of violence and victimisation, policy and practice.


10 x 2 hour face-to-face on-campus seminars during a 10 week semester

Requirements of Entry

In order to take this module you need to have met the requirements for entry into our MSc/PGDip/PGCert in Criminology and Criminal Justice Programme. This means achieving a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject.


Students will conduct a critical criminological analysis of a case study related to violence, victimisation, and social harm. They may choose from:


■ an example of violence, victimisation and/or social harm (e.g. disability hate crime, repeat victimisation, technology-facilitated abuse, deaths in custody, etc.) OR

■ a representation of violence, victimisation and/or social harm (e.g. a news report, public health campaign, photographic exhibition, film, etc.) OR

■ a statutory or non-statutory response to violence, victimisation and/or social harm (e.g. a violence strategy, prevention programme, training resources for practitioners, legal reform, policy guidelines, etc.)


Summative assessment 1: Annotated bibliography (1,500 words, 30%)


Students will compile a list of five sources to be used in their case study analysis. These sources should be reported using Harvard referencing conventions and accompanied by a short summary which demonstrates understanding of core course themes/concepts. Better submissions will not only summarise the content but consider its strengths and weaknesses, reflecting on the relevance of the material discussed to the case study under consideration and recording any questions that remain after reading.


Summative assessment 2: Case study (3,500 words, 70%)


The main summative assessment will take the form of a standard research paper of 3,500 words on their own applied example of violence, victimisation and/or social harm. This piece of writing should draw upon relevant criminological sources, up-to-date empirical evidence, and address key themes and concepts discussed during the course.

Course Aims

This course aims to develop a critical understanding of the key conceptual, theoretical, and methodological approaches employed in criminological analyses of violence, victimisation and wider forms of social harm.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ identify, critically examine and apply key concepts, theories and evidence employed in criminological analyses of the social contexts and consequences of violence and victimisation 

■ demonstrate an advanced understanding of the complex, contested and contradictory meanings of violence and victimhood within contemporary culture - and link these to wider social practices and concerns

■ critically evaluate contemporary policies and practices for responding to violence, victimisation and social harm

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.