Crime and Organisations

Module code: CR3504

Module co-ordinator: Anne Esposito

This module introduces you to the key theoretical and contemporary debates in the study of white collar crime and the much broader category, 'crimes of the powerful'. The module will explore the difficulties in both defining and measuring white collar crime, and how it has been addressed by criminologists. Focusing on corporate crime, organised and state crimes, you will explore the types of harm: financial, physical and environmental that are perpetrated by corporations, the state and individual white collar offenders.

Various case studies of governmental, corporate and white collar crime such as complex fraud, industrial disasters, professional misconduct and tax avoidance are used to demonstrate the challenges associated with deciding whether harmful behaviour by the powerful should be defined as crime and the difficulties inherent in using criminal law to curb such activities. You will explore a range of criminological theories that can help explain the harms perpetrated by the powerful as well as the techniques employed by the state in regulating white collar and corporate misconduct.

Topics covered

  • An introduction to white collar crime
  • The theoretical explanation, prevention and regulation of white collar crime
  • White collar and corporate crime
  • Organised and state crimes 


150 hours (over the course of 12 weeks) to include:

  • reading course materials
  • reading, watching and listening to required and recommended resources
  • independent study
  • writing the module assignment.


  • Report, 1,500 words (30%)
  • Essay, 2,500 words (70%)