Victims and Offenders

Module code: SY1016

Module co-ordinator: Jerry Coulton

Please note that from 2016 this will be a second-year module.

Much of the modern focus in criminology and sociology has been on ways of better defining and understanding the rehabilitation, management, and punishment of the criminal offender. However, rising crime rates, changing media practices, and new political priorities, as well as declining public support for liberal welfarist strategies in relation to offenders, has shifted the policy and academic focus over the past 30 years towards the position and role of the victim in the criminal justice process.

In this module you will consider the social make-up of offenders and victims, analysing the relationship between them. Together we will assess their respective treatment by the criminal justice system in the context of a growing academic, public, and policy focus on managing crime risks.

We will critically analyse the recent shift in emphasis and explore how this new direction has contributed to important discussions about balancing the rights of offenders and victims, and the unequal distribution of 'risk', 'fear', and 'vulnerability' in the new crime landscapes of late-modern cities. Finally, we will examine the recent 'return' to centre-stage of the offender, especially in debates about restorative justice and of various forms of state crime.


  • Eighteen one-hour lectures
  • Eight one-hour seminars


  • One case study of 3,000 words (100%)