Module code: CR3026 (double module)

This module (co-delivered with academic staff in the School of Law) provides a comprehensive examination of prisons and penology. By taking this module you'll examine contemporary trends in penal policy and practice with reference to the historical, legal, political and international context.

Exploring the reasons behind different penal practices in various countries around the world will be pivotal to the module, and the theoretical conceptions of punishment which underpin variations in the use of imprisonment. You’ll become adept with the knowledge and skills required to evaluate and comment upon the experience of imprisonment in relation to vulnerable prisoners and different aspects of the prison regime.

There is also a range of contemporary issues in prisons that you’ll discuss (e.g. overcrowding, drug use, self-harm/ suicide, mental health) and relevant prison policy. You’ll therefore advance your analytical skills and enrich your legal/criminological writing and research abilities.


  • 19 hours of lectures
  • 38 hours of seminars
  • 6 hours of external visits
  • 237 hours of guided independent study


  • Blog, 1,000 words (30%)
  • Essay, 3,000 words (70%)