LLM Crime & Criminal Justice History

Module leader: Professor Carol Jones

Teaching and assessment (2018-19): 1x 6,000 word essay

Module description:

This module seeks to place the development of crime and criminal justice in context. It does this by examining how understandings of crime and the practices of criminal justice were constructed at any given time, and how they were shaped by the oscillating influences of historical, cultural, political, economic and social forces.

To this end, it employs original archival materials, (such as case transcripts, court records, lists of convict ships, newspaper archives) to uncover detailed accounts of crime, criminal lives, and punishments in the UK over time. These materials include records of execution, transportation, imprisonment, and other sanctions, between the 1700s and the present day.

The main purposes of the module are:

  • To provide an understanding of how complex combinations of social, political, cultural and historical factors have shaped (and are shaped by) ‘crime’ and the criminal justice system.
  • To generate ideas and theories of such changes through the study of the scholarship and arguments in the field, as well as analysis of  available empirical data.
  • To equip students with the requisite skills to find, use and analyse archival materials at local, national and international levels, tracing the stories of those processed by the system.
  • To facilitate the organisation and conduct of original research in this field in the form of the research conducted by students for their Dissertations.