SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHL324386
Module Leader Lesley McMillan
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Sociology
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Level 3 Criminology or Sociology

Summary of Content

Increasing social scientific study has sought to understand the impact of crime on victims, why some victims report their victimisation while others do not, the true incidence of victimisation for various crime typologies, theories of victimisation, why some individuals are more likely to be victimized than others, statutory and non-statutory responses to victimisation, advocacy and compensation for victims, etc. Victims are also gaining a more prominent status in the media and political commentary. Additionally, the impact crime has on individuals and society has been conceptualised in a number of ways, including as trauma (including collective and cultural trauma) and social harm. This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the key issues, theoretical perspectives and debates within victimology, a critical understanding of victim experience, and how the category 'victim' is socially constructed. Additionally it will take a critical approach to understandings of both trauma and social harm and how society has sought to frame the impact of victimisation at the individual and societal level. The module aligns with the Principles for Responsible Management in Education by supporting interaction, learning, dialogue and debate on issues of global social responsibility and sustainability and the roles of institutions to support this.


The syllabus will cover all the main areas pertinent to the study of victimology, trauma and social harm and will include: -360b7 Historical Development of 'Victims' and the Study of Victimisation/Victimology b7 Theories of Victimisation: Individual, Societal and Cultural Explanations b7 The Victim in Social and Political Context b7 Measuring Victimisation and The Challenges of Doing So b7 'Types' of Justice: Criminal, Restorative, Procedural etc. b7 Social Diversity, Inequality and Victimisation b7 'Types' of Victimisation including: Violent Victimisation Gendered (Domestic Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse, Rape and Sexual Assault, Stalking etc.). Hate Crime (Ethnicity, LGBT Groups etc.) Events Such as 9/11, 7/7, natural disasters -360b7 Representation of Victims (Media Input) b7 Statutory Responses to Victimisation b7 Non-statutory, Third Sector and Grass-Roots Responses

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:1 Understand and explain the historical development of the category 'victim' and victimology2 Critically evaluate the main theoretical perspectives in victimology3 Critically analyse the main issues, problems and processes in measuring victimisation4 Analyse the definition(s) and social construction of victims5 Critically appraise political and social processes of victimisation6 Understand and analyse the impact of social diversity and inequality on victimisation and responses to it7 Evaluate and critique both statutory and non-statutory responses to victims and victimisation8 Understand, evaluate and explain the differences between state-supported response to victims and those from grass- roots/independent movements9 Apply theoretical analysis to criminal justice policy and practice.1010 Evaluate the usefulness of individual theoretical 10 perspectives as well as individual criminal justice policies.11 Critically evaluate the concepts of (and discourse surrounding) trauma, collective and cultural trauma, and social harm as ways of framing and understanding both individual and collective victimisation.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module provides a range of direct and indirect learning opportunities, with the key aim of helping students grow as independent learners. The module is taught by a combination of lectures and seminars each of which will include independent learning activities for students to complete outside class. GCULearn plays a vital part in the GSBS learning and teaching strategy as a blended learning tool. The School will ensure that all modules are not only GCULearn-enabled, but also at the cutting edge in developing online learning materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn, ensuring effective student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is normally provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

Alexander, J.C. et al (2004) Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity, University of California Press Bottoms, A. ed. (2007) Victims in the Criminal Justice System: A Need for Rebalancing , Cullompton: Willan Coffey, R. (1998) Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings, Sidran Press Cohen, S. (2001) States of Denial, Cambridge: Polity Davies, P., Francis, P. and Greer, Chris (2007) Victims, Crime and Society , London: Sage. Dobash, R. & Dobash, R. (1992) Women, Violence and Social Change, London: Routledge Erikson, K.T (1976) Everything in Its Path, London: Touchstone Farrell, G. & Pease, K. eds. (2001) Repeat Victimisation , Cullompton: Willan Goodey, J. (2005) Victims and Victimology : Resarch, policy and practice, Harlow: Longman. Herman, J.L. (1992) Trauma and Recovery, London: Pandora Hester, M. et al (1996) Women, Violence and Male Power, Buckingham: OU Press Kennedy, L. W. & Sacco, V.F. (1998) Crime Victims in Context , Los Angeles: Roxbury Maguire, M. & Pointing, J. (1988) Victims of Crime, Milton Keynes: OUP Mawby, R.I. & Walklate, S. (1994) Critical Victimology , London: Sage Newburn, T. (2007) Criminology , Cullompton: Willan (Chapter 17 : 'Victims, victimisation and victimology') Ruback, R.B. & Thompson, M.P. (2001) Social and Psychological Consequences of Violent Victimisation, London: Sage Spalek, B. (2006) Crime Victims: Theory, policy and practice , Basingstoke: Palgrave. Walklate. S (ed.) (2007) Handbook of Victims and Victimology , Cullompton Walklate, S. (2007) Imagining the Victim of Crime , Maidenhead: Open University Press. International Journals to include: British Journal of Criminology Violence Against Women Journal of Interpersonal Violence Violence and Victims

Transferrable Skills

On completion of the module students should have acquired the following skills: b7 Skills of enquiry, knowledge management and dissemination b7 Analytical and critical thinking b7 Creativity, innovation, independence and social responsibility b7 Problem solving b7 Interpersonal and communication skills b7 Time management Independence and self-direction

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 4.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Independent Learning (FT) 130.00
Assessment (FT) 36.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 n/a 4000 word essay