Behaviour and society

About this minor

An introduction to criminology with regard for developments in crime and justice research in the context of sustainability and inequality.

Crime might seem like an easy concept to grasp (e.g. murder, theft), but many phenomena are in the twilight zone between the legal and the illegal (e.g. ecological damage). Some harmless acts are criminalized, other acts are ‘awful but lawful’. This broadening minor introduces students to different perspectives on crime, criminalization and victimization. The course offers tools for a critical understanding of a diverse range of crimes, their causes, and their offenders and victims. In addition to understanding crime, the minor explores a variety of approaches to respond to crime, ranging from criminal law to social prevention. Students will be introduced to the core concepts, theories and methods of criminology, to the basics of crime control and prevention and to current issues in the field of crime and justice.

Contemporary developments in criminology, crime and justice run as a thread through this minor. We pay attention to how crime, subversion and approaches to it relate to inequality and sustainability. Given that many developments in contemporary crime are inherently global, we pay attention to the role of globalization, while not losing track of local particularities in crime (policy). Think for instance of topics such as exploitation of migrant workers in the Netherlands, cybercrime, radicalization and deforestation.

Students will learn about different perspectives on crime, criminalization and victimization. The dominant perspective in this broadening minor is a sociological and critical approach to the study of crime, by paying attention to power dimensions that are inherent to criminalization and by paying attention to unintended social consequences of crime control policies.

Learning outcomes

  • Explain and apply core concepts in criminology
  • Describe research methods and data sources in criminology and assess their strengths and weaknesses
  • Describe the key criminological theories and assess their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Assess the implications of different perspectives on crime for crime prevention and control
  • Apply the key criminological theories to specific criminological phenomena and current issues
  • Describe and compare different approaches to and strategies of crime control and prevention
  • Express and debate one's own understanding of behaviour in the twilight zone between the legal and illegal with one's peers
  • Collaborate with one's peers about real-life cases of behaviour in the twilight zone between the legal and the illegal

Good to know

  • This minor is taught face-to-face on campus (offline) and is not suitable for online/remote attendance as course meetings will not be recorded.
  • Interactive course lectures form most of the course meetings; there are no separate tutorials.
  • The duration of the course is 10 weeks, including the final exam; note that there will be no education free week.
  • Students are required to have sufficient command of the English language because all lectures, readings and assessment methods are in English.
  • This course primarily takes a sociological approach to crime and deviance. Sociology is part of the social sciences, so this may mean that students who enroll in this course with no previous training in the social sciences, might find some of the course readings challenging.
  • Finally, the workload of this course is 15 ECTS and it realistically translates to a workload of 42 hours per week.

Teaching method and examination

Teaching methods
Interactive lectures, Guest lectures

Teaching materials

  • Carrabine, E., Cox, A., Cox, P., et al. (2020). Criminology. A sociological introduction. Fourth edition. London: Routledge.
  • Journal articles and media sources to be distributed on Canvas.

We advise you to buy your own copy of this book because we will use most of the chapters. Please make sure to buy this 4th edition (2020) because there are significant changes compared to earlier versions.

All journal articles, videos, media sources, and PowerPoint presentations will be made available for download on Canvas.

Method of examination

  • A blog post on a key reading in criminology. Students choose a key reading from a provided list to write a blog and are required to comment on blogs of other students as well.

  • A group project (4-5 students) about a criminological phenomenon that is in the twilight zone between the legal and illegal. Topics are chosen from a provided list. Groups gather arguments for and against criminalization based on academic and non-academic sources. At the end of the course each group presents their (preliminary) findings in class.

  • A final exam consisting of open (essay) questions (covering all parts of the course).

Composition final gradde
Blog assignment (individual): 25 percent
Group project assignment (group): 25 percent
Final exam (individual): 50 percent

For passing the minor it is required that assignments are submitted. Students can compensate the grades of the individual components, meaning that they do not need to get a passing grade for both the blog assignment and the final exam. For instance, you can score a ‘5’ on your blog paper, but still pass the course because you scored an ‘8’ on the final exam since your average grade for the individual component would be a passing grade (a ‘7’). The assessment matrix will be provided in the syllabus.

Rubrics will be used to grade the assignments.

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 15
  • Level
  • Contact coordinator
  • Selection minor
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  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      8 November 2024
    • Term *
      Block MINOR
    • Location
    • Instruction language
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These offerings are valid for students of TU Delft