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Introduction to Criminology will provide students with a comprehensive overview of key issues in criminology and criminal justice. It will allow for intellectual engagement with questions such as:
* What is crime and why does it happen?
* How do society and the state interpret and react to crime and deviance?
* What is the purpose of punishment and how should it be used?
* How might social status influence how we perceive and react to crime?
* To what extent do existing approaches to criminal justice represent the most effective and appropriate mechanisms with which to respond to the harm caused by crime?
The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of criminological thinking and research and, in particular, with knowledge about the operations and limitations of criminal justice processes and institutions. This module will require students to think philosophically, sociologically and empirically about the topics under study, promoting their intellectual development. The module does not focus entirely on Irish criminologists or the Irish criminal justice system – instead, it draws on theoretical and empirical literature from a wide variety of studies, countries and contexts in order to ensure that students develop a well-rounded understanding of criminology and criminal justice around the globe.
Some lectures will also be delivered by guest speakers who are either criminological researchers or criminal justice practitioners. Students will be expected to prepare for, attend and participate actively in lectures over the course of the module.