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Online course

Crime, Justice and Society

Explore the role of the state in regulating criminal behaviour and the parts played by those in the criminal justice system.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Crime, Justice and Society

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Why join the course?

There are few policy areas that are underpinned by more myths and misconceptions or generate more heated debate than Crime, Justice and Society.

What should the role of the police be? How do victims experience criminal justice? Are there alternative responses to crime instead of prosecution and conviction?

On this course, you’ll learn alongside specialists from the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Criminological Research and hear from those with firsthand experience of the criminal justice system, like the police, probation officers, former prisoners and criminal lawyers.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsThe study of crime and how we respond to it forces us to ask fundamental questions about order and morality in society, and how we define and solve complex social problems. Which human behaviours are defined as crimes? Which citizens are labelled as criminals and brought to justice? Are criminal justice interventions fairly distributed across individuals and social groups? Is it true that the rich get richer and the poor get prison? I'm Dr. Matthew Bacon, a lecturer in criminology in The School of Law at The University of Sheffield.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 seconds During this course, you will learn with a team of experts from The Centre for Criminological Research here at Sheffield, which is one of the UK's original four criminological centres for excellence and has over 30 years of active research experience. The issues we discuss will touch on a range of disciplines, including sociology, economics, history, law, psychology, philosophy, geography and ethics, as well as on people's fears, moralities and politics.

Skip to 1 minute and 15 secondsAs well as academics, we will talk to those with first-hand experience of the criminal justice system including probation officers, former prisoners and criminal lawyers. We'll visit the police service in situ, witness a victim offender mediation session, and even travel to Italy to learn about Cesare Lombroso, the controversial figure often cited as the father of modern criminology. No society will ever be crime-free and criminal justice comes at a price. The knowledge that you gain from this course may inspire you to continue your studies with us, or pursue a career in criminal justice, or even academia.

Skip to 1 minute and 50 seconds Or it may simply give you the knowledge to better understand the complex and contested role of the state in criminal justice interventions and producing safe and just societies. Join us as we begin our study of crime, justice, and society.

What topics will you cover?

  • Crime and Criminal Justice
  • Policing
  • Victims and Victim Support
  • Restorative Justice
  • Prisons and Places of Confinement
  • Community Sanctions and Measures
  • Desistance

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Reflect on the role of the state in the regulation of criminal behaviour.
  • Describe how a range of criminal justice agencies and non-governmental organisations respond to crime.
  • Discuss contemporary issues and emerging questions in the field of criminology.
  • Explore the impacts of victimisation and the support available for victims of crime.
  • Debate controversial issues in policing and prisons.
  • Investigate international developments in restorative justice policy and practice.
  • Evaluate alternative approaches to imprisonment such as community sanctions and measures.
  • Explore emerging research into desistance to understand how and why people stop offending.

Who is the course for?

This is an introductory course and anyone can enjoy it without prior knowledge or experience of the subject. A basic knowledge of criminal justice will be helpful but is not essential. The course will focus on criminal justice in England and Wales, but is designed so that learners from any country can participate.

The course will be useful for those considering an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the fields of criminology or criminal justice.

Who will you learn with?

Matthew Bacon

Lecturer in Criminology at the School of Law, University of Sheffield. Researcher of policing, drug control policy and the informal economy.

Who developed the course?

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $54 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

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  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

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  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.

Upgrade


Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: