Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Youth, Delinquency and Crime

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION The study-unit will bring together an array of theory and research which will be examined from different perspectives. More specifically, it discusses the main theoretical perspectives on delinquent and criminal behaviour, explores the development of criminal careers, reviews the various responses to criminality and the social contexts of delinquent careers.

The study-unit will include the following topics:

- Explanations of Delinquent and Criminal Behaviour: Bio-social theory, Individually oriented and integrated theories, social process theories and sociological theories on crime

- The Development of the Criminal Career

- The Social Contexts of Criminal Careers

Study-unit Aims:

The main aim of this study-unit is to provide an overview of the different contributions to the understanding of crime, including approaches from biology, psychology and sociology. The study-unit aims to critically engage course participants with the various approaches to the study of delinquency and crime. It aims to understand the development of delinquent and criminal careers and to make applications for prevention and intervention with young people in trouble.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- understand how delinquency , crime and deviance are a social construct

- understand the contributions of the different theories of crime

- understand the development of the delinquent and criminal career, including differing motivations for onset, escalation, commitment and desistance

- understand the implications of all the above for intervening with troubled youth

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills):
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- critically engage with the related subject matter;

- apply theories to practical work with young people;

- distinguish between theories of crime and common sense understandings of youth crime

- understand the methods used to investigate youth crime and the various theoretical perspectives used to explain such crime

- develop the capacity for critical thought and reflection

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated against each entry)

Set Text:

Siegal, L & Senna, J. (2003) Juvenile delinquency USA: West

Further Reading:

Curran, D & Renzetti, C (1994) Theories of Crime MA: Allyn and Bacon

Finckenauer, J. (1984) Juvenile Delinquency and Corrections: The Gap between Theory and Practice Florida: Academic Press

Gibbons, D. (1992) Society, Crime and Criminal Behaviour New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Brown, S (2005)Understanding Youth and Crime: Listening to Youth: Open University Press

Muncie, J (2004) Youth and Crime: A Critical Introduction Sage Publications Ltd; Second Edition edition

Selected readings

ADDITIONAL NOTES Please note that this Study-Unit is held in the Evening.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (3 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.