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ZUG1103 - Crime in context: theory & typologies

Undergraduate – Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Faculty of Social and Health Sciences


South Africa

  • First Semester 2019 (Day)

15 Credits


The objective of this module is to introduce students to the major theoretical perspectives and paradigms which have shaped our understanding of fundamental criminological concepts and criminal behaviour within a South African and International context. Furthermore, this module aims to allow students to engage with relevant literature and research in order to facilitate the understanding of the key theoretical premises and arguments and to reflect on the merits and shortfalls of various criminological theories. This module focuses on the exploration of certain key themes that define the study of criminology such as the typologies of crime, the nature and extent of criminal behaviour, the role of the media in altering our perceptions of crime as well as key social divisions across offending behaviour.


  • Understand the context of crime within a national and international framework.
  • Critically discuss the various theoretical frameworks used within Criminology.
  • Describe the various crime typologies.
  • Evaluate the role the media plays in our perceptions of crime
  • Critique the theories and their applicability to crime in contemporary society
  • Identify and describe the sources of crime statistics.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write a critical assignment based on a rational argument.


Within semester/Formative assessment: 60%
Examination/Summative assessment: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this module is 150 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The module requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.