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ZUG2061 - Victimology: Understanding victims and victimisation

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 2020 (Day)

15 Credits


The objective of this module is to introduce students to the sub-discipline of Victimology within Criminology studies. This module aims to provide students with a sound and critical knowledge of criminal victimisation, including but not limited to concepts such as victim blaming, secondary victimisation and vulnerable victims. 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 victimological theories. This module will examine crime victimisation dynamics, lifestyle and causal factors for victimisation, the relationship between the victim and offender, the physical, emotional and financial impact of crime as well as the treatment of victims with the Criminal Justice System.


  • Explain Victimology as a branch of Criminology.
  • Critically discuss the various theories and models used to explain the phenomenon of victimisation.
  • Describe the various types of victimisation and vulnerable victims within society.
  • Critique the theories and their applicability to victimisation in contemporary society.
  • Discuss the role of the victim within the Criminal Justice System, including responses to victimisation.
  • Critically evaluate the difference between victim support and victim empowerment.
  • Write a critical assignment based on a rational argument.


Within semester/Formative assessment: 65%
Examination/Summative assessment: 35%

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.