Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2014 (Day)
South Africa OCT-MSA01 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Ms Tara Harris


The unit is designed to help students understand crime and to be able to critically analyse and evaluate the various facets of crime. It does this by introducing students to the main paradigms (including the importance of an African paradigm) and theories of crime and critically evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of those paradigms and theories. It also analyses issues such as: What is crime? How does society decide that certain actions are criminal? What are the causes of crime? The seriousness of the crime problem; why society views corporate crime differently from street crime; how the media responds to crime; the value or otherwise of crime statistics and what effect the images of crime have on societies' perceptions of the crime problem and how it should be addressed.


On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. A critical understanding of the various facets of crime and the crime problem particularly from an African perspective;
  2. An ability to evaluate theories of crime and their applicability to contemporary society;
  3. An understanding of the value or otherwise of crime statistics and how they are used;
  4. The ability to write an essay based on rational argument;
  5. The skills needed to deliver an oral presentation;
  6. Library and internet based research skills.


Essay (2000 words) 40%
Exam (2 hours) 50%
Tutorial attendance and participation 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study