Module code: SOCM050

Module provider


Module Leader

MCGUIRE MR Dr (Sociology)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Seminar Hours: 22

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2,000 WORD ESSAY 40

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The criminal justice process has often been charged with an over focus upon ‘working class’ crimes such as burglary or street robbery. As a result it has been argued that many more serious crimes effected by more powerful or collective agents like corporations have been overlooked, or policed less effectively. For example, environmental damage, financial misconduct or illicit trading

In this module the nature of criminality effected by the corporate and business worlds and the kinds of measures intended to make corporations more responsible’ will be examined in detail. We consider how agents like corporations can be constructed as criminal actors, both conceptually and legally, the typical kinds of offences they are implicated in and what kinds of responses from the criminal justice system would be most appropriate in dealing with this. A series of case studies across a representative selection of corporate sectors will be used the structure and direct the module content.

Module aims

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Week 1 – Introduction
Week 2 – Defining Corporate Crime (I):- corporate crime and `real? crime
Week 3 – Defining Corporate Crime (II) - boundaries and connections between Corporate, White-collar, State &  Organised Crime
Week 4 – Explaining Corporate Crime (I): Causes, Motivations & Opportunities
Week 5 – Explaining Corporate Crime (II): Offenders & Victims
Week 6 - Corporate Liability & Responsibility:
Week 7 - Case Studies (I)  Employee Health & Safety
Week 8 - Case Studies (II) -Corporate Manslaughter
Week 9 - Case Studies (III) – Corporate Fraud and Financial Misconduct
Week 10 - Case Studies (IV) – Emerging varieties of Corporate crime in the Digital and Bio-chemical industries
Week 11 – Roundtable Discussion and Course Review

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Foster a systematic understanding of the ways in which different theories have sought to understand different types of corporate criminality.
Develop an advanced ability to make connections and distinctions between these different theories and apply these to real world contexts of corporate crime and responsibility.
Enhance critical understanding of the ways corporate criminality and its control intersect with public policy, corporate regulation and the operations of the criminal justice system.


The learning and teaching methods include:

Knowledge and understanding is fostered through lectures, seminars and workshops that guide students through relevant material and develop their capacity for critical thought. Students are encouraged to pursue deeper study independently through extensive reading and to apply learning to their own specialist substantive areas or interests. Teaching and learning consists of a mixture of lectures, seminars and applied case study exercises, Guest speakers from the corporate world will provide engagement with innovative and leading edge developments in corporate governance and corporate responsibility

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Learning Outcome

Assessed by

understand the nature of corporate criminality, in particular how to define and, measure it
demonstrate an awareness of the key theoretical perspectives around corporate crime within the criminological and socio-legal fields

2,000 word essay

demonstrate an awareness of the kinds of criminal sanctions which can be imposed upon companies and the difficulties involved in applying such sanctions
understand the options for corporate self-regulation and the current successes and failures of the corporate responsibility approach


Formative Case Study proposal
Case Study Report


be able to conduct  independent research in the field of corporate crime, using materials from a range of disciplines such as criminology, law and management theory

2,000 word essay
Case Study Report



Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


An essay of 2,000 words. Feedback will be provided to students both via written and verbal comments
A case study report/presentation of 3,000 words. Feedback will be provided to students both via written and verbal comments


Formative assessment and feedback

A proposal and outline plan for the Case Study Report of no more than 1,000 words. Verbal and written feedback will be provided to students.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology and Social Research (Corporate Crime and Corporate Responsibility) MSc 2 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.