Criminology is often understood as a product of Sociology, a branch or distant cousin which has become increasingly popular. Social Science or Social Studies consistently features in the top 10 of university courses and students can often choose between the disciplines. It can be tricky to grasp the theory and be critical of institutions and practices. Developing your study skills is a must; this is probably what I spend most of my time helping people with.

Understanding the criminal justice system and the agencies involved is a staple of most courses alongside theory of crime, social control theories and the universal research methodology unit. More individual and specialist units may centre around victim studies, youth crime, cyber-crime, police studies, penology, issues of race and gender, globalised crime, terrorism and organised crime. There is so much to consider and so much of it is overlooked. It is enquiring, it is certainly contested and above all most find it interesting. There are so many resources and case studies to fall back on, indeed cultural criminology entices you to look at the media and culture differently.

The riots in 2011 ran for 5 nights, starting in London but spreading to other major cities. Five people died during the riots and over £200 million of damage caused to businesses and properties. Mobile technology gave us images and Blackberry messenger was reportedly used to organise, incite and mobilise the rioters.

Some claim the riots started after the shooting of Mark Duggan during a Police operation. Others follow that argument by claiming the riots were the result of poor social conditions prevalent in inner city areas. To contest those points Boris Johnson (then mayor) claimed the rioters were criminals, whilst the Prime Minister David Cameron criticised police tactics.


Welcome to Criminology, what do you think?