Undergraduate Studies

Academic Year 1

CRIM 1514
Introduction to Criminology

In this module the evolution and scope of the study field of criminology in Africa is described together with a critical engagement with different schools of thought, ideology, policy and juridical and non-juridical orientations towards crime, conflict, victimisation and justice to ultimately enhance safety in society. With reference to theoretical and empirical frameworks the incidence, nature and causes of local and global crime patterns and trends are analysed in tandem with differential victimisation vulnerability, reduction measures and the fear of crime as reported in the media and elsewhere.

CRIM 1624
Introduction to Criminal Justice

This module is aimed at equipping students with the fundamental knowledge, theories, principles and practices of Criminal Justice. With a focus on defining key concepts related to Criminal justice and providing a historical overview of the development of Criminal Justice in South Africa. Policing and the court system of South Africa are also evaluated, focusing on the accountability of police, corruption, brutality and their vulnerability in the line of duty as well as the court proceedings, key role players, judicial decisions and sentencing trends within the South African context. The module also focuses on assessing the current situation in South African correctional centres and evaluating alternative sentencing options aimed at combating challenges such as overcrowding commonly experienced in correctional centres. 

Academic Year 2

CRIM 2614

This module is aimed at equipping students with the fundamental knowledge, theories, principles and practices of the study field of Penology as an area of specialisation in Criminology. The conceptualisation of key concepts and an overview of the development of punishment form the foundation of this module. Focusing also on the theoretical principles related to punishment in the South African context, where after the practical implementation of these principles and sentencing practices are explored and evaluated.

CRIM 2724

Within an African framework the module provides with comparative and specialised knowledge in order to assess victimisation risk and the impact of victimisation on individuals, communities, society, ecology and the sustainable development of our society as a whole. Victimisation is studied within cultural, historical, socio-economic, legal and political contexts with an emphasis on the abuse of power and collective victimisation, institutional and structural victimisation, victim/offender sequences, homogeneity, victim recidivism and victimisation reduction. Comprehensive knowledge of victim/survivor empowerment strategies will ensure the promotion of the rights of survivors of crime and abuse of power as set out in international and domestic legal frameworks.

Academic Year 3

CRIM 3714
Research Methodology for Criminology and Criminal Justice

The aim of CRIM 3714 is to equip you with fundamental knowledge of the principles and practices of research in Criminology and Criminal Justice. This module will assist in the advancement of your understanding of the philosophical foundations of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research methodologies through the practical application of these paradigms in the conceptualisation and development of a research project. The importance of ethics in the practice of research will be included in this module for you to understand the significance of developing research projects that are not only ethically sound but scientifically and empirically valid.

CRIM 3724
Understanding Child Justice

This module is a critical introduction to the study-field of child justice with an exposition and analysis of victim-offender sequences and criminogenic risk factors. Child justice is studied within socio-economic, cultural, political and legal contexts scrutinising within a human rights framework. Within a South African framework, the module also provides comparative and specialised knowledge regarding sentencing practices, child justice indicators, structural interdicts to ensure state delivery as well as minimum standards of child justice and reform.

CRIM 3734
Criminal Behavior – Biopsychosocial Perspectives

This module contains fundamental knowledge, theories, principles and practices of Criminology. The offender is analysed as influenced by multiple systems. The analysis refers to the bio-and psychosocial aetiology of criminal behaviour, classification systems, intervention measures and crime reduction. Attention is paid to life-span development, behavioural disorders, learning and situational risk factors. The relationship between crime and mental disorders are explored, focusing on mentally disordered defendants, criminal responsibility and risk assessments. The course concludes with psychosocial analysis of specific patterns/ types of criminal behaviour.

CRIM 3744
Forensic Criminology

This module equips students with the knowledge and skills to present evidence to the criminal justice system and other stakeholders informed by scientific rigour. The crime case study method is highlighted, and analyses refer inter alia to behavioural evidence and risk assessment, pre-sentence evaluations and victim impact statements. Credibility is of crucial importance, and psychological factors in eyewitness testimony, and the role and functions of the expert witness, are presented in concert with court protocols and universal ethical principles.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Phyllis Masilo: +27 51 401 9683

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