Crime and Deviance

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS

Contact Hours: 25

Self Study Hours: 75

Assessment Hours: 25


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

During this module learners will be exposed to the meaning of crime and deviance, juxtaposed with ‘normal’ and law-abiding behaviour. Crime and deviance will be explored in relation to factors such as, social class, youth, subcultures, and gender and sexuality. The logic of imprisonment and restorative justice will also be discussed. Learners will have the opportunity to encounter theories of crime and deviance which focus both on the individual’s identity and on the wider social system.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a) Understand the differences and connectedness between crime and deviance;
b) Interpret the relativity of ‘normality’ and ‘deviance’ by referring to examples from different cultures across the world;
c) Discuss case studies of criminal behaviour in an interactive classroom environment. 


a) Demonstrate understanding of sociological theories of crime and deviance (for instance, functionalist, conflict, interactionist, subculture and control theories) as opposed to biological and psychological theories (such as C. Lombroso, W. H. Sheldon, H. Eysenck);
b) Identify different types of crime, such as working-class crime and white-collar crime, and formal (especially imprisonment) and informal negative sanctions or the lack of them;
c) Recognise the importance of victimisation studies to fill the gaps of crime statistics;
d) Examine various social factors (gender, sexuality, social class, age, ethnicity and nationality) and how they influence crime and deviance Identify the situation with regards to crime and deviance and how they are tackled in Malta.  


a) Discuss normality and deviance objectively;
b) Associate criminal acts with social factors using the sociological imagination;
c) Assess how deviance and crime vary across cultures and from time to time in the same culture.

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
1) Azzopardi, J., 2016. Social control, crime and deviance. In Briguglio, M. and Brown, M. eds. Sociology of the Maltese islands. Gutenberg Press Ltd Malta pp. 393-408
2) Baldacchino, G. 2011. Introducing social studies: a Maltese reader. 4th edn. Miller Distributors Ltd Malta
3) Lawson, T. and Heaton, T., 2009. Crime and deviance. Palgrave Macmillan Basingstoke 


Supplementary Reading List
1) Becker, H., 1963. Outsiders. The Free Press New York
2) Downes, D. and Rock, P., 2011. Understanding deviance. 6th edn. Oxford University Press Oxford


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