My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
An introduction to crime and criminology
Crime evokes a wide variety of reactions in people: fear, anger, fascination, excitement, curiosity. This course, An introduction to crime and criminology, considers the relatively common-place problem of vandalism in the form of graffiti as one example through which to explore your own views about an everyday sort of crime.
The course goes on to consider how social scientists and criminologists, in particular, study and seek to understand problems of crime. The course invites you to develop what can be called your 'criminological imagination'. This, in part, involves viewing criminological issues or problems from multiple perspectives but also encourages you to recognise that private troubles and social issues are often linked together.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- provide a basic definition of 'crime'
- demonstrate that ideas about what a crime is and what it is not are often contested
- provide a definition of what criminology is and the subject matter it pertains to
- understand what criminologists ‘do’
- develop and use criminological imagination to think about problems of crime and justice in new ways, going beyond everyday understandings.
First Published: 01/05/2019
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Fear and fascination with crime and criminals
- 2 Once a crime always a crime?
- 3 What is criminology?
- 4 What is the criminological imagination?
- 5 Crime and criminology quiz
- Further reading
Tags, Ratings and Social Bookmarking
Create an account to get more
Track your progress
Review and track your learning through your OpenLearn Profile.
Statement of Participation
On completion of a course you will earn a Statement of Participation.
Access all course activities
Take course quizzes and access all learning.
Review the course
When you have finished a course leave a review and tell others what you think.
Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions377 and our FAQs378.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.Have a question?
Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses372.
If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.
Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.
About this free course
6 hours study
Level 1: Introductory
Download this course
Free statement of participation on completion of these courses.