Screening Crime: From Detectives to Serial Killers


This module provides students with a critical analysis of the socio-ideological discourses contained in popular cultural narratives that deal with crime, justice, punishment and morality.


Provide students with: 1. A critical understanding of the key socio- ideological themes contained within such narratives. 2. Understand how such narratives contribute to wider discourses about crime, punishment and law and order.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate some knowledge of the ways in which social change influences the type of narratives that are produced.

2.  Understand the differences between types of narrative and how they may relate to a range of socio-ideological viewpoints.

3.  Understand how such narratives contribute to forms of symbolic punishment and the construction of moral boundaries.

Indicative Content

1 Morbid Fascination

The social world, crime and culture.

2 Popular Culture and Ideologies of Crime

The criminal body to the social body in accounts of crime.

3 The emergence of the detective

Modernity and the rise of the detective, from the science of deduction to the hard-boiled tradition and beyond.

4 Crime and the City

The construction of the city as criminogenic; surveillance and danger.

5 Punishment, Order and Justice

Law versus order, retribution and justice.

6 Moral Orders

The criminal as an ambivalent figure, serial killers and modernity.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 10
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 36
Assessment 30
Independent 100

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.