Module details for Crime, Media and the State


This module will look at media discourses of criminal activity and the state.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with the opportunity to develop an understanding of relationships between states and criminal activity, and the complex media centred discourses emerging from these. In so doing it will provide students with an interpretive framework for analysing historical and contemporary discourses of state criminal activity.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Identify and evaluate key theories and examples associated with state criminal activity.

2.   Identify and evaluate key theories and examples associated with the state and political violence.

3.   Identify and evaluate key theories and examples associated with role of the media and state criminal activity.

Indicative Content

1 Crimes of the Powerful

The state as criminal actor

2 Media, Crime and Power

3 Investigative Journalism, Corruption and the Political Process

4 State Corporate Corruption

5 The Nation State and Violence

6 Terrorism and Counter Terrorism in the Global War on Terror

7 Crimes Against Humanity

8 Transnational Organized Crime

9 The Geopolitical War on Drugs

10 Discourses from Below – Urban Legends, Conspiracy theories and other Stigmatized Knowledge

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 20
Tutorial/Seminar 10
Practical Activity 4
Assessment 28
Independent 138
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

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 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.