Crime, Sin and Vice

Why ‘Crime, Sin and Vice’?

Why do some people conform and others rebel?

Conformity and dissent, criminality, heresy and disobedience are important features of human behaviour – and as such they demand explanation. As major themes in criminology, psychology, theology and religious studies, moral psychology (ethics/philosophy) and sociology, there are a variety approaches to studying these fascinating aspects of human conduct.

Stay within one discipline or work across disciplines.

Grapple with the big questions. Are crime, sin and vice really so very different? Is it just a matter of perspective? 

Make the most of your discovery modules

Remember, you should be aiming to to put together a good, coherent set of discovery modules, based on what you're most interested in. Here is a reminder of our two suggested approaches:

  1. Choose a range of modules that build up your knowledge around a particular theme. These might be all from one academic discipline, or they might offer different disciplinary perspectives on the same topics.
  2. Choose an academic discipline (eg law, ethics, sociology, theology, history) and choose a set of modules which will enable you progressively to deepen your skills in that discipline.

Once you have identified some possible modules to take, look at which school or subject-area is providing them. This will help you understand what perspective on the subject they will take, and what methods they will be using. This is important in helping you to understand what you should (and should not) expect from particular modules. For example:

  • If you want the tools and skills for understanding and applying concepts such as “crime”, “sin” and “vice”, the disciplines most likely to provide this are ethics, philosophy, theology, law and political science.
  • If what you are interested in is how these questions have in fact been approached in the past (history), in literature (English, various modern languages, classics), in art (fine art), or if you are interested in how different attitudes to ethical issues shape people’s interactions and behaviour (sociology, psychology, criminology), there are different disciplines devoted to each of these approaches.
  • Another example: if you want to understand how criminal justice systems respond to crime and criminality today, you are probably looking for modules from the School of Law.
  • If you want to understand how crime and criminality have had a pivotal influence in certain periods of history, you will be more likely to find this in modules from the School of History.
  • The first 4 characters of the module code tell you which subject area provides the module. 

If you’re attracted to this sub-theme, you might also like to explore the discovery modules in ‘Power and Conflict’.

Crime, Sin and Vice modules

modules available, use the filters to narrow the selection further

This information is for the 2019/20 academic year. You can you use the filters to show only results that match your requirements.


When you find discovery modules you are interested in, you can add them to a shortlist by clicking ‘ADD TO MY DISCOVERY MODULES’.

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