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Crime and global justice

You'll be introduced to criminological approaches used for critically thinking about crime, harm and justice. Through an examination of diverse constructions of crime, global harms and examples of resistance, it provides a framework for understanding the conception, interrogation and reception of criminological knowledge. Building on Principles of social and psychological inquiry (DD801), it enhances students' skills in critically reading the social world, understanding, analysing and questioning national, transnational and global policies and in deconstructing media representations of crime and justice. The module will allow you to review, evaluate and assess criminological evidence and develop skills highly desirable in professional contexts within local and global organisations.

Vocational relevance

This module provides skills that are highly desirable in professional contexts where social and criminological research is continually influencing the terms of reference. This ranges from how to commission new research on crime and global justice, critically appraising the existing evidence base, and communicating to diverse audiences. You'll cultivate valuable investigative, evaluative, and analytic skills for your professional progression and development.


DD804 is a compulsory module in our:

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, check with an adviser before registering.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

The module is separated into six subject blocks and builds gradually from conceptualisation in the earlier sections toward critical analysis and knowledge application in the latter blocks. This module presents criminological knowledge as it is constructed in time, place, and politics. Further, it presents criminological inquiry as somewhat narrow by nature and enables you to call this into question. You'll be guided in considering the significance of power, social structure, and economic and social inequalities, within the context of crime, harm, and global justice. Using a conceptual framework, you'll develop your ability to independently engage with relevant ‘real world’ topics and social problems. Some of these topics are:

  • terrorism and the “war on terror”
  • racism and the criminal justice system
  • women and crime
  • corporate crime
  • occupy movements
  • the global (anti-) aerotropolis movement
  • the “dark web”
  • human trafficking
  • imprisonment
  • poverty
  • decriminalised harms
  • zemiology

The module content is split between taught components (up until week 34) and the project/dissertation component (from weeks 34 to 47).

As the specialist module in the MA in Crime and Justice (F75), this supports you in building your ‘expert’ voice and being able to critically appraise discourses and narratives of ‘crime’, ‘offending’, and ‘justice’ as you explore new perspectives and ways of thinking about crime, harm, and justice in an increasingly global world.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material, give feedback on and mark your written work. Your tutor will provide advice and guidance by email and via the module forum.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


Assessment on this module has been designed to give you the opportunity to develop, practice and deepen skills in critical thinking, time management, interrogation, evaluation, and (by the end of the module) independent library and desk-based research.

The first tutor-marked assignment eases you into the study of crime and global justice by supporting you to articulate your module and qualification objectives in dialogue with your tutor. The second, third and fourth assessments develop skills in professional communication, writing, selecting sources, composing an academic argument supported by reliable evidence, working with data, as well as in how to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different perspectives and how to defend the logic of your chosen arguments.

Assessment five and six help you to develop the core tools for your dissertation/project. In the final assessments (EMA01 and EMA02), you will develop your academic analysis on a topic of your choice. The EMAs also support you to strengthen your writing skills for both an academic and a non-academic audience to make sure that you are fully equipped to communicate with clarity, confidence, and efficiency in a variety of professional contexts.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Course work includes

6 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

Crime and global justice starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2027.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    You will need to have successfully completed Principles of social and psychological inquiry (DD801).

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

    Preparatory work

    You will have the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the module website up to two weeks in advance of the start of the module. A bank of materials (such as key readings and study skill activities) will also be made available within your qualification website to support you throughout your learning journey.


    Start End Fee Register
    01 Oct 2022 Oct 2023 Not yet available

    Registration closes 15/09/22 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2027.

    Future availability

    Crime and global justice starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2027.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    Ways to pay for this module

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    The module is delivered entirely online. Comprehensive guidance and support is available via a module website which includes:

    • a week-by-week online study planner
    • course-specific module materials
    • audio and video content
    • online tutorial access to tutor group forums and tutor-led learning events
    • access to OU library services offering opportunities for relevant workshops (e.g. referencing, researching and using the right sources).

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader (and where applicable: musical notation and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way). Other alternative formats of the module materials may be available in the future.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.