Crime and Mind

An exploration of the most fascinating research into the mysterious factors that drive human beings to crime

Module details

  • Offered to 1st years
  • Tuesdays 16.00-18.00
  • 8 weeks (autumn or spring term)
  • Planned delivery: On-campus (South Kensington)
  • Non-credit only
How to enrol
This module will explore the causes of crime, with a particular focus on social, cultural, biological, psychological and environmental factors.
The module is highly interdisciplinary. Criminology theories will be integrated with those from other social sciences, such as law or sociology (e.g. anomie theory), and those from STEM disciplines, such as genetics, neuroscience and psychiatry.
The immediate learning objective is to provide you with an understanding of crime as a complex human behaviour and how environmental and genetics factors can enable or facilitate it. The ultimate learning objective is to encourage humane perceptions of offenders and science-based conceptions of crime.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
  • Explore, compare and apply relevant criminological, sociological and biological explanations of crime to real-life problems and scenarios
  • Conduct autonomous research in different disciplinary areas relevant to the study of crime, including criminology, sociology, law, and any relevant social or natural science
  • Apply relevant theoretical framework to practical real-life problems
  • Critically assess regulatory and policy responses to crime and formulate evidence-based recommendations for reform

Indicative core content

  • Introduction to crime, criminology and biosocial criminology
  • Social explanations of crime
  • Evolutionary and genetic explanations of crime
  • Crime and the brain
  • Crime and the mind
  • Sexual offences
  • Financial crimes
  • Legal and policy responses and the interactions between scientific evidence and law/policymaking

Learning and teaching approach

The module will be delivered in 8 two-hour sessions. The delivery method is highly interactive. Each session will alternate explanation from the module lead with discussion. Often a problem-based approach will be adopted, in which you will be required to discuss a practical scenario without knowing the theoretical/legal responses to it. It will be illustrated after you have grasped the substance of the problem. Specific skill-sessions will be arranged, in which you will engage in practical activities aimed at putting the knowledge learned in practice.

You will submit assignments through the module VLE, though which you will receive written feedback commenting your assessments. You will receive feedback within two weeks of submission.


  • Coursework: Case study analysis - 500 words (30%)
  • Coursework: Problem-based policy report - 1000 words (70%)

Key information

  • ECTS value: 0
  • Requirements: You must be prepared to attend all classes and to spend about an hour a week preparing for each session
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 4 course. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.‌