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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview


This course looks at how crime was perceived by contemporaries, and what this meant for narratives of order and authority in this period. It considers the problems involved with examining primary sources written by the authorities, or for profit, as well as the different approaches that scholars have taken in the history of crime. It allows students to assess the usefulness of employing methodologies from other disciplines, most notably literature and anthropology. It is designed to provide honours history students with an essential understanding of early modern society and the relations between crime, order, and state formation. Download course guide.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Lena Liapi

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 4

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description


This course introduces students to the social and cultural history of crime in England, and compares it with crime in Scotland. Since law enforcement was the most visible aspect of the state in the early modern period, crime was a potential challenge to the status quo; by contrast, the execution of justice was a way of legitimising authority. This module will examine how crime was performed, prosecuted and punished, and how contemporaries felt about crime. Through examining trial records, official documents and printed accounts of crime, students will gain a better understanding of the ways in which crime was connected to early modern communities, as well as the changes in the ways crime was conceptualised and dealt with in this period.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

First Attempt: 1500 word historiography report (20%), 3500 word essay (40%), 3 hour exam (30%), Seminar Group Presentations (5% peer mark, 5% tutor mark

Resit: 2500 word essay (100%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Formal written feedback is normally provided within 3 weeks. It will focus on specifics of structure, level of critical thinking and other academic attributes. Seminars will include oral feedback during the weeks between provision of written feedback. For the seminar group presentations, oral feedback will be provided at the end of the seminar, and written feedback in the same week.

Course Learning Outcomes


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