Singapore University of Social Sciences

Criminological Theories and Intervention

Criminological Theories and Intervention (PSS305)


PSS305 Criminological Theories and Intervention highlights the historical development of criminology, the concepts and theories used to explain criminal and deviant behavior. The field of criminology is unique as it draws from various disciplines such as philosophy, law, medicine biology, psychology, sociology, economics, and politics. By understanding this complexity and relationship between the various fields, students will be able to appreciate the multifaceted causes of crime and deviance. Part of this course aims to describe the interplay among individual, family, socio-economic and political environment. Taking these factors into consideration, the intervention can be targeted to address the risk of criminality. By exploring the various theories, students will be able to formulate targeted intervention to address the criminality of an individual.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • Introduction to the Panorama of Theoretical Criminology
  • Cesare Beccaria: The Rational Criminal and The Foundations of Modern Criminal Law
  • Lombroso: The Positivist Perspective of Pathological Criminals and Right Realism
  • Durkheim: Anomie and the Functionalist Perspective of Crime and Deviance
  • Merton and Agnew: Strain Theorists
  • Theories of Subculture, Ecology, and Social Disorganisation
  • Katz, Sykes and Matza: Seductions of Crime and Neutralization Techniques
  • Marx: Left Realist Criminology
  • Delinquency and Opportunity
  • Labelling, Policing, and Social Control
  • Feminist Criminology
  • White Collar Crime

Learning Outcome

  • Examine the major concepts and theoretical perspectives to deviance
  • Analyse the intellectual trajectory in the development of criminology theory
  • Appraise the application of theory in crime reduction
  • Identify the unit of analysis in theorising criminal and deviant behaviour
  • Analyse criminal motivations
  • Illustrate the application of theories in crime control
  • Formulate intervention strategies in crime prevention and crime control
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