Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3110: State Crime

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Owen Thomas (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module will introduce you to the study of State Crime. You will consider questions such as: What is state crime? What scales and types of crimes are committed by agents and agencies of the state? What is at stake in defining and labelling these acts as criminal? What forces, structures and relations of power explain acts of state crime? What role does, and should, government and society play in addressing state crime? You will explore a range of domestic and international case studies, including some of the following: state-sponsored terrorism, state-corporate crime and corruption, domestic and international criminal justice, racial discrimination, immigration and asylum policy, organized crime, drugs and human trafficking, lawfare and war crimes. The module is formally assessed through an in-class presentation and a research essay based on a topic of your choice.


The module is highly interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on research from Political Science and International Relations, Sociology, Law, Criminology, Economics and History. No pre-requisite modules are required to take this module and it is suitable for any student with basic experience and aptitude for undergraduate social science. 

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