Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC3098: Sociology of Imprisonment

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

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:


What is 'prison sociology'? - An introduction to the module.


Prison Discourses – how and to what extent has the nature of imprisonment changed since the 1950s?


The Prison Experience – discuss what the ‘pains of imprisonment’ are, and whether their nature has changed in the last five decades.


Society of Prisoners – consider what social life within a prison is like, and what it tells us about the effectiveness of prison as a method of punishing offenders.


Beyond Prison Walls – consider how imprisonment reaches beyond prison walls, affecting ex-prisoners' lives after their have served their sentence, and affecting their families and communities. 


The politics and policies of imprisonment. 


Experiences of particular types of prisoners 


Oversight, monitoring and accountability 


Theoretical and conceptual perspectives on imprisonment


Contemporary debates in imprisonment

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities1111 x 1 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities1111 x 1 hour seminars
Guided Independent Study40Reading assignments and preparing for the tutorials
Guided independent study20Preparing for essay assignment
Guided independent study15Additional reading/research
Guided independent study53Preparation for and completion of all exams

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).