BSC Learning and Teaching Network
Suzanne Young, University of Leeds
Liz Frondigoun, University of the West of Scotland
The BSC Learning and Teaching Network (BSC LTN) is a collection of people within the criminology community who have an interest in the learning, teaching and assessment of criminology and criminal justice. This LTN is supported by a steering group to provide an opportunity to communicate, share, spread and develop new and exciting learning, teaching and assessment approaches within criminology. BSC LTN has its own website: https://bscltn.wordpress.com/
The BSC LTN aims to:
- be a vehicle for initiating contact or keeping in touch with colleagues across the discipline with a specific learning and teaching interest
- provide an opportunity for staff to connect their ideas and aspirations and develop their learning and teaching practice collaboratively with colleagues
- develop the BSC website to include sections of interest to those members teaching within the discipline
- look for opportunities to embed good practice at module, course and programme levels
- share resources, literature, example of practice from elsewhere
- work together to take forward particular areas of interest or projects
- look for opportunities to secure research or consultancy income
The National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology and Criminal Justice
The 2023 National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology and Criminal Justice is closed for nominations.
This award is intended to highlight and celebrate outstanding practice/innovative teaching in Criminology across HEIs in the UK and it is supported by the British Society of Criminology, the HEA, and SAGE who sponsor the annual prize. Nominations
The nomination form can be downloaded from https://bscltn.wordpress.com/bsc-award-for-excellence/
All nomination forms with supporting evidence should be emailed to Dr Suzanne Young at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nomination Guidance and Eligibility
- Nominations must be submitted using the nomination form
- Nominations must be for a module or course team (no individual nominations this year)
- Each nomination must be accompanied by a covering letter, countersigned by the Head of Department/Head of Learning and Teaching (or equivalent).
- A short overview of no more than 2000 words explaining the learning experience and how this not only meets the UK Professional Standards Framework but why it is significant and how it represents excellence.
- Supporting evidence is also required and this can be in the form of statements from colleagues, peer review report, and if applicable student feedback/comments.
The award is available to those teaching criminology across the academy, however only BSC members can nominate. They can nominate non members and the award winner will be encouraged to become a member prior to the presentation of the prize.
This year, the judges will be looking for teams that have been truly innovative in responding to the move to online/hybrid delivery.
The judges will score each nomination according to the following criteria:
- Innovative teaching strategies which make positive contributions to learning and teaching within criminology that is flexible and inclusive in mode of delivery.
- Incorporation of criminological research, scholarship and/or professional practice into teaching that is centred around skill building and self-development.
- Submission should identify teaching strategies that meet the needs of a diverse student population including diverse political, cultural and social contexts.
- Evidence of inclusive teaching practices which encourage collegiality and provide varied contexts for learning.
- The submission should show commitment to the development of autonomy and critical thinking skills in students within criminology.
- The teaching practice should be clearly grounded in the academic literature on pedagogy in HEIs.
The National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology and Criminal Justice 2022
The winners of this year’s National Award for Teaching Excellence in Criminology and Criminal Justice are Christopher Kay and Jenny Ardley from Loughborough University. They received the award for their Rehabilitation and Recovery module. Their module utilises technology enhanced learning to provide ‘lived experience’ insight through an innovative video diary approach, and offers students the opportunity to supervise this fictional ‘client’ serving a community order. There were clear links to graduate skills and a strong embedding of student support evidenced in the application, and the judging panel were very impressed with the demonstration of innovative practice.
The National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology and Criminal Justice 2019
The BSC National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology and Criminal Justice 2019, was awarded to Dr Gina Fox, Department of Criminology, University of Leicester.
Gina believes that the student learning experience is enhanced by providing opportunities for students to partake in active and problem-based learning. She ensures students have opportunities to ‘think outside of the box’ and really engage with the module content in ways they may not have expected. Developing transferable skills and gaining an insight into the field (i.e. the criminal justice system) are also high on her agenda. Designing sessions that centre on activities/gamification (i.e. terrorism bingo, prison population crosswords, word searches, mock trial role-playing, crime scene room activities and vlogging) makes learning fun, innovative and the information comprehensive and retainable.
The National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology and Criminal Justice 2018
We are thrilled to have been awarded the BSC National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology. Our vision was to deliver an innovative and inspiring module to better equip our students with employability skills as they enter the competitive job market. We prioritised empowering our students to help increase their self-confidence and as a result they produced some incredibly creative and thought-provoking work, that we know will help them to succeed in the future. It would not have been possible without the hard work and vision of the team and our partnership organisations. We are all very proud of team Hallam and our students”- Sarah, Alex and Catrin.
The 2017 award was presented to academics from the University of Derby. Charlotte Hargreaves, Head of Criminology, and Dr Michael Teague, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, were presented with the award by the BSC’s Nic Groombridge at the annual BSC conference hosted at Cutler’s Hall in Sheffield.
The BSC National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology and Criminal Justice 2016, was awarded to a criminologist located at the University of Westminster. David Manlow, Course Leader for Criminology, led the design and implementation of a challenging but creative curriculum which supports and embeds the wider University’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity amongst its student body, which includes higher than average numbers of students with learning needs or who are from non-traditional academic backgrounds.
Future events will be advertised via the members’ ebulletin.
Managing Difficult Conversations in the Classroom. 09 December 2022, 12.30-2pm
Hear about innovative approaches towards managing challenging criminological conversations in this free online seminar that explores a series of pedagogically-informed approaches to managing difficult conversations in learning spaces.
The 90-minute seminar comprises two 30-minute presentations, followed by 30 minutes for questions and networking.
Cultivating trauma-informed pedagogies in criminology: Insights from student victim-survivors. Julia Downes (The Open University)
Many people with lived experience of injustice and violence are drawn to criminology; however, criminology has traditionally kept lived experience and victimisation at its margins. Survivor criminology emphasises the importance of listening to lived experience (Cook et al., 2022), so how can educators hold space for classroom discussions of sensitive and controversial topics with students from different backgrounds and levels of lived experience? I will share findings from an educational research project on how students learn sensitive topics in criminology at The Open University (Downes, Wall & Alvaer 2022) and a digital toolkit co-produced with students and tutors as part of the Positive Digital Practices project. In attending to the experiences of student victim-survivors studying gender-based violence I emphasise how supporting the strengths, capacities, and skills of those of us with lived experience can transform the criminological classroom.
A recent THE Campus article related to the particulars of this presentation can be found here.
An inclusive learning design approach to individual and socially sensitive topics in the classroom. Rachael Burns and Cynthia Meersohn Schmidt (University of York)
With a broad outlook on mental wellbeing in the classroom, we aim to introduce perspectives and strategies that can serve colleagues in Higher and Further Education to introduce and discuss difficult topics in the classroom. We will be drawing from cases from our teaching experience including on topics such as hate crime and debating social anxiety as a medical gaze.
Should you have any queries about this event, please contact Sean Butcher
‘Public Criminology Through Public Education’
March 29, 2021 – This was recorded and is available via YouTube
This interdisciplinary event brought together academics from Criminology, Arts & Humanities, Education, and practitioners from the Criminal Justice System to share innovation in learning and teaching. The event was joint-funded by the British Society of Criminology Learning and Teaching Network and the Welsh Branch of the British Society of Criminology, and hosted by Swansea University’s Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law.
YouTube link to whole event.
Links for the presentations:
- Learning Together: What role for partnerships and a dialogic pedagogy?
- Conversations: Community, Higher Education & Desistance
- Making Change Through Research and Impact
- The Myopia of Public Criminology & the need for a Critical Education ‘Impact’
- Lessons from Prison Teaching for the University Classroom: Strategies and Risks
Showcasing Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Criminology and Criminal Justice
16 January 2019
This one day event brought together leading innovators in criminology and criminal justice education to showcase best practice in higher education.
An overview is provided here: https://tinyurl.com/yd2nx9lt
One Day Symposium – Criminology in a Chaotic World
Venue: University of Winchester, Thursday 3rd May 2018
Issues around crime and justice have a particular role to play in political dialogue in an era when the established global structure appears to be in turmoil and constant flux. This symposium aimed to explore these challenges and the associated opportunities of teaching criminology in this climate.
Criminology at the Cutting Edge of the Curriculum
14 September, 2017 – University of Derby
Criminology, due to unprecedented changes in the social, economic and political landscapes, is experiencing new avenues of exploration in a range of new frontiers from: border control, positive criminology, new forms of cyber crime, green criminology, state crimes, celebrity and crime, public criminology etc… This event examined how such areas and many others are affecting the pedagogical practices, the learning and teaching methods, strategies, structures and assessments, in order to deliver a curriculum that is relevant and impactful to students.
Symposium on the impact of the TEF on Criminology
17 May 2017 at Leeds Beckett University
The symposium explored what the TEF involves and offered considerations for improving teaching quality and increasing student satisfaction.
Speakers included Professor John Craig (Dean of Social Sciences at Leeds Beckett University) and Dr Ben Brabon, Academic Lead (Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences), from the Higher Education Academy.
On the 8 September 2016 the BSC LTN hosted a one-day symposium called “Public Criminologies and Higher Education Pedagogies”.
The BSC Networks for Learning & Teaching and Victims joined forces to host a one day event at Sheffield Hallam University in November 2014 to explore and share good practice in the teaching of victimology. A ‘Storify’ of tweets from that event can be seen here: https://storify.com/Helen_Jones/teaching-victimology
Joining and staying in touch
See the BSC LTN website for regular updates and blog posts from group members. https://bscltn.wordpress.com/
Websites of interest
CrimHappens – blog collates journal abstracts and presents a selection once per week: https://crimhappens.blogspot.co.uk/
Criminological Highlights provides summaries of findings that should be part of the “general education” of those interested in criminal justice policy. The project began in September 1997 by the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. There is also a free subscription to their email distribution list. https://criminology.utoronto.ca/lib/criminological_highlights.html
Guide to Undergraduate Dissertations -help for you and your students: https://www.socscidiss.bham.ac.uk/
QAA Criminology Benchmark Statement – https://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-criminology-14.pdf