Sociology (SOCI) 305

Sociology and Crime (Revision 3)

SOCI 305 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with a video component and with eTextbook

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Sociology home page

SOCI 305 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Sociology 305 covers a wide range of topics related to crime and the criminal code in Canada. These topics include the tension in law between a purely ‘black letter’ approach based strictly on legal principles and precedents, and a sociological approach to law that explains it in terms of economic factors, social inequalities, and social movements promoting specific moral agendas. The course devotes a significant portion of study to the ways in which crimes are measured, both formally in terms of recorded offences and informally in terms of victim surveys. In this context the course reviews the correctional data that suggests a significant over-representation of Indigenous Canadians in the justice system. A focus on the measurement issues also raises the issue of the long-term trends in crime, with specific attention to the crime drop since the early 1990s, and the various accounts offered to explain it.


  • Unit 1 Justice and the Rule of Law
  • Unit 2 The Legal Elements of Crime
  • Unit 3 Measuring Crime
  • Unit 4 The Crime Drop and the Enterprise of Criminology
  • Unit 5 Explaining Crime: The Two Different Traditions
  • Unit 6 Realist Theories: Crime and Social Structure
  • Unit 7 Relativistic Theories: Crime and Cultural Transmission Theories
  • Unit 8 Thou Shalt Not Kill: Understanding ‘Mere Murder’
  • Unit 9 Murder Extraordinaire
  • Unit 10 Defining Policy Considerations


To receive credit for SOCI 305, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least C- (60 percent), complete and submit two written assignments, a multiple-choice mid-course quiz, and a final examination. You must achieve a passing mark of C- 60 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Course Activity Credit Weight
Research Assignment (Part 1) 10%
Research Assignment (Part 2) 25%
Mid-course Quiz 35%
Final Examination 30%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Siegel, Brown and Hoffman, (3rd Canadian edition). 2017. CRIM. Toronto: Nelson Educational.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

The course materials include a study guide to accompany the textbook. All other course materials are found online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the SOCI 305 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least C- (60 percent) on the challenge examination. The two parts of the exam must be written on the same day.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3 April 14, 2016.

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