Criminology COIL Project on Punishment and Society with California State University


This unique COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) opportunity is open to current first year Criminology and Criminology with Psychology students who will be studying the Prison, Punishment and Society module next academic year. The maximum number of places for this opportunity is 25.

This opportunity will take place next academic year. Please check our eligibility criteria for further details.


Criminology students from DMU and California State University, Chico will co-learn the module of ‘Prison, Punishment and Society’. The module will explore current debates in criminology drawing on both theoretical and empirical research and a comparison of how penal systems operate in the UK and the United States.

Students will explore a range of topics such as the nature and purpose of punishment, sentencing practices and decision-making processes, subjective experience of imprisonment, alternatives to prison as well as the possibilities for reform in both countries. These themes will be explored over 8-9 weekly virtual sessions and online activities requiring approximately 14 hours of commitment from participants.

During the COIL project, students will review case studies in small groups, debate and discuss the cultural basis and legal context for different practices and interpretations. Students will engage with theories of punishment and its historical, social and political context in the Global South. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to critically analyse the ideologies behind the concepts of prison, prisoners and imprisonment to examine how these are informed by socio-political factors.

This is an exciting, unique opportunity for DMU students to interact, engage and collaborate with students at California State University, Chico. Lecturers from DMU and CSU Chico, as well as those from external organisations will contribute to this learning activity.

Learning Objectives:

  • Apply different sociological and criminological theories to the critical analysis of key issues in the field of imprisonment and penal policy
  • Have a critical understanding of recent developments and contemporary debates on punishment and society
  • Demonstrate skills in presentation and debate including being able to effectively articulate complex information and concepts in a cross-cultural setting

Contact details:


If you would like to participate in this project, click the ‘Apply now’ button at the bottom of this page. You will receive more details about the activity to your DMU e-mail account shortly after the deadline. Please, check your inbox as well as junk inbox regularly.

Key information

  • Application deadline: Tuesday 10 August 2021, 5pm
  • Start date: Monday 4 October 2021
  • End date: Friday 17 December 2021
  • COIL Project duration: 14 hours

If you have any questions about this opportunity please contact us at