Criminology Courses and Units

Criminology can be studied in a variety of degrees which can be viewed by expanding the tabs below:

Bachelor of Criminology

The Bachelor of Criminology is a 3-year degree with a core program and electives in Social Science, Forensic Science, Psychology, Social Work and Criminology. The program will build your skills in applied social research and policy analysis, combined with a specialised study of crime and the justice system. Find out more information in the Course and Unit Catalogue.

Bachelor of Criminology / Bachelor of Law

This double degree provides you with the flexibility to either pursue a purely legal career as a practitioner, or to build a successful career in criminology, drawing on your legal skills and knowledge. The law component includes compulsory fundamental units such as legal systems and method, criminal law, contracts, torts, property law, equity and constitutional law. The criminology component draws upon criminology, forensic archaeology, anthropology, and forensic science, sociology of deviance, law and criminal justice studies. Detailed information on the Bachelor of Criminology / Bachelor of Law course appears in the Course and Unit Catalogue.


Why not think about doing Honours in Criminology?

We encourage and welcome applications from motivated graduates to our Honours program.

Honours study offers students the opportunity to spend additional time pursuing research in their area of interest at a deeper level than is allowed by an undergraduate degree. Honours is a pathway for students who wish to undertake postgraduate research such as Masters or PhD. An Honours degree is also well respected in the job market.

The Honours program is offered both internally and externally and either full-time, over one year, or part-time, over two years. The extensive expertise of Criminology staff allows for a broad range of dissertation topics.

The Honours degree is comprised of two units of study:

  • Coursework Unit (24 credit points), comprised of two papers: a literature review and methodology.

  • Dissertation Unit (24 credit points), in which students write a dissertation of 20,000 words on a topic devised in consultation with a supervisor.

How to apply for Honours

First, contact the Honours Convenor, Dr Jenny Wise (email: to discuss the program of study offered, potential dissertation topics and supervisors.  Once you have established your topic and eligibility, you can then apply formally.


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree enables you to undertake a substantial piece of independent and sustained research on an original topic under academic supervision.

 A list of units can be viewed by expanding the tab below:

Criminology Units

What undergraduate units would you study?

Core Units

CRIM100: Understanding Crime

This introductory unit will challenge your current understanding of crime and criminality. It examines the social construction of crime and deviancy; crime patterns associated with gender, youth and ethnicity; and contemporary crime concerns, such as the threat of terrorism and the rise of cyber, internet and white collar crime.

CRIM101: The Australian Criminal Justice System

In this unit you will gain knowledge and understanding of the major institutions and policies of the Australian Criminal Justice System and consider contemporary debates about criminal justice.

CRIM104: Deviance

Deviance is a core concern of social science and fundamental to studies in sociology and criminology. What is deviance, why does it occur, how do social actors react to it, and how does it affect social groups? This unit explores these issues by examining a range of topics including gang formation and behaviour, drug and alcohol consumption, sexual and gender deviations, abortion, mental illness, disability, body imagery, and even actions like rudeness and lateness.

CRIM301: Researching Crime

As criminology is founded on a lot of research this is an important core unit. This unit focuses on criminology and criminal justice studies and introduces fundamental research methods for the study of the criminal justice system. Students will explore both qualitative and quantitative methods, develop techniques for building a research project, and learn about the difficulties associated with conducting ethical criminology research.

CRIM344: Criminology and Justice Systems

Ideally, criminology aims to be an objective and value-neutral social science. It offers explanations for what is observed rather than what some might believe is immoral. These are perspectives, not the truth. In this unit you will need to check your prejudices from the start; some will be challenged, some may find support. Be prepared to confront the explanations, analyse them with the tools available, and then decide how you can use them in your life and work.

FSC102: Fundamentals in Forensic Science

This unit examines the role of the forensic scientist and discusses the principles of crime scene investigations. The latest investigative methods and techniques for bloodstain pattern analysis, computer crime, firearms, drugs, toxicology and DNA fingerprinting are discussed. Case studies are presented to illustrate why and how examinations are performed to generate forensic evidence.

Elective Units

CRIM302: Sex, Gender and Crime

Much criminal activity is of a sexual and/or gendered nature. The unit will examine causes and impacts of sex and gender related crime, as well as official and popular reactions to such crime, both in an historical and contemporary context. Topics will include: masculinity and violence; women as offenders and victims of crime; sex and gender offences as victimless crimes; explaining increases in female offending; and the social construction of gender crimes.

CRIM304: Forensic Science and Criminal Justice

This unit examines the use of forensic identification techniques within criminal proceedings. The benefits and limitations of forensic science are discussed. Sociological concepts such as class, race and gender are explored in relation to the introduction and use of forensic identification techniques.

CRIM305: Working with Offenders

This unit discusses the issues and processes associated with working with offenders in different settings and for different purposes, such as prisons and community corrections.

CRIM306: Social Problems Crime Problems

This unit explores the links between social problems within contemporary Australian society and crime. Issues examined include homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, mental illness, race, refugees, unemployment, and social disadvantage generally.

CRIM307: Victimology

Victimology is the study of victims. Topics include theories of victimisation, the roles/characteristics of victims, the extent of criminal victimisation; victims' rights and victim interaction with the criminal justice system and society, victim support programs, and the impact of criminal victimisation upon individuals' mental (and physical) health.

CRIM308: Boozers and Wowsers

This unit looks at the importance of alcohol in Australian society and its problematic connection to crime. Alcohol has always had a central place in our culture as a beverage, an intoxicant and a commodity but it is also both a cause and a symptom of disorder and disease. Ranging from the rum rebellion, through the temperance movement and their campaign for prohibition, to the contemporary moral panic over coward's punches, students will explore the regulation of this problematic substance, the complex culture that surrounds its consumption and the vexed question of its association with deviance and crime.

CRIM314: Policing and Social Control

If you are interested in joining the police force, this unit is for you. The unit considers key issues in policing, such as the history, context and structure of policing in Australia, police models, roles, skills and operations, and the ethical issues and problems confronting police officers in their duties. The unit features an online discussion with students in the US and the UK and police officers as guest lecturers.

CRIM324: Prisons and Punishment

Want to know more about how we punish offenders in society? This unit examines sentencing, imprisonment and rehabilitation. Topics consider the social impact of the prison experience on individuals, exploring areas such as gender, ethnicity, generational groupings and social class.

CRIM334: Crime Prevention

This unit examines the theory, policy, practice and politics of crime prevention. You will develop skills that will enable you to evaluate the effectiveness of different crime prevention policies and practices and acquire practical knowledge related to the design, planning and implementation of crime prevention strategies and policy in a range of community and organisational contexts. These skills will be invaluable in any future career but also for developing practices for protecting your community and your own personal and property safety.

SOCY354: Sociology of Youth and Delinquency

This unit examines the social history of childhood and the emergence of categories of delinquency and dependency. It also discusses the roles of various government and non-government organisations that deal with the needs of youth. Relevant policy issues are also considered.

CRIM374: Forensic Criminology

This unit is about criminal profiling from an academic perspective. It incorporates practical exercises in a range of profiling techniques, including examining real profiles written by profilers for actual cases. The various schools of thought in profiling are compared, and practical issues such as offender evidence manipulation, case linkage, signature and modus operandi are addressed. You will be asked to write a report which is essentially a profile of a real case, with real victims, offenders and evidence.

CRIM390: Crime in Rural Communities

While crime is common to both rural and urban settings, the way crime occurs and the way it is responded to in rural areas is very different. Topics include livestock theft and other crimes on farms, rural policing and crime prevention, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and rural life for young people and Aboriginal communities.

CRIM394: Transnational Organised Crime

Organised crime and its control is a growing worldwide concern. This unit will examine crimes that cross national borders, crimes committed by nation states, and compare diverse cultural definitions of criminal conduct and criminal justice systems across countries.

HIST310: Being Bad: Sinners, Crooks, Deviants & Psychos

This unit will examine the development of our attitudes and approaches to law and order through a study of some of the most infamous crimes and criminals in the British world between 1700 and 1900. Case studies ranging from the gin crisis in early eighteenth-century London, to the bushranging of Ned Kelly in 1870s Victoria, will be considered from both historical and criminological perspectives. This will reveal both changing patterns of deviance and criminal behaviour and the evolving efforts to regulate and prevent it.  Students will learn how to find, use and evaluate evidence about crime and use it to understand the development of modern society.

Work Ready/ Work300

The unit involves 3 weeks of work experience. Assessment includes a daily diary and a report on some aspect of your work practice. The program provides an exciting opportunity to put theory into practice and gain valuable professional experience.

As there is such a wide variety of career options within the criminal justice system, an internship becomes an important means for establishing what sort of career you would enjoy once you graduate. Under the work ready program you have the option to undertake short term placements across a number of different work places ideally during your second or third year. The WORK300/500 Professional Skills Development enables Criminology students to apply their academic knowledge in a workplace context, to reflect and report on the experience, thus increasing their level of career readiness. More information about this unit, how to enrol, how to organise a placement, and careers information is available from Student Assist.

Chalk outline showing where a body had lain on black tiles.