School of Social and Cultural Studies

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Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2015 academic year unless otherwise specified.

This subject is taught by the School of Social and Cultural Studies.


What leads someone to commit a crime like aggravated robbery? Research has suggested that the adrenaline-packed act of robbery is what keeps some offenders hooked. But what about a robber's education and social background? His race? Or her gender?

More generally, Criminology students examine the extent of crime in contemporary society. Should the public be worried about being victimised? Would tougher prison sentences, restorative justice programmes, or community penalties provide the most effective response? Why do the media continue to pay so much attention to crime problems—does this cause problems of its own?

Criminology is the study of crime and how we as a society react to crime. No other qualification brings together so many different ways of understanding crime.

You will study the characteristics of the offenders, learn how police operate, and how the law and the courts try to prevent and control crime. Debates about youth and crime, the politics of crime and policing, services to crime victims, and media coverage of crime are covered in many of the modules offered. Criminology brings together law, psychology, policing, sociology, and cultural studies to give a big picture view of crime in our society.

A major in Criminology, as part of your Bachelor of Arts(BA), will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of contemporary issues. You'll learn to understand and analyse crime and punishment, and become an invaluable asset in the criminal justice, social and community services, social policy, and social science research.

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Undergraduate information

Criminology major requirements

  1. CRIM 111
  2. CRIM 212 and 20 points from CRIM 200-299 or SACS 201 
  3. CRIM 326 and 40 points from CRIM 300-399

Note: CRIM 316 is strongly recommended for those intending to take Honours in Criminology.

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Postgraduate information

Postgraduate qualifications in Criminology

For information specific to Criminology, please see our Postgraduate Study page. For information about the postgraduate qualifications, please click on the Faculty links below.

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How to find out more

You can order more information on this subject using our Request for Study Material form.

Victoria's Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation Office offers advice on courses and help with planning your degree.

Contact the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences' Student and Academic Services Office for information on admission, qualifications and courses, course advice and selection criteria, exemptions and prerequisites.

Criminology courses are taught within the School of Social and Cultural Studies. The School Office is located in Room 921, Murphy Building, Kelburn campus.

For more information contact the School, tel: 04-463 5317, email:

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Related subjects and careers

With strong links to other social science subjects, Criminology provides the grounding for a career in a wide range of areas.

It is directly relevant to work in the criminal justice system. For example, as a lawyer, police officer, probation officer, in the Department for Courts, the Department of Corrections and the Ministry of Justice and is useful for work in social and community services, social policy analysis, social science research and in the education sector.

Vic Careers' Career Development and Employment are available to assist with a wide range of queries—from the general exploration of career ideas and career implications of subject choices, to details of specific jobs, employers, or postgraduate courses. 

The latest Career View publication on Criminology is downloadable from the Vic Careers' website.

Related subjects Careers

Cultural Anthropology
Media Studies
Political Science
Public Policy
Social Policy

Community worker
Policy analyst
Prison Programme Coordinator
Probation officer
Social scientist
Social worker

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List of courses

For a complete course listing, see the list of all Criminology courses.

100 Level Courses

CRIM 111 – Introduction to Criminology

200 Level Courses

CRIM 212 – Crime and Criminal Justice in New Zealand

CRIM 216 – Alcohol, Drugs and Crime

CRIM 217 – Criminal Psychology

CRIM 218 – Discrimination and Criminal Justice

CRIM 219 – Special Topic: Youth and Crime

SACS 201 – Methods in Social and Cultural Research

300 Level Courses

CRIM 311 – Policing

CRIM 312 – Punishment and Modern Society

CRIM 313 – Women, Crime and Social Control

CRIM 314 – Special Topic: Discrimination, Racism & Justice

CRIM 316 – Criminological Theory

CRIM 319 – Special Topic

CRIM 322 – Crime, Deviance and Popular Culture

CRIM 323 – State Crime

CRIM 324 – Sexual Violence

CRIM 325 – Recreational Drug Use, Risk & Leisure

CRIM 326 – Criminological Research Methods

400 Level Courses

CRIM 414 – Issues in Crime Prevention

CRIM 416 – The Sociology of Punishment

CRIM 417 – Special Topic

CRIM 419 – Gender and Crime

CRIM 420 – Managing Drug Use and Misuse

CRIM 421 – Special Topic: Criminal and Investigative Psychology

CRIM 423 – Liberties, Rights and Justice

CRIM 426 – Crime, Youth and Culture

CRIM 489 – Research Project

SACS 428 – Internship