Master of Criminology
- CRICOS Code: 055074E
What will I study?
200 point program (2 years full-time or part-time equivalent)
This is our most popular program for those who have completed undergraduate study. No experience is necessary.
- 12.5 points of Core subjects (to be completed in first 50 points of program)
- 37.5 points of Foundation subjects (to be completed in first 50 points of program)
- 37.5 points of Compulsory subjects
- 112.5 points of Elective subjects (Coursework only)
- 62.5 points of Elective subjects and 50 points of Thesis subjects (Minor Thesis option)
150 point program (1.5 years full-time or part-time equivalent)
This is our most popular program for those who have completed undergraduate study in a relevant discipline.
- 37.5 points of Compulsory subjects
- 112.5 points of Elective subjects (Coursework only)
- 62.5 points of Elective subjects and 50 points of Thesis subjects (Minor Thesis option)
100 point program (1 year full-time or part-time equivalent)
This is for relevant honours graduates or those who have completed at least two years professional work experience in a closely related field, in addition to relevant background study.
- 25 points of Compulsory subjects
- 75 points of Elective subjects (Coursework only)
- 25 points of Elective subjects and 50 points of Thesis subjects (Minor Thesis option)
Students must complete one of three available Capstone streams for this degree (some are Coursework-based and some are Thesis-based). For more information on subjects, Capstone streams, and detailed information, please view the Handbook entry for this course.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- From Graffiti to Terrorism 12.5
From Graffiti to Terrorism
This subject explores the motivations underpinning particular types of criminal behaviour. It begins with an overview of various definitions and ways of measuring crime and then looks at the causes of specific offences ranging through graffiti, to animal cruelty, to armed robbery, to illicit drug use, to terrorism. Wherever possible, the words and rationales of offenders are used to give a more grounded insight into the reasons for criminal behaviour. Overall, the course has been designed to facilitate: discussion of criminal events which feature prominently in the public mind and/or the popular media; discussion of the relationship between the perceived causes of crime and responses to criminal offending by police, courts and corrections; and discussion of the implicit models of personhood, choice, gender, economic position, geographic location, peer group dynamics and other variables underpinning particular theories of criminal behaviour and formal and informal mechanisms for controlling such behaviour.
- Young People, Crime and Justice 12.5
Young People, Crime and Justice
This subject charts the experiences that young people have as subjects and resistors of social control, victims of crime and young offenders. These experiences are contextualised by an appreciation of youth crime and justice as products of historical, theoretical and political junctures which have variously sought to protect, treat or punish. The first part of the subject critically explores young people and social control; considering the boundaries between rights and responsibilities, anti-social behaviour and crime and adolescence and adulthood. The second part of the subject considers young people in relation to crime- as victim-survivors and offenders. The third part of the subject analyses the system and process of youth justice in Australia.
- Criminal Law and Political Justice 12.5
Criminal Law and Political Justice
Criminal law has a central importance in criminology, since it is the criminal law which determines the legality or illegality of behaviours. This subject studies social and political dimensions of the criminal law as it governs institutional processes and the construction of criminality. The first section of the course covers differences in the ways that criminal law and criminology construct social issues as crime, with particular emphasis on the legal processes of criminal justice. The next sections provide substantive examinations of different aspects of the social and political dimensions of criminal law with particular emphasis on topical areas currently subject to contestation and change: such as the regulation of public space; and the ways in which the criminal law seeks to regulate the production of images.
- Policing 12.5
This subject introduces students to the historical, political and social forces which shape police organisations, policies and practices. The subject covers the origins, functions and structures of contemporary policing , and identifies key emerging issues and challenges in policing such as the effectiveness of policing in crime control, the emergence of community policing, police culture, police misbehaviour and accountability, organisational change and organisational renewal. The emphasis is upon public (state) policing sector and to 21st century developments in multi-agency policing. Upon completion of the subject, students should be able to analyse critically current developments in policing in terms of their historical, theoretical, political and functional contexts.
- Order, Disorder, Crime, Deviance 12.5
Order, Disorder, Crime, Deviance
This subject analyses the nature of social order and how need for order brings an inevitable consequence that deviance and non-conformity will result. Classical and contemporary sociological and criminological theories are explored that help explain the nature of social order and crime and deviance. Each theory is developed through grounded examples that can illustrate both its strengths and weaknesses. Topics covered in the course include suicide, industrial disasters, religious cults, sexual assault, racism, terrorism and the witchcraze of the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe.
- Punishment and Social Control 12.5
Punishment and Social Control
This subject is designed to introduce students to the major forms and structures of punishment in our society. The subject examines why we punish individuals, how we do so, and how the punishment process can be viewed in a wider social context. The first part of this subject considers the broad justifications for punishment, and experiences of imprisonment with particular emphasis on hidden groups such as female and indigenous prisoners. We consider the process of punishment, from sentencing to imprisonment and punishment in the community. The second part of the subject examines the work of major writers who have provided a theoretical critique of punishment and the role it plays in our society. By the end of the subject students should have a good understanding of the correctional system and be familiar with the work of important theorists like Foucault, Cohen and Garland.
- Crime and Public Policy 12.5
Crime and Public Policy
Many criminology graduates find themselves researching, developing and applying crime policy in government, political and other contexts. This subject helps prepare students for such work. As well as providing an overview of factors shaping policy in Australia and other countries, it reviews challenges associated with making theory relevant in practical contexts. Emphasis is on exploring contemporary issues of public policy such as control of the sex industry, drug law reform, HIV policy, public drunkenness, multiculturalism and the interlinking themes of these public issues. The subject also draws on sociological, psychoanalytic and philosophical theory to help understand opportunities for, and obstacles to, the introduction or reform of public policy. Specific theorists used include Foucault, Zizek, Marx, Butler, Deleuze and poststructural feminist theory. These theorists are used to consider the philosophies that underpin rationales for deciding what is deserving of state intervention and comment as either public policy or criminalization.
- Global Criminology 12.5
Global Criminology examines crime and deviance from on a global scale. A new area of criminological research, this subject focuses on crime problems that have typically gone below the criminological radar. The subject will ask students to think about the problem of crime outside the traditional parameters of criminological study. This will include crimes that cross national borders, new forms of organised crime, crimes committed by nation states and new, trans-national, definitions of criminal conduct. In this subject students will encounter case studies of crimes from a variety of global locations and will engage with up to the minute criminological research and theorising that attempts to understand and explain this new phenomenon of global crime. On completion of the subject, students should have an understanding of how 21st century crime challenges traditional ways of thinking about crime, defining and penalising criminal conduct and establishing a global notion of 'justice'.
- Corporate Power and White Collar Crime 12.5
Corporate Power and White Collar Crime
This subject analyses the crimes and harms of the powerful. The subject examines the relationship between government, business and law both theoretically and through a series of case studies to explore the reasons behind business harms and crimes and why they are so difficult to tackle. The subject traces three different entry points into crimes of the powerful: corporate and white collar crime; business corruption and crimes of the powerful in a globalised economy. Students will explore a range of criminological theories that can help explain the harms perpetuated by the powerful as well as the techniques employed by the state in regulating white-collar and corporate misconduct. This includes the challenges of defining such harm as criminal and the strengths and weaknesses of trying to use the criminal law in curbing such activities. Case studies are used to deepen student's understanding of the breadth of such crime and harm as well as the the similarities and differences between them. Case studies include complex financial fraud, industrial disasters, professional misconduct, tax avoidance and environmental harm.
- Crime and Culture 12.5
Crime and Culture
Cinema and television have become immensely popular and influential cultural forms. This subject investigates the relationship between crime and culture by focusing on representations of crime and justice in film and television. The subject considers these representations in the context of recent debates about the cultural construction of crime in criminology, socio-legal studies, cultural studies and film theory. It will develop the skills necessary for analyzing images of crime and justice in film and television and will also examine a number of case studies (including television crime drama, police procedurals and trial movies, cinematic fascination with the serial killer, cinematic representations of 9/11, and the cinematic depiction of violence and gender).
- Managing Justice: Agencies and the State 12.5
Managing Justice: Agencies and the State
This subject examines the intersections between social justice and criminal justice in the state's management of individuals and groups it considers to be at risk of harming, or being harmed, by others. Its core interests are to explore the relationship between different agencies and the state in the management of criminal justice in Victoria; the broader socio-political and historical context in which they operate; and the theory-practice nexus. To complement scholarly perspectives on complex social concerns, (including, for example, in relation to youth justice; family violence and sexual assault; mental illness; drug and alcohol use; imprisonment detention), guest lecturers from local agencies and institutions will discuss contemporary practices of criminal justice management in Victoria and their implications for social justice more broadly. Students are encouraged to theorise, historicise, analyse and reflect upon these matters including with reference to a particular case study. The subject encourages critical reflection on the discipline and practice of criminology and holds additional appeal for those intending to work in criminal justice/social justice fields immediately after graduation, as well as those keen to pursue further studies (including internship options) at Honours, Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) or Masters level.
- Law, Justice and Social Change 12.5
Law, Justice and Social Change
Law, Justice and Social Change examines the ways in which law can be seen and used as both an instrument of positive social change and yet also as a means of confirming existing social arrangements and resisting social change. Through a series of case studies, it critically reflects on the key goals of law reform (such as access to justice and equality) and different ways of understanding what constitutes a just outcome. It looks at a selection of issues such as gender politics, ethnicity, race, disability, indigenous politics, class and economic struggles and sexual orientation and social dissent. There is also a strong practical component to the subject - students learn about the law reform process and choose a current law reform issue to consider in light of the issues discussed in the subject and interview a staff member from a community legal centre or government body involved in writing a report or submission that advocates for legal change. These organisations have in the past included the Human Rights Law Centre, Youthlaw, Victorian Council of Social Services, YACVic, Liberty Victoria, the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, JobWatch, Berry Street, the Federation of Community Legal Centres. the Mental Health Legal Centre, amongst others.
- Law in Social Theory 12.5
Law in Social Theory
Law in Social Theory builds upon issues introduced in Law in Society, and Law, Justice and Social Change. Through a seminar-style format, it examines the theories of the function and role of law propounded by a range of social and legal theorists and movements, including Jürgen Habermas, Niklas Luhmann, Patricia Williams, Pierre Bourdieu, Catharine McKinnon, and others. Students examine these different theories of how law works and law's role, using them as a lens on questions of justice and crime. Each week these theories are considered in light of and tested against contemporary criminological and socio-legal problems selected by the students and the lecturer. Case studies in the past have included Indigenous Constitutional Recognition, the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, and the Review of the Australian Defence Force's Treatment of Women. The purpose of the course is thus two-fold: to become familiar with different theories of the function of law in relation to society, and to consider the insight these theories bring to different criminological and socio-legal problems.
- Research and Criminal Justice Governance 12.5
Research and Criminal Justice Governance
What does it mean for a criminal justice intervention to be effective? Why is it important to know? For whom? How does government emphasis on the impact of criminal justice programs affect the design and funding of programs? And what does this focus on effectiveness mean for research priorities and methods? This subject considers questions such as these in exploring how, why, and for whom criminal justice ‘evidence’ or ‘knowledge’ is produced. In this subject you will be asked to identify a particular criminal justice program or intervention (we will look at a range of examples), and to design an approach to discover whether or not it ‘works’ – thinking about how, why and for whom.
The subject is divided into three broad areas. First we will examine what ‘criminal justice governance’ actually is, what it means for criminal justice policy and practice, and the implications for ‘evidence’ about programs and interventions. In the second section we will explore different approaches to measuring effectiveness and gathering knowledge about criminal justice practices and programs. The last part will focus on different settings (e.g. prisons, policing) and subjects of criminal justice research (e.g. justice-involved young people), and the impact that different kinds of knowledge might have. Throughout, we will examine professional and political issues about the role and application of research in criminal justice, as well as ethical issues about engaging in research with vulnerable and offending populations.
- Making Sense of Crime and Justice 12.5
Making Sense of Crime and Justice
Criminology draws its frameworks for inquiry and understanding from a wide range of intellectual traditions and contemporary conceptualisations. There are many recent advances in a diverse array of theory fields that challenge and excite the foundations and practices of criminological inquiry. This subject takes a problem-centred approach to understanding the usefulness of theory in examining matters of pressing criminological concern including, for example, the lived effects of historic and structural injustice, shifting understandings and perceptions of what counts as crime (and what counts as justice), and contemporary challenges arising from the global movement of populations. Choosing different examples of how such problems might materialise (such as through racialised policing, definitions and regulation of anti-social behaviour, the privatisation of criminal justice, practices of preventative detention), this subject presents a variety of theories that can help criminologists look at these problems in new ways. The theories offered can be drawn from developments in history, race, feminism, culture, law, psychoanalysis, or post-colonialism, and the subject assesses their capacity to enrich criminological thinking.
- Advances in Criminological Research 12.5
Advances in Criminological Research
Criminology draws its frameworks for inquiry and understanding from a wide range of intellectual traditions and contemporary conceptualisations. This subject provides accounts of contemporary developments in the construction and application of theory in criminal justice and related settings. with a focus on areas of innovation in policy and practice. It is axiomatic that practice in criminal justice ought to be founded on strong theoretical grounds, but this often is not the case. Drawing upon a range of enduring and emerging formulations, the subject explains and tests the relationships between theory and practice in criminal justice. Topics to be covered are drawn from a list which includes restorative justice, offender rehabilitation and desistance, developmental crime prevention, surveillance and control, community and intersectoral policing developments, risk prediction and offender classification, and antisocial behaviour orders.
- Criminology Thesis Part 1 18.75
Criminology Thesis Part 1
Students undertaking the criminology masters minor thesis option should demonstrate a clear understanding of a specific field of study at an advanced level. They should demonstrate clear thinking and an ability to integrate theory and method in a logical manner. Students must be able to work in a concentrated way over an extended period of two semesters and must present their research in a scholarly fashion.
- Criminology Thesis Part 2 18.75
Criminology Thesis Part 2
Refer to CRIM90028 Criminology Thesis Part 1 for details
- Social Science Research Seminar 12.5
Social Science Research Seminar
This subject is designed to develop research skills for students planning and writing research theses in the School of Social and Political Sciences. The subject explores contemporary research strategies, differing methodological approaches to social research, the relationship of theory and research, and practical issues concerned with designing thesis topics and their realization through the research process, including the management of ethics principles and procedures. The subject gives special attention to the design of problem-driven research. It will assist students to develop skills in thesis preparation and development as well as in the framing of research projects, more generally. The subject is taught through a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars.
- Human Rights in Southeast Asia 12.5
Human Rights in Southeast Asia
This seminar will focus on human rights and its critics from a historical and comparative perspective. We will explore the factors that have given rise to radically different conception of rights and justice (i.e. political, economic, cultural, religious, ideological) and look at their implementation and the obstacles at the local, national, and international levels. What is the relationship and relevance of the international human rights movement to local notions of rights? What impact is this having on local gender relations and the relationships of women to their states and communities? Are human rights NGOs weakening or strengthening the nation-states in Southeast Asia. are they sites of resistance or complicity? The seminar introduces students to different conceptions of rights, and social justice, including feminist critiques of rights discourse and of 'development', ethnographic studies on the relationship between attitudes towards bodily integrity and human rights, the debates about poverty, economic development and access to adequate health care as human rights. We shall draw upon a wide range of sources from theoretical works, philosophical and anthropological critiques of rights discourse, and NGO documents. On completion of the subject students should have a broad historical, comparative and critical perspective on the debates about rights and justice in Southeast Asia.
- Qualitative Research Methods 12.5
Qualitative Research Methods
This subject forms an advanced overview of theories, methods and ethical issues in qualitative research. The subject will focus on the techniques of field studies, intensive interviewing, and case studies. Students will carry out small scale qualitative research exercises and will present them orally and in writing.
- Drugs and Justice 12.5
Drugs and Justice
This subject introduces students to a range of historical and contemporary issues surrounding the measurement of drug use and the popular and scientific construction of the health, crime and social consequences of drug use. The subject is concerned with the relationships between various constructions of drug phenomena and the policies and practices of drug control. The subject critically addresses issues and techniques involved in demand-reduction (education and treatment) and supply-reduction (law enforcement). At the completion of the subject, students should be able to recognise and explain contemporary discourses on health, harm, crime and public policy related to drug use.
- Punishment and Detention: New Challenges 12.5
Punishment and Detention: New Challenges
This subject focuses on the idea that since the 1970s there has been a rise in punitiveness and a change in the character and purposes of involuntary detention in western countries. The subject asks students to identify and understand the different domains in which punitive tendencies might be found, including in areas such as immigration that traditionally have lain outside criminology’s interests. It will introduce students to key debates within contemporary criminology concerning the extent, substance and reasons for changes in punitiveness and the changing face of detention practices. The subject will explore through a series of case studies the experiences of groups upon whom the weight of such measures of have fallen – particularly, women, indigenous minorities and ‘illegal’ migrants. It will also consider some of the key penal mechanisms – such as parole release – that have become part of an increasingly fractious politics of punishment and detention. On completion of the subject students should have an understanding of both the data and explanatory and theoretical arguments concerning what has been seen as a major defining feature of most western nations' recent history: the inexorable rise of punitive attitudes and spread of new forms of involuntary detention.
- Taming Business? Crime, Law and Politics 12.5
Taming Business? Crime, Law and Politics
The activities of businesses are central to every aspect of our lives from the food we eat, to our financial security and our health. But, businesses from the small local shop to large international corporations also can cause death and injury both within and outside of work, significant financial loss, economic hardship and environmental destruction. This subject tackles whether and how we can ‘tame business’ to provide for our needs without creating such damage. We examine previous attempts at control, from criminalisation and regulation to NGO pressure, that have seen some success but significant levels of failure. Through case studies and class discussion the critical relationships business and government, and government and the public, which frames the way in which these harms are dealt with are understood. Students also critically examine how governments and those affected have sought to control business in the global economy. In doing so, we analyse the growing use of corporate codes of conduct, and the central role played by NGOs in prompting change at the global and local level. Students completing the subject will have a good understanding of the political and economic challenges that are associated with controlling business crime and harm and will be able to assess critically a variety of different forms of controls in different settings.
- Genocide, State Crime and the Law 12.5
Genocide, State Crime and the Law
Genocide, State Crime and the Law examines the differing roles played by law and legal process in the wake of genocide and other forms of state crime. It examines the limitations and potentials of law in addressing mass harm, in particular analysing the role and function of law in societal reconstruction and reconciliation. Case studies analysed include Rwanda, South Africa, East Timor, the former Yugoslavia, the Holocaust, Australia and Cambodia.
- Sovereignty, Justice, Indigenous Peoples 12.5
Sovereignty, Justice, Indigenous Peoples
This subject examines the relation between Indigenous peoples, justice and the law, through the lens of sovereignty. It reflects critically on the concept of sovereignty, its powerful propensity to transcend its social origins, and its fortress status in law. Through first examining European law’s relation to Indigenous peoples from 1492, the course explores correlations between Europe’s economic expansion and the development of sovereignty, property, and race as key notions that underpin both individual nation-states and the international order they constitute. In bringing this analysis to bear on contemporary aspirations for structural justice, the course then considers the possibilities and limitations of current legal concepts and mechanisms – in both local and global domains – such as prevailing notions of sovereignty, native title, human rights, crimes against humanity, and transitional justice. Finally, the course presents examples of innovative contemporary interventions in support of structural justice in settler states, promoting new ways to think about their complex pasts and presents, and possible future directions.
- Judging Crime 12.5
This subject is about the ways in which the criminal justice system responds to crime. It examines the principles that judges and magistrates must consider when sentencing offenders and the role of judicial discretion in the sentencing process. The subject includes an examination of some of the more recent approaches to dealing with offenders that are available in Australia, such as the restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudential practices used in problem-solving courts and alternative dispute resolution. The effectiveness of different sentencing options is considered, with a special focus on imprisonment and parole. Finally, the subject examines the research on public perceptions of sentencing, and considers the role of the public in sentencing policy and practice. At the end of this subject students should have a clear understanding of the principles and purposes of sentencing, an appreciation of the research literature on the effectiveness of different sentencing options and approaches, and a healthy skepticism of media representations of ‘lenient’ sentencing decisions.
- Crime Prevention: Critical Approaches 12.5
Crime Prevention: Critical Approaches
Crime prevention is a growth area in applied criminology, and many graduates find themselves working in this field. This subject provides a basic understanding of relevant theory and practice. Current national and international developments are summarised and analyzed, and approaches to crime prevention are critically assessed. Specific topics include social prevention, environmental prevention, crime prevention through environmental design and the police and the business sectors" roles in crime prevention. Evaluation of prevention programs and strategies also is discussed. In line with the subject"s policy emphasis, part of the assessment involves summarising and assessing a major Australian crime prevention initiative.
- Terror, Law and War 12.5
Terror, Law and War
This subject considers and compares responses to terrorism. Of particular interest are legal responses, instigations of war, and the implementation of practices of rendition, arbitrary detention and torture. These practices have been argued to contravene due process and the presumption of innocence, and contribute to civil and global unrest, sometimes inspiring criminal action and creating new categories of what it means to be criminal. The subject draws upon the conceptual and analytical tools of criminological and socio-legal examination including analysis of the political, social and legal construction of terror and terrorism. The inspiration for counter terrorism initiatives and conflicting arguments about their necessity will be examined together with the (side) effects they have created.
- Industry Project: Crime and Justice 12.5
Industry Project: Crime and Justice
This is an industry project subject that partners with community and government justice agencies to produce research on pressing social problems. Students will undertake research on problems identified by the agency, who come in and meet with the students, and gain hands on experience in responding to a brief, preparing an agency product and presenting this to the agency. Past agency partners have included the Human Rights Law Centre, WEstjustice, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, and Victoria Police (Priority Communities). Too often government and social and criminal justice policy focuses on the symptoms rather than the causes of injustice in society. This subject introduces you to the concepts of structural injustice and structural justice that help us to better recognize and address these underlying causes of harm and disadvantage. Crime and Justice Industry Project gives you the opportunity to use the conceptual frameworks developed through your Criminology and social science studies degree to create practical outcomes in crime and justice. It explores best practice in community-engaged research and the translation of research into policy and practice.
- Violence, Trauma and Reconciliation 12.5
Violence, Trauma and Reconciliation
Mass violence inflicted by states and groups have a prolonged effect on communities and nations. This subject considers the forms of trauma people experience as a response to these forms of violence and explores how this trauma propels calls for apologies, truth commissions, retribution and torture. The subject employs psychoanalytic theory and practice to consider what it means to be traumatised and what it means to seek remedies from law, and uses examples of cross-cultural lawful practice to interrogate ideas of violence and trauma. Legal practices, apologies and demands for reconciliation will be discussed as methods of responding to the rage, pain and mourning that trauma demands. The course will be divided into 4 sections dealing with – trauma and violence, torture, testimony and reconciliation. In these sections we will look at events in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Australia and Nazi Germany, where legal mechanisms, apologies and vengeance have been utilised as responses to events such as genocide, terrorist acts, hostile occupation, and war. Note – some of the content of this course may be distressing.
- Crime, Culture & the Media 12.5
Crime, Culture & the Media
Crime is an issue of great social, individual and cultural concern. This subject investigates some of the ways in which crime is represented, talked about, and interpreted in popular culture and the media. The subject focuses on two issues: first, the skills and techniques required to interpret representations of crime (such as those in newspapers, film, literature, art, and television); and second, the significance and implications of images of crime in popular culture and the media. The subject includes an emphasis on interpretive and analytical skills, covering film and television analysis, aspects of narrative criticism, and techniques of news media analysis. The subject engages with a broad range of case studies of crime as it is represented in popular culture and the media, including street art and graffiti, controversial artwork, drug use, sexual assault, terrorism, the Holocaust, homicide and family violence.
- Organised Crime and Human Trafficking 12.5
Organised Crime and Human Trafficking
While organised crime has existed for centuries, it is only recently that the international community has begun to take it seriously as a transnational ‘soft’ (i.e. non-military) security issue. For example, the most frequently cited convention against transnational organised crime – that of the UN – dates only from 2000. Similarly, while drug and weapons trafficking has long been a concern of states and IOs (International Organisations), the focus on human trafficking essentially dates from the late-1990s. Human trafficking is now seen as the fastest growing form of trafficking and, along with cybercrime, the preferred form of criminal activity for an increasing number of criminal gangs and organisations. This subject will explore both the phenomena of transnational organised crime (TOC) and human trafficking, and the discourses surrounding them. The coverage will be international, but with an emphasis on Europe and South-east Asia. The subject will focus on trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation, but will also consider other forms of human trafficking.
- Criminology Special Topics 1 12.5
Criminology Special Topics 1
This subject engages with critical and contemporary issues in the field of Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies. Focusing on a special topic of key criminological and socio-legal interest, this subject will enable students to broaden and deepen their understanding of contemporary areas of criminological and socio-legal research, policy and practice. This will be achieved through intensive one-off courses offered by local and international visitors with specialist expertise in the particular issues.
AUGUST 2019 Topic: Police, Policing and Security
Professor Ian Loader, The University of Oxford
Effective, accountable and legitimate police institutions are a key ingredient of citizen security and good government. Yet the public police are not the only providers of policing. Security today is the responsibility of a range of policing bodies – in the private sector and across civil society. Nor are policing institutions confined within the borders of single nation-states. This subject examines key institutions, processes and challenges involved in creating effective and legitimate policing. It addresses core questions concerning the role of the police, use and control of police powers, police relations with other security providers, governance and oversight mechanisms, citizen engagement, and evidence-based policing. It also enables students to engage in finding better ways of addressing some of today's most urgent policing problems, such as the regulation of cyber-crime. Through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical exercises, students will be introduced to the dynamics and complexities of contemporary policing and be equipped with the conceptual and analytic tools for understanding and contributing to the reform of security governance.
- Criminology & Sociology Internship Pt 1 12.5
Criminology & Sociology Internship Pt 1
This subject is designed to provide students with hands-on professional writing and research experience in the context of the everyday operations of a social/criminal justice or community-based agency. The internship takes place over two semesters and constitutes a structured and supervised student research consultancy rather than work experience. It provides students with the opportunity to employ formal research skills such as reviewing literature, collecting and analysing data and writing reports or portfolios. It also enables students to appreciate the relationship between criminological or sociological theory and practice, explore the criminological and sociological significance of social categories (such as gender or ethnicity), enhance skills of listening, observation, and cooperation and form relevant professional contacts.
If primary research is carried out during the internship, ethics approval is the responsibility of the host organisation.
- Criminology & Sociology Internship Pt 2 12.5
Criminology & Sociology Internship Pt 2
Refer to CRIM90030 Criminology & Sociology Internship Part 1 for details
- Criminology Special Topics 2 12.5
Criminology Special Topics 2
This subject engages with critical and contemporary issues in the field of Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies. Focusing on a special topic of key criminological and socio-legal interest, this subject will enable students to broaden and deepen their understanding of contemporary areas of criminological and socio-legal research, policy and practice. This intensive subject will focus on key contemporary topics in the area of criminological research and criminal justice practice. It will be offered by local and visiting international criminologists with specialist expertise in the particular issues, providing enriched comparative and practice-oriented knowledge and understanding.
- Criminal Justice: Australia and Japan 12.5
Criminal Justice: Australia and Japan
A key issue for criminal justice is the challenge of responding to offenders with specialised needs arising from mental disorders, health problems, physical disability, and age. This subject examines the different approaches taken by criminal justice agencies in Australia and Japan in relation to the identification and assessment of such offenders are identified and assessed, available pathways through the justice system, and the programs and institutional settings that have been developed in response to their needs. The subject will be taught in Japan and will include sessions by Australian and Japanese academics or practitioners, with a planned visit to a Japanese criminal justice institution. Please note: Prior to travelling overseas, students are required to attend a half-day of preparatory seminars designed to introduce them to key facets of the Japanese criminal justice system (on-campus). Students must also attend a concluding review session on-campus upon return from Japan.
- Post-conflict Justice 12.5
Genocide, mass harm and state crime demand a response. And yet, what can and does justice look like in the wake of state crime? What legal and non-legal processes should be put in place, at both the global and the local levels? This subject examines the rationale, operation and impact of legal, political and social initiatives designed to address these harms – from the establishment of international courts, national truth commissions and local justice processes which pursue goals such as accountability, truth and reconciliation, to grass-roots and civil society responses. It considers dominant definitions of genocide and state crime and their social, cultural, historical and political dynamics. It explores who is responsible and what might redress look like in light of this. It asks what forms of harm and suffering are addressed and which experiences and forms of injustice remain hidden from view. This subject critically examines attempts to understand and respond to mass harm in a global and a local context.
This subject will be taught intensively overseas on location at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia by Australian and Indonesian academics.
- Victims 12.5
This subject introduces students to the field of victimology. Victims have long had an ambiguous role in law. Liberal legal systems operate on the principle that crimes are committed against the state. However, victims are often required to narrate their victimisation to assist in the adjudication of guilt. This can have paradoxical effects for victims. Participating in legal proceedings can be cathartic for some, whereas for others it may be traumatic and re-victimising.
In this subject, students will be introduced to critical issues about the status of victims in criminal justice. The subject will examine
- the historical context of the inclusion of victims in formal legal processes;
- the rise of victims’ rights, and implications associated with this;
- questions about those who qualify as victims, and the ways in which practices of justice may exceed or extend beyond formal law; and
- the likely future status of victims in the context of recent scandals and crises.
Students will engage with a range of contemporary issues concerning victims in diverse case-studies, and will debate the possibilities and limitations of formal law in meeting victims’ complex needs.
- Development, Culture and Conflict 12.5
Development, Culture and Conflict
The end of the Cold War and the announcement of the "New World Order" created a rapidly transforming terrain for the practice of development, humanitarian intervention and aid. Cultural, ethnic and religious conflict is a feature of many of the situations in which development agencies and workers find themselves. Complex emergencies characterized by extensive violence, displacements of people and the need for multi-faceted humanitarian intervention have become increasingly numerous and intractable. This subject examines the new context for development in the light of debates about the "clash of civilizations", the end of history, the failure of secularism, the "coming anarchy" and the rising prominence of fundamentalisms. The relationship between culture and development will also be explored in some depth. Case studies and illustrative material from Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and other regions will be an important component of the subject.
- History, Memory and Violence in Asia 12.5
History, Memory and Violence in Asia
The history wars between Japan and China over Japan's war time roles periodically cause diplomatic fall outs between these two countries. Within the borders of Indonesia and Cambodia memories of violence are equally contested. Drawing on theoretical reflections on history and memory, on memory and identity politics, memory and the body, memory and gender students in this subject will learn to critically analyse memories or representations of violence in a range of Asian contexts. We will also engage with and reflect on a variety of media of memory such as narratives or testimony, museums, monuments, commemorative ceremonies, Internet sites, art and photographs. We will also reflect on the ethics and problems associated with researching and writing about memories and violence and related issues of truth and justice. The subject will include a number of case studies such as Japanese historical revisionism, the related memory wars in China over Japanese representations of the Nanjing Massacre and in Korea over the so called 'Comfort Women'. Further case studies might include memories of decolonisation wars, commemoration of the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, representations of the 1965 anti-communist killings in Indonesia, representations of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, representations of the the Cultural Revolution in China and representations of the Vietnam War in Vietnam.
- Indigenous Peoples in Global Context 12.5
Indigenous Peoples in Global Context
This subject explores contemporary relationships between Indigenous Peoples and settler societies from sociological, legal, political and social policy perspectives. In a comparative perspective it examines the dynamics of these relationships in terms of national, regional and global political orders, with a particular emphasis on evolving international mechanisms for intervention and reform. It explores the impacts and management of dispossession, Indigenous movements for land rights and self-determination and general movements for reconciliation. The subject is concerned also with the methodological and ethical complexities of conducting research on Indigenous issues both within settler societies and globally.
- Social Enterprise Incubator 12.5
Social Enterprise Incubator
Social enterprises are businesses that exist with the specific purpose of solving social and/or environmental problems through trade. These enterprises merge the best features of business and the non-profit sector to create innovative solutions that address both social and market gaps. Within these enterprises, success is thus measured in social and/or environmental terms, in addition to financial sustainability.
This multidisciplinary subject has been developed in partnership with Unbound, a Melbourne-based social enterprise leading innovative education programs on social change through entrepreneurship across the Asia-Pacific region. The subject equips students with a critical understanding of social entrepreneurship, and provides them with a practical opportunity to develop their own start-up social enterprise. Groups will be formed according to personal interest and students will work in small project teams to conceptualise, develop and pitch a viable social enterprise initiative. Students are also expected to test their idea in the marketplace in real time, for example, liaise with external organisations to receive feedback on your product/service and/or develop a minimal viable product that can be showcased.
To support the development of ideas, the subject draws from case studies, field trips and guests speakers from the Victorian start-up ecosystem that share their personal experiences and advice as successful social entrepreneurs. Students will also have the opportunity to receive direct support on their idea during a feedback salon with academics, business leaders and social enterprise practitioners.
Upon completing this subject, students will develop a critical understanding of the nature of social enterprise in contemporary society and the practical requirements for developing sustainable social enterprise projects. The subject also uniquely provides students with the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world solutions in real time.
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- The United Nations: Review and Reform 12.5
The United Nations: Review and Reform
The subject will examine various dimensions of the conflict between national sovereignty and international interdependence which impinge on the nature and institutions of global governance. It will extend students' knowledge of the diversity of the forms of international governance, and of the purposes, activities, styles of work and governance of international institutions. The subject will explore the rationale and functioning of existing institutions, attempt a rigorous assessment of their effectiveness, of proposals for their reform, and of the gaps in institutional arrangements. Particular attention will be given to the sources of conflicts underlying their difficulties in making decisions and taking action. On completion of the subject students should be better able to discern the forces operating in global institutions, the means through which they work, and to effectively discuss alternative possible reforms.
- International Policymaking in Practice 12.5
International Policymaking in Practice
How is foreign policy made? Who are the key actors involved in foreign and trade policymaking? What factors and information sources do they consider? What are the frames of reference that national and international policymakers bring to bear, the obstacles they confront, and the strategies and techniques of diplomatic persuasion and negotiation they are most likely to find effective in moving issues forward? What factors determine which issues and problems get priority government attention? What determines success or failure in areas such as bilateral initiatives, treaty negotiations, external interventions, conflict prevention and resolution and engagement with multilateral organisations? How much influence do non-governmental organisations and other civil society actors have in international policymaking?
This subject is based around a series of case studies taught by the Subject Coordinator as well as a number of senior guest lecturers who are or have been international policymakers. In previous years, guest lecturers have included a former Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs who has chaired international panels and commissions, senior diplomats, officials and advisers in the sector and the head of a Diplomatic Mission to Australia. The subject has a very practical focus, and all lecturers speak from their own extensive and diverse experience. The subject focuses on Australian foreign policy and national interest; however, it is not necessary for students to have extensive prior knowledge of Australian foreign policy or politics to successfully complete the subject.
Case studies and specific issues may include:
- The evolution of economic diplomacy, including responses to new international dynamics in trade negotiations and in the G20;
- Australia's multilateral engagement, including as a member of the UN Human Rights Council (2018-20) and the UN Security Council (2013-2014);
- Refugees – international policymaking and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR);
- Bilateral relationship development and management – case studies could include the regions such as South Pacific or Latin America;
- Australia’s bilateral relationship with China – developing policy to advance interests with a great power;
- The role of Intelligence agencies in international policymaking;
- The international response to genocide and other mass atrocity crimes - the Responsibility to Protect;
- The roles of Ministerial advisers and other stakeholders in the development of trade policy and initiatives; and
- The role of news media in international policymaking.
The subject examines the roles and opportunities for influence of various actors in the sector, such as advisers and MPs, diplomats and departmental officials, and the intelligence community.
- Corruption in Today's World 12.5
Corruption in Today's World
This subject focuses on definitions, types and theories of corruption, and on its political, social and economic effects in various parts of the world, particularly since the 1980s. The subject encourages students to problematise the concept of corruption in terms of its varied meanings, and to distinguish it from concepts such as organised crime, shadow economy, and political sleaze. One major issue considered is the extent to which corruption can delegitimise political systems. The subject will explore cultural diversity in interpretations of corruption, and the extent to which different cultural and systemic factors appear to exacerbate or reduce corruption. There will be a particular focus on the possible connections between corruption and neo-liberalism. On completion, students should have a sophisticated understanding of corruption in the contemporary world, what causes it, how it is measured, and how it is combated. Students should also be able to provide an advanced cost-benefit analysis of corruption in political, economic and social terms.
- The Ethics of Gaming 12.5
The Ethics of Gaming
Within the context of video games, is it appropriate to judge a legitimate action or even a more sustained gaming strategy as morally good or bad? Should virtual enactments within video games be something to warrant moral interest? If so, should there be a limit to what can be enacted or represented within these games, and how do we arrive at this limit? If not, why not? In short, why might the indignant cry of “It’s just a game” not be sufficient to stave off those who would insist on the enactment of virtual taboos being the subject of moral scrutiny?
Students will be afforded an opportunity to cast a critical eye over the applicability of traditional and more contemporary theories of morality to the enactment of taboos within gamespace (inter alia Hume, Kant, Virtue Theory). Can these approaches be used to guide the selective prohibition of video game content by informing us about what should be permitted and what (if anything) should not within these playful arenas?
In addition, rather than endorsing the idea that video game content and enactments are either morally good or bad per se, as an alternative, students will be encouraged to evaluate psychological (and other) research / theory relating to what individuals are able to cope with when engaged in simulations of taboo activities. Might such research / theory provide the basis for a more informed metric of permissibility?
Students will tackle questions such as:
- A priori, what justification is there for the selective prohibition of gaming content?
- A posteriori, what justification is there for the selective prohibition of gaming content?
- How important is player motivation for determining the morality of enacting virtual taboos, or the narrative and what it appears to be endorsing?
- Should the virtual enactment of taboos be used to (i) identify those with a predilection for certain types of taboos (e.g., paedophilia) and (b) their treatment?
As noted above, students will encounter a variety of philosophical theories of morality, as well as interdisciplinary empirical research (e.g., psychology, media studies, sociology)
- Social Research Design and Evaluation 12.5
Social Research Design and Evaluation
This subject examines various social research design and evaluation approaches to the study of social interaction. Students will critically examine the utility of, and theoretical underpinnings behind advanced methods of collecting, analysing and writing up social research. The subject will also analyse the relationship between policy evaluation and social research, notably in the context of debates around evidence based policy.