Course Title: Criminological Theory

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Criminological Theory

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2015


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Ruth Liston

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 3799

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.4.12C

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course, you will consider a range of leading contemporary theoretical explanations of crime and its genesis, which draw from a variety of disciplines including classical philosophy, positivist science, human biology, psychology, sociology, economics, and politics. The main focus this course is not so much with the nature of crime itself, but with the ways in which people come to conceptualise the criminal act, create theories based on their conceptions, and influence social policy based on the implications of their theories. In short, this course focuses on ’thinking about crime’. Substantive applications will range from personal/domestic and street crime to white-collar crime in Western societies.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

a) Compare leading approaches to criminology, their shortcomings, and policy implications;
b) Identify analytical and critical capacities in assessing criminology based theories;
c) Deconstruct the ways in which a variety of orientations can have extraordinary and far-reaching effects on social policy measures.

In this course, you will develop the following graduate capabilities:


  • Critical analysis and problem solving
  • Independent and collaborative practice
  • Effective management and use of information

Overview of Learning Activities

 This course is generally delivered in a face-to-face mode with a blend of learning activities including lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, presentations, group work, case studies, videos, and student lead discussions. The course may be delivered online.

Overview of Learning Resources

There is generally a prescribed text for this course. A wide range of additional sources will be provided. You will also be advised about relevant readings throughout the course as various topics are addressed. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the learning outcomes of this course and on your development and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment may include essays, class presentations, and examinations. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

  • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: