Course Title: Contemporary Criminology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Contemporary Criminology

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015

Course Coordinator: Georgina Heydon

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3640

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.4.6

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course, you will study the contemporary ’reality’ of crime, and the problems this poses for criminal justice agencies, criminologists, and society at large. You will learn about different forms of violence in contemporary society including personal-domestic (family violence, child abuse, ’normal’ homicide), public-terror (street assault, school shootings, serial killing, mass murder), as well as violence at an international level (organised crime, environmental crime, and governmental crime). The course will also address situational, developmental, and social crime prevention techniques.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  • compare the impact that different theoretical approaches to criminology can have on policy formation in criminal justice institutions;
  • analyse the application of theory to contemporary criminological problems;
  • research and critique criminal justice responses to crime and associated social phenomena with reference to major criminological theories.

Program Learning Outcomes

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

The course has been designed to include the following learning experiences: formal workshops, experiential exercises, selected reading and practical work on the progressive development of a group project during the weekly workshops. Course learning materials will be made available in a range of formats, which may include lectures, guest speakers and online media.

 In order to develop your knowledge and skills, you will be expected to participate in interactive discussions and activities and to critically engage with reading materials. The workshops offer a supportive learning environment where you will have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences, and to learn from the knowledge and experience your peers. This peer-based learning may take place through small-group discussions, collaborative work on activities and assessments and/or peer reviewing of research, written work and/or oral presentations.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be given access to a wide range of resources through a Course Reader or core textbook and also will be able to access to a wide range of online learning tools and content for your course from the student portal, myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. These resources may include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary reading, video, and links to external websites.



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 assignments, groups work, online activities, presentations, debates, 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: