Course Title: Critical Readings in Justice and Criminology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Critical Readings in Justice and Criminology

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Larissa Sandy

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3773

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2.12B

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed knowledge and capabilities consistent with a Bachelors program in Criminology or related Social Sciences.

Course Description

In this course you will be introduced to key theorists and theories relating to crime, law and social justice. You will explore the current state of theory in Criminology and the differences between structural, constructionist, postmodern and poststructuralist approaches. This will include moral panic and the risk society, or the ways in which modern societies organise responses to risk, feminisms and queer theory as well as critical race and postcolonial theories. Readings will be used to identify dominant research themes in Criminology and to consider their broader societal relevance. Through these readings you will gain deeper understandings of criminological concepts and will learn to apply them in your own research. The course aims to give you an applied knowledge of criminological problems informed by a broader social theoretical understanding.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course is an intensive reading seminar. It requires that students commit to completion of all set readings and active participation in fortnightly seminars.

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

  • identify and critique various theories as they apply to criminology and the justice field more broadly;
  • appraise the efficacy of theories used to address key issues in criminology;
  • synthesise an advanced level of knowledge of one or more criminological theories and apply them to real world problems;
  • effectively communicate the options for application of theories to identified issues; and
  • appraise and apply appropriate theoretical issues to your own research.

Program Learning Outcomes


In this course you will develop the following learning outcomes:

  • apply creativity, critical thinking and innovation when identifying and analysing criminological issues in diverse contexts;
  • critique the value of information and knowledge from a wide range of sources and experiences and reflect on and evaluate their application in criminological research;
  • communicate professional ideas using diverse formats and strategies to academic and professional audiences within and external to criminology; and
  • critically examine dominant literature and theoretical knowledge in criminology to undertake innovate policy analysis and criminological research.

Overview of Learning Activities

As part of your learning activities you will read intensively in preparation for active participation in fortnightly seminars. This will include independent background research to help contextualise new concepts. You will deepen your ability to sustain a considered conceptual argument through a variety of class activities and assessments.

Overview of Learning Resources

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 course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment will include: 

Task 1: Group presentation: Week 5-9 (26%)

Task 2: Source and analyse readings in crime, law and social justice (24%) 

Task 3: Final analytical paper: 2500 words Week 12 (50%)

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.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online:

If you are enrolled in this course as part of an Honours level Program, the final outcome of your assessments will contribute to the Weighted Assessment Mean (WAM), which is used to calculate the classification of your Honours Degree. Please see the WAM student information page for more information on the WAM and how it is calculated.