Course Title: Criminology

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2009

Course Code: JUST5150

Course Title: Criminology

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6077 - Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Contact : Michelle Noon

Course Contact Phone: 9925 4581

Course Contact Email:michelle.noon@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

  • Irene Pagliarella 9925 4581, Course Coordinator
  • Georgy Dumas 9925 4203, Program Manager

Nominal Hours: 68

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

VBQU369 Apply Research Techniques within a Justice Framework

Course Description

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the study of crime, substantive areas of offending behaviour, and the implications of criminological knowledge for policy formulation and crime prevention strategy.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBQM391 Criminology


Learning Outcomes


This course aims to enable students to:

  1. Describe the broad nature of crime and criminology and demonstrate the linkages between theory and policy
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the historical evolution of criminology, showing ideological changes and similarities in approaches to crime, from early civilisation to contemporary times
  3. Analyse the nature, extent and patterns of crime, in Australia and globally
  4. Evaluate the validity of official crime statistics
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the causes of crime
  6. Analyse the role of criminal profiling and its relevance to criminal investigation
  7. Demonstrate understanding of the major forms of criminal behaviour, their known patterns and correlates, and specify the measures designed to prevent or contain them
  8. Explain the rise of victimology as a major focus of study, and the importance of the victim’s role in the criminal process


Details of Learning Activities

Students will participate in a variety of teaching methods including: lectures, tutorials, class discussion, seminar presentations, group/individual work on projects, audio-visual presentations, field excursions where applicable, on site visits, and interaction with individuals and groups within the criminal justice area


Teaching Schedule

Week One: Introduction and Overview of Subject
In this class we will discuss what the field of criminology covers, what criminologists do, and what this subject is all about. Students will be introduced to various definitions of crime and we will critically analyse popular media constructions of crime. We will start to consider why people commit crime, what prevents people from committing crime and how society responds to crime.

Week Two: Historical Evolution of Criminology
Students will have read the set materials for Learning Outcomes 1 and 2 (see below) and will be expected to engage in a lively discussion about the early criminological theories. We will go on to examine some of the ‘newer’ ways of approaching criminology and introduce concepts such as rational choice theory, new right criminology, left realism, peacemaking criminology and therapeutic jurisprudence.

Week Three: Self-Directed Learning
There will be no class this week due to the First Year Orientation Camp. Students are expected to use this time to complete the Crime Statistics Research Task, which must be presented in class on Week 4. Details about assessment tasks are set out below, in the Assessments section of this Course Guide.

Week Four: Crime Statistics and Their Meaning
In this class we will consider what the ‘true’ rate of crime is, how it is measured and whether our assumptions about crime are correct. You will need to bring a copy of your Crime Statistics Research Task to class (the original is to be handed in to the office by 4pm) so that we can analyse your findings.

Week Five: Exam
A closed book exam will be conducted in class this week. The exam will run for 1 hour and will be a mixture of multiple-choice, true/false and ‘fill in the blank’ questions based on Chapter 1 of Seigel’s Criminology: The Core ed. 2. There will be 40 questions and each question is worth 0.25 of a mark. This assessment task covers Learning Outcomes 1 and 2. After the exam there will be a special screening of the movie A Clockwork Orange, which will inform our discussion about trait theory next week.


Week Six: Causes of Crime 1-Trait Theory
Prepare for this class by reading pages132-166 of Siegel’s Criminology: Theories, Patterns and Typologies (available on e-reserve) and preparing written answers to the critical review Questions. Your answers will form the basis of our class discussion this week, which will be about the physical and neurological causes of crime

Week Seven: Causes of Crime 2-Strain Theory
This week we will consider the social, cultural and economic causes of crime. Please read Conklin (on e-reserve) and answer the Review Questions on p172. We will discuss your answers in class.

Week Eight: Feminist Criminology
There will be no class this week due to the Anzac Day holiday. However you will be expected to have viewed the film Girl, Interrupted prior to next week’s class. You can either borrow the film from your local video store or attend the screening at 2pm on 22.4.08 in Room 14 TBC). The issues raised in the film will form the basis for our discussion on feminist theory and it will also get us started on next week’s theme, which is labelling theory.

Week Nine-Ten Semester break

Week Eleven: Labelling and Conflict Theories
This week we will discuss the film you viewed last week and consider what it can teach us about feminist and labelling theory. You will need to read Chapter 8 of Winfree and Abadinsky (on e-reserve) and answer the Critical Review questions on pp 249-250 before coming to class.

Week Twelve: Profiling
Does offender profiling work, or is it just good television? Please read Howitt (on e-reserve) and answer the questions at the end of the chapter

Week Thirteen: Violent Crime
We will break into small discussion groups this week, to consider the many different types of violent crime, including terrorism, and to consider appropriate responses to these crimes.

Week Fourteen: Victimology
Victimology is relatively new in the field of criminology. We will briefly trace its evolution and consider its implications. Please read the introductory materials for Learning Outcome 8.

Week Fifteen: Property Crime
What makes people steal? Are some forms of theft acceptable? Is major fraud adequately dealt with? These are some of the questions we will cover this week. To prepare please browse the AIC website, find a journal article on the topic of white collar crime or fraud that interests you, summarise the article and bring it with you to class.

Week Sixteen: Public Order Crime
What is wrong with pornography? Should drugs be legalised? What are the current ‘moral panics’ in Australian society? These are some of the questions we will be tackling this week. To prepare, please read the Chapter from Hagan and answer the Review Questions. Note: Essays are due by 4pm today.

Week Seventeen: Exam
Closed book multiple choice exam commencing at 10am for the morning class and 2 pm for the afternoon class. The maximum duration of the exam is 2 hours.

Week Eighteen: Overview and Evaluation
To be conducted on-line.


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Siegel, L. J. (2005). Criminology: The Core ed. 2. Belmont, CA. Thomson/Wadsworth

0-534-62937-7


References


Other Resources

The following readings will be available from the Learning Hub:

Learning Outcome 1

‘The Study of Crime’ in White, R. & Haines, F. (2004). Crime and Criminology: An Introduction (3rd ed.). Sth Melb: Oxford University Press.

Learning Outcome 2

‘Crime and Criminology’ Siegel, L.J. (2005). Criminology: The Core (2nd ed.) Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Learning Outcome 3

‘The Extent and Location of Crime’ in Goldsmith, A., Israel, M & Daly, K. (Eds.). (2006). Crime and Justice: A Guide to Criminology (3rd ed.). Sydney, NSW: Law Book Co.

Learning Outcome 4

‘The Statistics on Crime and Their Meaning’ in Jones, S. (2006). Criminology (3rd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press

Learning Outcome 5

‘Trait Theories’ in Siegel, L.J. (2007). Criminology: Theories, Patterns and Typologies (9th ed). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth

‘Social, Cultural and Economic Sources of Crime’ in Conklin, J.E. (2007). Criminology (9th ed.). Boston, USA: Pearson

‘Labelling and Conflict Theories’ in Winfree, L.J. (2003). Understanding Crime: Theory and Practice (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth

Learning Outcome 6

‘Profile Analysis’ in Howitt, D. (2002). Forensic and Criminal Psychology. Harlow, UK: Pearson/Prentice Hall

Learning Outcome 7

McDonald, D. & Brown, M. (1997). Indicators of Aggressive Behaviour. Research and Public Policy Series. AIC

‘Public Order Crime and the Future of Crime’ in Hagan, F.E. (2002). Introduction to Criminology: Theories, Methods and Criminal Behaviour (5th ed). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth

Learning Outcome 8

‘Victimology’ in Treadwell, J. (2006). Criminology. London, UK: Sage

‘Victims of Crime’ in Graycar, A. & Grabosky, P. (2002). The Cambridge Handbook of Australian Criminology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


Overview of Assessment

Assessment is designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and students will be expected to: participate in class and on-line discussions and debates, complete two closed book examinations, undertake a small scale research project and present their findings and write one 2000 word essay.


Assessment Tasks

There are 5 pieces of assessment in this subject, as follows:
1. Participation in Class Discussions. Students are expected to: prepare for and attend all classes, actively participate in class discussions and make weekly postings to the on-line Learning Hub forum(15%). This portion of the final grade will be based upon the student’s critical engagement with the subject matter and readings, as demonstrated in the quality and quantity of their involvement in class discussions and debates. No marks are awarded simply for attendance; however as absence clearly precludes participation, it must be expected that consistent absences will impact upon the overall course grade. Assesses all Learning Outcomes
2. Exam 1 (10%). A closed book exam will be conducted in class on Friday 4.4.08. The exam will run for 1 hour and will be a mixture of multiple-choice, true/false and ‘fill in the blank’ questions based on Chapter 1 of Seigel’s Criminology: The Core ed. 2 (available from the Library on e-reserve). There will be 40 questions and each question is worth 0.25 of a mark. This assessment task covers Learning Outcomes 1 and 2.
3. Crime Statistics Research (15%). Details of this task are contained in a separate handout which will be given to students in Week 1. The deadline for the assignment is 4pm on Friday 14.3.08. Assesses Learning Outcomes 3 and 4.
4. Essay (40%). 
5. Final Exam (20%) A closed book exam will be held in class. The exam will consist of 40 multiple choice questions (each worth ½ a mark) and will run for 2 hours. Assesses Learning Outcomes 1-


Assessment Matrix

80-100HD
70-79DI
60-69CR
50-59PP
Below 50NN

Other Information

Course Overview: Access Course Overview