Course Title: Criminological Theory

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Criminological Theory

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities.  

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption.  

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:  

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance: 

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


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 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2017


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Dr Joseph MacFarlane

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2328

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: B37.L4. Rm12B

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 of this course is on 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

Program Learning Outcomes 

In course you will develop the following program learning outcome:  

For those students enrolled in BP023 Bachelor of Criminal Justice, you will develop the following program learning outcome:

  • Contextualise specific criminal justice based knowledge according to socially and culturally diverse environments 

For those students enrolled in BP295 Bachelor of Criminology and Psychology , you will develop the following program learning outcome:

  • PLO1: Apply theory and principles of Criminology and the criminal justice system  to your professional practice or further study  

Course Learning Outcomes 

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

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

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is delivered through a blend of learning activities, which include interactive workshop activities, role plays, problem solving, guest speakers, presentations, videos, online media and activities and student led discussions. 

Overview of Learning Resources

There may be a prescribed text for this course. 

You will be given access to a wide range of resources through the Canvas student portal, myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. You will have the opportunity to contribute collectively to class resources by sharing your own research findings and sources with your peers. 

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

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 Tasks 

Assessment task 1: Reading Group Class Presentation: 20% CLO2 and CLO3   Assessment task 2: Case Study Analysis: 30% CLO1 and CLO2   Assessment task 3: Online Quiz: 10% CLO1 and CLO2   Assessment task 4: Research Essay: 40% CLO1 and CLO2

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 Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.