Course Title: Foundations of Criminology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Foundations of Criminology

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 1 2024

Course Coordinator: Joseph van Buuren

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1519

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 37. Floor 04. Room 12B

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course, you will examine the foundations of criminology. The course begins with a description of crime rates and trends in Australia, and its comparison with other Western nations. The lectures focus on information that criminological research has discovered about the crime phenomenon. This includes how crime is variously typed, researched and categorised by criminologists; what its trends are, and what characteristics officially apprehended offenders possess in terms of various social and personal correlates. The course draws on various insights of historical, contemporary, and leading thinkers in the field. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcome:

BP023 Bachelor of Criminal Justice

  • Assist in the identification of needs and the planning of research in the criminal justice field  

BP295 Bachelor of Criminology and Psychology:

  • PLO1: Apply theory and principles of Criminology and the criminal justice system to your professional practice or further study
  • PLO2: Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on key concepts and contemporary issues within Criminology in local and international contexts.
  • PLO6: Design and conduct of criminological research projects, and apply of evidence-based research to develop solutions to criminological problems

Course Learning Outcomes 

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

  1. Classify the various taxonomies of crime, and their problems;
  2. Analyse the various trends in types of crime (both traditional and emerging) in Australia;
  3. Outline the personal and situational correlates of criminal behaviour;
  4. Show the possible ways in which personal and social correlates interact, and;
  5. Hypothesise future possible trends in crime and the important role of criminological research in charting its course 

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 lead discussions. 

Overview of Learning Resources

There is generally 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: Quizzes 20%, CLO1, CLO2, CLO3 and CLO4  

Assessment Task 2: Academic Skills, 40%, CLO2 and CLO3,  

Assessment Task 3: Exam, 40%, CLO2,  CLO4 and CLO5 

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.