Course Title: Apply sociology concepts and principles to justice contexts

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

Course Code: JUST5711

Course Title: Apply sociology concepts and principles to justice contexts

School: 365T Global, Urban & Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6124 - Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Contact : Irene Pagliarella, Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4581

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Tony Trevan

Phone: 9925 4512



Nominal Hours: 50

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

Successful completion of, or demonstrated equivalence to, the following units of competency:

VU20868 Apply foundation legal principles
VU20869 Work within the criminal justice system
VU20870 Apply writing and presentation skills within a justice environment
VU20871 Support the management of adult offenders within the Victorian correctional framework
PSPOHS401B Implement workplace safety procedures and programs
PSPETHC401A Uphold and support the values and principles of public service

And ONE of the following electives:

CHCAOD402B Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector
LGACOM406A Investigate alleged breaches of legislation and prepare documentation

Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required to apply sociological concepts to addressing needs of clients in justice environments who experience social inequalities or marginalization. Thereby your learning will include applying knowledge of Australian social and cultural contexts in planning and implementing processes in justice workplaces.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20853 Apply sociology concepts and principles to justice contexts


1.Review key social theories and perspectives to explain the causes of social inequalities affecting justice services clients

Performance Criteria:

1.1Key aspects of foundation sociological theories are used to explain the development of powerful social agents and institutions in Australia.
1.2Individual, cultural and structural influences that affect social experiences of justice services clients are identified and debated
1.3Identify examples of marginalisation of special needs groups within the contemporary Australian justice environment utilising key aspects of later sociological theories.
1.4Apply major theoretical perspectives to explain social inequalities affecting justice services clients in Australia


3.Monitor impact of social and cultural factors on justice clients and service provision within justice environments

Performance Criteria:

3.1Impact of work undertaken and/or services provided is monitored in line with sociological thinking
3.2Effectiveness of work undertaken and/or services provided in relation to identified social and cultural factors having impact on clients in justice environments is reviewed
3.3Revisions to work undertaken, and/or services provided, to better address social and cultural issues and to improve client outcomes, are made in consultation with relevant people


2.Apply sociological theories to examine effects of social inequality on justice services clients

Performance Criteria:

2.1Describe the impacts of social inequalities and marginalisation on a range of specific client groups within justice environments
2.2Barriers experienced by specific client groups in accessing equitable treatment in the justice environments are identified and remedial strategies canvassed
2.3Sociological thinking is applied to critique current strategies for addressing specific needs of marginalised client groups in justice environments
2.4Findings are used to determine specific work to be undertaken and/or services to be provided

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, you will be able to:
• Apply sociological thinking to determine and implement work undertaken, and/or service provision, that addresses specific needs of marginalised clients in justice environments
• Monitor, and review for continuous improvement, of work undertaken and/or services provided
• Provide knowledge of major sociological theories and perspectives that explain causes and effects of social inequalities affecting clients in justice environments
• Provide knowledge of social thinking in developing approaches and strategies to address inequality and marginalisation experienced by special needs groups and others within justice environments and the broader society

Details of Learning Activities

Students will participate in a variety of learning activities and include:
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• analysis/critique of relevant reading material
• seminars/workshops
• group activities/projects
• group discussion
• research
• independent project based work
• ‘Workshopping’ of student projects including peer/lecture feedback.

Teaching Schedule

 Session One:
Introduction and Overview of subject and explanation of assessment tasks

Session Two:
The History of Sociology and the Development of Social Theory

Session Three: Contemporary sociological theories & theorists

Session Four: Late modernity and knowledge test 1

Session Five: Licit and illicit drugs

Session Six: Social identities

Session Seven: Youth transition and culture
Session Eight: Digital Sociology

Semester Break- Week starting Monday 31 August- until Sunday 6th September No classes

Session Nine: Social determinants of health & illness
knowledge test 2

Session Ten: Deviance and normalised behaviour

Session Eleven: Deviance and normalised behaviour-Group activity

Session Twelve: Class Inequity

Session Thirteen: Working 24/7

Session Fourteen: Urbanisation, community & rurality and knowledge test 3

Session Fifteen: Group presentation week 1

Session Sixteen: Group presentation week 2.

NOTE: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

We expect that students engage in learning through a combination of lectures, individual reading and study, meaningful feedback on written work and structured activities that encourage critical thinking and the development of discipline specific knowledge and practical skills.

Students are active participants and this course prioritises learning by doing. It is essential that students take ownership of their studies and work on developing skills as independent learners in time allocated away from lectures and class time.

As a student you need to demonstrate both knowledge and practical skills relevant to the course content within the classroom environment. Engagement with educators and other students is critical to you maximising learning opportunities and achieving satisfactory results. Participation in classroom discussion and activities will allow educators to apply observational assessment during role-plays, exercises and assignments and provide you with feedback.

You will be required to sign an attendance sheet and if you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to advise your educator and complete any written tasks that may have been allocated.
Students are required to carefully plan and use their time productively and submit assessments as required. All assessments tasks should be researched and drafted well in advance of the set submission dates.

The course will use blended learning techniques, including; lectures, discussions, activities in class and learner directed activities supported by a range of resources available in class and on Blackboard system

Feedback - You will receive verbal and written feedback on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects. Student feedback at RMIT

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Public sociology : an introduction to Australian society
John Germov; Marilyn Poole. 2015.3rd ed., published by Allen & Unwin. Available for purchase from the RMIT City Bookshop in Little Latrobe St prior to the start of semester.
Additional recommended readings can be downloaded from the Learning Hub for this subject.


Other Resources

PowerPoint’s for the lectures will generally be made available AFTER the class; however these are not a replacement for attending lectures. Lectures may have additional information, activities or visual material, which will not be available through Blackboard.
It is essential that you access the Blackboard site at least once a week, as announcements and emails are considered an effective means of communication between educators and students.

Additional recommended readings can be downloaded from the Learning Hub for this subject.

GUSS Skills Central ( is a site developed specifically for students in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT. It provides links to a range of resources for supporting student work on assessments and negotiating university studies more generally.

Overview of Assessment

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods including lectures, tutorials, class discussions, tests, reports, 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.

Assessment Tasks

There are 3 assessable tasks in this subject, as follows:

1. Progressive formative knowledge tests (ungraded)
These knowledge tests require students to progressively demonstrate knowledge and skills confirming an understanding of how to apply sociology concepts and principles to justice contexts.
To be completed in weeks 4, 9 &14.

Note: all progressive formative knowledge tests and skills presentations are to be satisfactorily completed to achieve a graded result for the subject.

2. Sociological investigation report (graded) 50% - Students are to individually conduct a sociological investigation of one of the following social discussion points:

a) In what ways may a person’s social, ethnic, and political views shape their views on terrorism?
b) Are licit and illicit drugs intricately tied to societal and cultural practices and views? Why?
c) Is inequality in Australia growing or declining? Why?
d) In what ways do Durkheim’s notion of anomie and his work on suicide still have relevance today?

Students are required to present findings either in a 2500 word essay documentary, or photo portfolio essay.

You must be sure to answer the following questions in this assignment:
- What is the history of this sociological debate?
- How do you explain the phenomenon in sociological terms (refer to at least four of the major theories covered in this course)
Due week 8 Friday 28th August 5.00pm

3. Group Presentation (graded) 50%
- This assignment requires each group to analyse the concepts of ‘normality and deviance’ by exploring where and how ‘people like you’ live. Your presentation requires a minimum of four theories and concepts relevant to assignment.

Both Classes 2A & 2B presentation will start on week 16 Monday 26th October and if required continue into week 17 Monday 2nd November


Assessment Matrix

This is available via MyRMIT/Studies.
The assessments have been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table which is as follows:

CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did not Submit for Assessment
Grades which apply to course delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not-graded)

CA Competency Achieved
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit For Assessment
Assessment Deadlines
Any due date for any assignment is to be considered a deadline. You can submit work at any time prior to the submission date, but it must be into the Administration office by close of business (5pm) of the day the submission is due.

Assessment Format

As a student of the Justice VE program, it is expected that you adhere to the following criteria regarding essays/research/reports;

1. For an ADVANCED DIPLOMA written assessment task/s – no less than 2500 words, 5 academic references and ONE in-text citation per paragraph.
2. A paragraph is usually between 200 – 250 words.
3. A sentence is usually between 20 - 25 words.
4. American Psychological Association (APA) Referencing Style is the EXPECTED referencing style for Criminal Justice (VE).
5. We highly recommend that all students download a copy of the APA Referencing Guide which is available on the Blackboard or purchase a Pocket Guide to APA style from the campus bookshop.
6. APA Referencing system is to be used and all in-text citations must be recorded according to APA standards.
7. An academic reference is a scholarly source (journal articles that are peer reviewed, a published book, an approved government or organisation website etc).
8. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
9. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical ordered and organised manner.
10. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research.
11. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in either Arial or Times Roman. Do not submit double paged assessments.
12. All assignments to be submitted via the Drop Box (Building 37, level 2) and submitted via email to the Advanced Diploma email address to verify submission ( Assessments must be submitted by 5pm (close of business).
13. Alternatively, your assessments can be uploaded into the assignment section of Blackboard as outlined in the assessment guideline provided to you by your Educator.
14. Written assessments will also be submitted with a Turnitin Report attached (as instructed by your Educator).

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:


All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Special consideration, appeals and discipline :
In accordance with RMIT policy, you may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.

• Hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a cold, period pain or hay fever.
• Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.
• Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.

You must keep a copy of their assessment until the graded submission has been returned or marks have been posted.

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT student email address.
An extension of up to seven calendar days may be granted if good reason can be demonstrated. Include supporting evidence (such as medical certificates) with your application.


Extensions beyond seven calendar days cannot be granted by Course coordinators or individual educators.

Coordinator/Program Manager is not satisfied that the student took reasonable measures to avoid the circumstances that contributed to the student being unable to submit the progressive assessment.

Longer extensions

Extensions of time longer than 7 days can only be granted through special consideration
Applying for Special Consideration
If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.
For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:


Assignment Submissions:


The submission of assessments on the due date is the responsibility solely of the student. Students should not leave assignment preparation until the last minute and must plan their workloads so as to be able to meet advertised or notified deadlines. 



The penalty for assignments submitted late will be 5% of the maximum mark per day late or part thereof.


Weekends and holidays will attract the same penalty as weekdays.


Assignments that are late by 7 days or more will not be marked and will be awarded zero.
Cover Sheet for Submissions
Hardcopy: you must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of work submitted in hardcopy.
E-Submission: you will complete an e-Declaration for every piece of work submitted online.
The signed cover sheet or e-Declaration acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Applying for Special Consideration
If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Assessment Appeals
If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:
a) You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
b) You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
c) You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).
Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:

Academic Integrity
Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.
If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:
The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.
Examples of plagiarism include:
• Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
• Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
• Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
• Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
• Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
• Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
• Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
• Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.
For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 – and the RMIT Student Conduct Regulations –;ID=r7a7an6qug93

Plagiarism Software
The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Complaints Procedure:
RMIT University is committed to providing a harmonious study and work environment for all students and staff. The University recognises your right to raise concerns about academic, administrative or support services without recrimination and has policies and procedures to assist in the resolution of complaints.
Most issues are resolved at the local level and you are encouraged to take steps to resolve your issue locally. The student complaint procedure details steps to take if your problem is not resolved or you believe the response you received is unreasonable.
Student Complaints Policy:
Student complaints Procedure:;ID=i1lexipvjt22
Student Complaints Form:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview