Course Title: Apply sociology concepts and principles to justice contexts

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: JUST5711

Course Title: Apply sociology concepts and principles to justice contexts

School: 365T Global, Urban and 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 Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

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:

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


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

Performance Criteria:

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


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

Performance Criteria:

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

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


Session Five: Licit and illicit drugs


Session Six: Social identities


Session Seven: Youth transition and culture


Semester Break- No classes 30th August


Session Eight: Digital Sociology


Session Nine: Social determinants of health & illness



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



Session Fifteen: Feedback session on sociological investigation


Session Sixteen: Revision.



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

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


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.

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 2 assessable tasks in this subject, as follows:


  1.      Multiple progressive knowledge tests (graded) 50%

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 provided on blackboard and completed weekly.


Due no later than week 16 Wednesday 25th October 5.00pm


Note: all progressive online knowledge tests and written assignments are to be satisfactorily completed to achieve a graded result for the subject.


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


  1. How might digital society inequality be alleviated? What are some of the solutions?
  3. In what way do ‘people like you ’live, by exploring, analysing and researching the difference between deviance and normality.


  1. In what ways may a person’s social ethnic, and political 
  2.        views shape their views on terrorism.
  3. Is inequality in Australia growing or declining? Why?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?
  • Who is excluded (in terms of race, age, gender, wealth, health, ethnicity, ability etc.)
  • How do you explain the phenomenon in sociological terms (refer to at least four of the major theories covered in this course)
  • Due week 16 Wednesday 25th October 5.00pm

Assessment Matrix

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:


Competent with High Distinction


Competent with Distinction


Competent with Credit


Competency Achieved - Graded


Not Yet Competent


Did not Submit for Assessment


Grades which apply to course delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not-graded).


Competency Achieved


Not Yet Competent


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 the school of 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. Written assessments will also be submitted with a Turnitin Report attached (as instructed by your Educator).

Other Information


Please refer to 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 a due date, you will need to apply for an extension.

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 your 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 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.


Longer extensions

Extension 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:


Penalties for Late Submission

If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, late submission of assignments will be penalised as follows:

Assessment tasks submitted after the due date of submission shall receive a penalty of five per cent of the grades available for that assessment per day for each working day late.

No assessment task shall be accepted more than three weeks after the due date.


Cover Sheet for Submissions

You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions(cover sheet is excluded from word count). This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.


Cover Sheet for Submissions

You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of implications of plagiarism.

Please refer to the following link for on-line submission statements;

Cover sheets do NOT form part of your word limit for written assessment tasks.

You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions(cover sheet is excluded from word count). This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.


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:

  • You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
  • You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
  • 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 and Plagiarism - RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to 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 Discipline Statute and Regulations -


Plagiarism Software

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


Course Overview: Access Course Overview