• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Criminology
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies, Social Work, Sociology, Criminology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Australia has been famously described as having a 'wet culture', one in which alcohol consumption (and its consequences) have become intertwined into the social and recreational fabric of Australian society and bringing with it a number of serious social and personal consequences. Drug use on the other hand is much less common but no less problematic, accounting for  between 20 and 40 percent of crimes committed in Australia. How we respond to these issues remains a matter of significant academic and policy debate - especially for those charged with the responsibility of promoting safety, both on the streets and in the home.

This course examines the social, legal and political responses to alcohol and drug use in contemporary Australian society. Students will explore their own perceptions of the drug-crime relationship and contrast these with the theoretical frameworks that currently exist to guide policy and practice. In particular, this course focuses heavily on current law enforcement and social policy responses to alcohol and drug related crime, examining existing policies and practices such as drug courts, treatment institutions, and early referral into treatment programs.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Source and evaluate information and data about drug use and crime in Australia.
  2. Chart the history of drug policy in Australia and its connection to the development of criminal justice policy.
  3. Compare and contrast different theoretical explanations for the drug-crime relationship.
  4. Apply both theory and research to critically evaluate popular media statements and crime prevention approaches to alcohol and drug-related crime.
  5. Present the outcomes of research in both oral and written formats.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial and Wattle participation (10%) (LO 1, 2 & 5)

Minor Essay (1500 words) (30%) (LO 1, 3, 4 & 5)

Field trip tutorial presentation (10 minutes) (15%) (LO 1, 3 & 5)

Field trip report (1000 words) (15%) (LO 1, 3 & 5)

Take home exam (1500 words, 3 days) (30%) (LO 1, 3, 4 & 5)

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One lecture of 2 hours and one tutorial of 1 hour each week for 13 weeks over the semester. The field trip will be conducted during normal class hours. Students are expected to undertake a further 7 hours of independent study each week (total of 130 hours).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 units of 1000 level Criminology (CRIM) or Sociology (SOCY) courses; or permission of the convener.

Prescribed Texts

The prescribed reading for this course will be available in a reading brick. It will include texts from the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, history, public health, social medicine and criminology.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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