• Offered by Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Criminology
  • Areas of interest Law, Criminology

Major theories of crime and punishment, their methods and applications, and explanations of criminal behaviour and criminal justice practices and policies will be reviewed. Students will attain a comprehensive grasp of the main philosophical, historical and methodological debates, become acquainted with critiques and controversies about crime causation and prevention, and explore the policy implications on the role of institutions and practice on criminal justice.

Major theoretical perspectives and contemporary attempts at synthesis and integration will be examined.  These perspectives are illustrated through their different approaches to the definition and scope of crime, the causes of crime, and research method. Given the cross-disciplinary reach of criminology we will also explore the influence of broad intellectual movements such as the civilizing process, post-modernism, feminism, globalisation, communications/digital convergence, and human security.

The criminological imagination draws upon Emmanuel Kant’s (1724-1804) insight that “There is nothing more practical than a good theory” to predict and prevent crimes and mega-crimes. Problem Based Learning [PBL] and case study approaches are used to explore the content and controversies of the criminological imagination.

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. distinguish between the key features of different theoretical perspectives and constructively compare their advantages and disadvantages;
  2. communicate accurately the elements of each of the main theoretical ideas of the criminological imagination to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  3. discern differences in methodological approaches used by different theories and the means to test theoretical assumptions;
  4. appraise the relevance and assess the influence of a particular theory on the policy and practice of the criminal justice system;
  5. deconstruct (uncover and critique the theoretical assumptions) a policy initiative in applied criminology/criminal justice; and
  6. integrate and synthesise a micro and macro explanation of a criminal phenomena.

Indicative Assessment

Present arguments in favour of a particular theory (tutorial/on-line discussion) – 500 words (10%); Learning Outcomes [1-3]
Debate – 500 words (20%); Learning Outcomes [1-4]
Applied Theory Case Study Problem Based Learning, seminar group (4 people) presentation 30 minutes (20%); Learning Outcomes [3-5]
Research Essay: 4000-words (50%); Learning Outcomes [4-6]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 18 hours of lectures, and 18 hours of seminars and workshops; and, b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 24 units of 6000 level Criminology (CRIM) courses, or with permission of the convenor.

Preliminary Reading

Bernard, Thomas J., Jeffrey B. Snipes, and Alexander L. Gerould, 2009, Vold's Theoretical Criminology, 6th Edition, Oxford University Press.

Braithwaite, J, 1989, Crime Shame and Reintegration, Sage, Calif.

Braithwaite, J.  V. Braithwaite, M. Cookson & L. Dunn 2010, Anomie and Violence: Non-truth and Reconciliation in Indonesian Peacebuilding, Canberra: ANU E-Press,

Braithwaite, J., H Charlesworth and A Soares 2012, Networked Governance of Freedom and Tyranny: Peace in Timor-Leste, ANU E Press ("Chapter 9 Transitional Security" and 'Chapter 10 Transitional Justice and Reconciliation") http://press.anu.edu.au/titles/peacebuilding-compared/networked-governance-of-freedom-and-tyranny/

Broadhurst, R., Bouhours, T., and B. Bouhours, 2015, Violence and the Civilizing Process in Cambodia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Cullen, F. and P. Wilcox Eds., Encyclopaedia of Criminological Theory, Sage Calif.

Doyle, M.W, and N. Sambanis, 2006, Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations, Princeton, NJ.

Eisner, M. (2003). Long-Term Historical Trends in Violent Crime, Crime and Justice; A Review of Research, 30, 83–
Eisner, M. (2001). Modernization, Self-control and Violence – The Long-term Dynamics of European HomicideRates in Theoretical Perspective. British Journal of Criminology, 41(4), 618–638.

McLaughlin, Eugene and Tim Newburn, 2013, The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Theory, Sage, Calif.

Newburn, N. (Ed.), Key Readings in Criminology. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.

Spierenburg, Pieter 2008, A History of Murder: Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present. Cambridge (Polity)

Wozniak, J. 2010, ‘Richard Quinney Social Transformations and peacekeeping criminology, in Cullen, F. and P. Wilcox Eds., Encyclopaedia of Criminological Theory, Sage Calif.

Rock, Paul and David Downes, 2003, Understanding Deviance, 4th edition, Oxford University Press.

Journals e.g.  Theoretical Criminology, Criminology,  British Journal of Criminology etc.

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate level social theory including criminology, sociology, history, anthropology or similar.


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
2017 $3216
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4590
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5025 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions