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

Criminologists have a long standing interest in how offenders are punished. Situating punishment historically and comparatively before focusing on the functions, experiences and implications of modern techniques of punishment, this course introduces students to the key thinkers, ideas, problems and debates within the field of penology. This entails evaluating theories, studies, trends and practices of punishment. We will consider the history and changing function of punishment before analysing issues such as: court/trial administration, sentencing,rehabilitation,prison privatisation, mass incarceration, incapacitation, juvenile detention, probation, justice reinvestment, restorative justice, collateral penality, and alternatives to prison. We will contemplate how broader social, economic and political forces significantly shape the everyday administration of punishment and explore how criminal justice policies and programs differentially impact upon particular groups, ensuring their over-representation in prison facilities. We will also explore the arguments and activities of prison reform activists and imagine the future of penality.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how social, historical, cultural, political and economic forces shape the administration and experience of punishment;
  2. Source and evaluate research that engages the effects of criminal justice punishment on individuals, families, communities and society, as a whole.
  3. Identify and engage the key issues, problems, trends, ideas and debates within the field of penology;
  4. Discuss research, present findings and develop arguments, both orally and in writing.

Indicative Assessment

Seminar participation (10%) (LO 1, 3 & 4)
Group presentation (20 Minutes per group equating to approx. 5 minutes per person) (10%) (LO 1-4)
Research project (2000 words) (40%) (LO 1-4)
Take home exam (2000 words) (40%) (LO 1-4)

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Students are expected to complete 130 hours of study for this course, which includes 36 hours of contact and 94 hours of independent learning. Contact hours will be delivered as
a) a one-hour lecture and two-hour student-led forum each week for 12 weeks;
b) 36 hours of lectures and tutorials taught intensively.

Requisite and Incompatibility

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

Prescribed Texts

Clear, Todd and Natasha Frost.   2015.   The punishment imperative:  The rise and failure of mass incarceration in America.   New York:   NYU Press

Foucault, Michael.   1995.   Discipline and punish:  the birth of the prison (A. Sheridan, Trans.).   New York:  Vintage Books
Weatherburn, Donald. 2014.   Arresting Incarceration: Pathways out of Indigenous Imprisonment. Canberra:  Aboriginal Studies Press.

Assumed Knowledge





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
2018 $2820
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4320
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9080 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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