• Offered by ANU Centre for Social Research Methods
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Criminology
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies, Sociology, Legal Practice, Criminology

Australian courts represent a fundamental pillar of the criminal justice system. Understanding their role and responsibilities is important for students studying criminology, sociology, law and public policy. In this course, students will be introduced to the key issues and principles which govern the administration of justice, particularly as this relates to the important role of courts within the wider criminal justice system. Both historical and contemporary issues will be explored, including a key focus on recent innovations as the judicial system attempts to become more responsive to the multiplicity of needs within the offender population. Wherever possible, this course is complemented with field visits to the ACT Magistrates and Supreme Courts, as well as the High Court of Australia.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Source and evaluate information and data about the role and function of courts in Australia;
  2. Chart the history of innovation in court practice in Australia and its connection to the development of criminal justice policy;
  3. Apply both theory and research to critically evaluate the role and function of courts in Australia; and,
  4. Present the outcomes of research in both oral and written formats.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Semester-based Offering (13 weeks) (null) [LO null]
  2. Tutorial participation (10) [LO 1,2,4]
  3. Online reflection via Wattle (10) [LO 2,3,4]
  4. Field report and tutorial presentation (1000 words and 10 minutes) (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  5. Minor Essay (1500 words) (30) [LO 1,3,4]
  6. Examination (2 hours) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  7. (null) [LO null]
  8. Intensive Offering (null) [LO null]
  9. Tutorial participation (10) [LO 1,2,4]
  10. Online reflection via Wattle (10) [LO 2,3,4]
  11. Major Essay (2500 words) (40) [LO 1,3,4]
  12. Take Home Examination (5 days, 1500 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  13. (null) [LO null]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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Semester length delivery - 130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of seminars and 12 hours of workshops; and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing. Intensive delivery - 130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 40 hours of contact over 12 weeks: workshops and field trip activities delivered intensively over 6 days in a 2 week period; and b) 90 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

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 of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed CRIM6008.

Prescribed Texts


Assumed Knowledge

This course is taught assuming students have some basic understanding of sociology 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
2020 $3120
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4800
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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
3678 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person N/A

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