• Class Number 3013
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Meredith Rossner
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

The goal of this course is to help students think about how key debates within criminological theory and research can help inform their thesis. We review some of the major approaches to the study of crime and justice, and students will attain a comprehensive grasp of the main philosophical, historical and methodological debates within the discipline. A key element of the course will involve considering the epistemologies that underpin knowledge creation using different methodologies.  This course is designed to help students develop their research question and methodology for their honours thesis, and complements work undertaken independently by students with the help of their thesis supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. identify and synthesise relevant theoretical and empirical literature in a chosen area of research;
  2. examine and critique the key methodological issues in criminological research;
  3. develop an informed argument about methodological approaches in criminological research; and
  4. communicate arguments about theory and research to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Research-Led Teaching

Professor Rossner will draw on her own experience conducting criminological research across a range of different context to highlight some of the issues and debates in criminological research and theory. The course will also involve examples and guest visits from other active criminologists who will talk about their approach to methodology and theory.

Field Trips

not applicable

Additional Course Costs

Students will be asked to prepare a poster that visualises their research question for the mini conference, the supplies for this may incur some small costs (poster, paper, paint or other materials)

Examination Material or equipment

will be made available on Wattle.

Required Resources

Levi-Martin, John. Thinking Through Methods: A Social Science Primer. University of Chicago Press.

Miller, Reuben Jonathan. Halfway Home: Race, Punishment and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration. (subject to change pending availability)

Other readings will be available via the library (articles and book excerpts)

Crotty, Michael. The Foundations of Social Research: Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process. Sage

Bryman, Alan. Quantity and Quality in Social Research. Routledge

Becker, Howard. Tricks of the Trade. How to think about your research while you're doing it. University of Chicago Press

Becker, Howards. Evidence. University of Chicago Press.

Booth, W. C., Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., Colomb, G. G., Williams, J. M., & Williams, J. M. (2003). The craft of research. University of Chicago press.

Becker, H. S. (2008). Writing for social scientists: How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article. University of Chicago Press.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Welcome, theory and method in criminology
2 Unpacking epistemologies in our questions and approaches
3 Choosing a site and a sample
4 Talking to people: interviews and surveys reflection on methodology (15%)
5 Ethnography
6 Analysis of text and comparative research some portion of this week will be devoted to workshopping students research projects
7 Ethics some portion of this week will be devoted to workshopping students research projects
8 Applied Policy research some portion of this week will be devoted to workshopping students research projects
9 Feminist and Critical perspectives some portion of this week will be devoted to workshopping students research projects
10 Southern and Indigenous Criminology some portion of this week will be devoted to workshopping students research projects
11 Research conference visual/oral presentation at mini-conference (30%)
12 Putting together a thesis and careers in criminology

Tutorial Registration

not required

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Participation in Seminar Discussion 10 % * 1,2,3,4
Written reflection on methodology 15 % 12/03/2024 2,3
Poster presentation (visual/oral) at mini-conference 30 % 07/05/2024 1,2,3,4
Research Proposal encompassing relevant theory, research, and methodology 45 % * 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


See assessment task 1. Participation will be judged by the convenor in terms of the quality of student contribution to seminars.


The research proposal (assessment 4) will be due during the examination period, and will take the place of a sat examination.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Participation in Seminar Discussion

Students will attend class prepared to discuss the readings and participate in class discussion. they will also take part in student workshops, where their developing research projects will be presented informally and discussed by the group.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 12/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

Written reflection on methodology

Students will write a a brief (700 word) essay reflecting on their chosen methodological approach and methodology for their honours thesis. More information, including the rubric, will be provided during class and on wattle.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 07/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Poster presentation (visual/oral) at mini-conference

Students will prepare a visual representation of their proposed research to present at an honours mini-conference. They will make a brief (10 minute) presentation of their poster and engage in a discussion. Supervisors and members of the criminology staff are also invited to attend the mini-conference. More information, including the rubric, will be provided during class and on wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 45 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research Proposal encompassing relevant theory, research, and methodology

Students will write a 4000 word research proposal for their proposed thesis that will include an in-depth discussion of relevant theory, literature, and proposed methodology. Proposals will be submitted via turn-it-in. More information, including the rubric, will be provided during class and on wattle. The research proposal can be adapted to contribute to portions of the students Honours Thesis. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Feedback and marks will be given to students via turn-it-in.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Only in rare conditions, and in consultation with the course convenor, will students be allowed to resubmit assignments.

As per the policy for late submission of assessment approved by the ANU Academic Board on 12 December 2014, assessment items submitted without an approved extension will attract a penalty of five (5) percent of the possible marks available for that assessment per working day or part thereof.

All extension applications must be made in writing through the Assessment Extension Form, and in accordance with ANU policy (see here for extension guidelines). More information about extension applications will be made available on Wattle.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Meredith Rossner

Research Interests

criminology theory, criminal justice, courts, restorative justice, technology and justice, emotions and justice

Dr Meredith Rossner

Tuesday 10:00 12:00

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