University of Sydney Handbooks - 2019 Archive

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About the minor

Criminology is an interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of crime, deviance, social control and the legal system. It aims to understand who commits crimes and why, the societal responses, and how laws impact the prevention of crime. You will examine the central criminological topics in contemporary society, such as policing, youth justice, criminal justice, sentencing, prisons and punishment, crime and media, indigenous justice, forensics, and human rights.

Students will be required to complete the following units of study:

  • Introduction to Socio-Legal Studies
  • Law and Contemporary Society
  • Studying Crime and Criminology
  • Crime, Punishment and Society
  • Medico-Legal and Forensic Criminology
  • Crime, Media and Culture
Requirements for completion

A minor in Criminology requires 36 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level units

First year

In your first year, you will study SLSS1001 Introduction to Socio-legal Studies and SLSS1003 Law and Contemporary Society. The first semester lays the foundations to develop socio-legal knowledge, and the second builds on this introduction to consider key areas of criminological inquiry, such as corporate crime, crime and the media, forensics, and policing. At the end of your first year you will be equipped with foundational socio-legal skills that will enable you to move into senior criminological study.

Second year

In your second year, you will deepen your understanding of criminological theories and concepts, criminal justice institutions, policy and practice through the two second-level units, CRIM2601 Studying Crime and Criminology and CRIM2602 Crime, Punishment and Society. This year you will analyse key debates around crime in relation to topics such as gender, youth, race and ethnicity, in addition to critically examining features of criminal justice practice, including policing, sentencing, punishment and prisons.

Third year

In your third year, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of criminology through advanced study in CRIM3601 Medico-legal and Forensic Criminology, which focuses on the relationship between crime, law, medicine and science, and CRIM3602 Crime, Media and Culture, which examines criminological approaches to crime and the media. This year you will consolidate your analytical skills in criminology, as you identify and critically assess complex criminological issues, theories and methods in relation to the interface between criminal justice, law and society.


Students are able to pursue a range of interests in criminology by undertaking Honours in Socio-Legal Studies.

Contact/further information

Department website:

Undergraduate Coordinator: