University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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About the major

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. The first year units lay the foundations to the study of criminology and criminal justice. Second year units will deepen your understanding of criminological theories and concepts, and criminal justice institutions. 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. In third year units you will consolidate your analytical skills in criminology, as you identify and critically assess complex issues in the intersection between crime, law, medicine, media, and policy.

Requirements for completion

The Criminology major and minor requirements are listed in the Criminology unit of study table.


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

Contact and further information

Website: Department of Sociology and Social Policy

Undergraduate Coordinator: