LAW 2524 - Criminology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

Defining crime and an introduction to the criminal justice system. An examination of the historical origins and contemporary theoretical perspectives on the causes of crime and criminality including: physical and genetic factors; psychological theories; and sociologically based theories of crime. An introduction into the nature of and uses of criminal statistics.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 2524
    Course Criminology
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1501
    Incompatible LAW 2122
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description Defining crime and an introduction to the criminal justice system. An examination of the historical origins and contemporary theoretical perspectives on the causes of crime and criminality including: physical and genetic factors; psychological theories; and sociologically based theories of crime. An introduction into the nature of and uses of criminal statistics.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Allan Perry

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    There are two (2) weekly lectures scheduled for: Tuesday and Thursday, 9.10-10am in Lower Napier LG29 (Lecture Theatre). All lectures will be recorded.

    There are weekly seminars throughout the semester. The 1st seminar consists of an extended tour (2 hrs in duration) of the Adelaide Remand Centre (ARC). These tours will be conducted over semester weeks 1-5. Students will need to enrol for the ARC study tours by registering on forms posted in the Law School foyer during O Week. Classroom seminars commence semester week 6 and enrolment in these seminar classes needs to be made via Access Adelaide.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1.   Introduction to the basic theoretical areas which comprise the fundamental conceptual paradigms of criminology.
    2.   A critical review of the definitional issues that underpin the study of criminality and deviance.
    3.   A critical examination of how criminal statistics are compiled and interpreted within both the criminal justice system and empirical 
    4.   An examination of the criminal justice system focussing on the application of classical deterrence theory.   
    5.   A historical review of the development of criminological theory.
    6.   A critical examination of the primary contemporary criminological perspectives.
    7.   The development of good interpersonal and communication skills.
    8.   To improve legal research skills.
    9.   The development of both oral and written advocacy skills.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are no prescribed textbooks for this course.
    Recommended Resources
    T. Bernard, J. Snipes & A. Gerould, Vold’s Theoretical Criminology (7th ed. Oxford 2015)
    K. Williams, Textbook on Criminology, (7th ed. Oxford 2012)
    R. White, F. Haines, N. Asquith, Crime & Criminology, (5th ed. Oxford 2012)
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used to post announcements, additional lecture materials (including slides, and where available, audio recordings of lectures) and announce assignment tasks. It will also contain electronic copies of the Course Profile, Lecture and Seminar Guides, and Course Materials.

    Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be taught through lectures supported by interactive seminars in which the theoretical perspectives considered in the lectures will be supplemented with a critical examination of contemporary issues in criminology.

    The lectures are designed to provide an overview and critical exposition of the principal theoretical criminological perspectives. It is important that students read the required materials in advance of attending the appropriate lecture. The lectures will also provide an introduction to the material covered in the seminars.

    The seminars are small group discussion classes that will undertake applying the theoretical perspectives presented in the lectures to contemporary criminological issues. The seminars will also consider some criminological perspectives not directly covered in the lectures. The seminars are intended to develop a deeper understanding of criminological theory and an awareness of the ethical, social and cultural issues in crime and criminality. Seminar attendance is not compulsory but the seminars are an integral component of your learning in this course and attendance is strongly recommended.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Contact time: attend 2 hours lectures plus 1 hour seminar each week. This amounts to 36 hours of formal class time across the semester.

    Preparation time: In addition to attending formal classes it is anticipated that students will do substantial independent work to prepare for classes and to complete the course assignments. The University expects full time students (those undertaking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.

    Students are encouraged to attend all lectures and seminars throughout the semester although attendance is not compulsory.
    Learning Activities Summary





    Week 1


    Adelaide Remand Centre Study Tours

    Week 2

    Criminal Statistics

    Adelaide Remand Centre Study Tours

    Week 3


    Adelaide Remand Centre Study Tours

    Week 4

    Classical Theory

    Adelaide Remand Centre Study Tours

    Week 5

    Biological Positivism

    Adelaide Remand Centre Study Tours

    Week 6

    Biological Positivism

    Capital Punishment

    Week 7

    Psychogenic Theories

    Pornography and Crime

    Week 8

    Psychogenic Theories

    Drugs, Alcohol & Crime

    Week 9

    Strain Theory/Anomie

    Intellectual Capacity & crime

    Week 10

    Social Ecology & Disorganisation Theory

    Conflict Theory/Marxist Theory

    Week 11

    Delinquent and Criminal Subcultures

    Family & Delinquency

    Week 12

    Delinquent and Criminal Subcultures

    Examination Revision

    There are no additional requirements for completion of this course other than those described elsewhere in this document.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment Item

    % of Final Mark

    Due date


    Group or Individual Assessment


    Research Paper

    30% (optional & redeemable by examination)

    Topics available Week 1
    DueDates: Will vary depending on topic selected. See assessment detail

    1500 words





    Exam Period
    9th – 23rd Nov

    2 hours duration (+ 10 minutes reading time).



    Assessment Related Requirements
    Seminar and lecture attendance are not compulsory and no penalty apply for non-attendance. The research paper is optional and fully redeemable by the examination.
    Assessment Detail
    Research Paper
    An optional essay weighted at 30% of the final course mark and is fully redeemable by the final examination. Details of the essay topics will be posted on MyUni during the 1st week of the semester. The essays will be assessed based on the quality and comprehensiveness of research; the quality of demonstrated understanding of the relevant principles and concepts; the construction of a concise and coherent presentation; a well balanced presentation of the relevant issues; and the development of a critical and evaluative perspective.

    DUE DATE:                    Topic 1: Tuesday, August 30th,       12pm
                                          Topic 2: Tuesday, September 6th,   12pm
                                          Topic 3: Tuesday, September 13th, 12pm


    The examination will consist of three questions only two of which must be answered and all are of equal weighting. All three (3) questions will be essay style.  The exam will be of 2 hours duration (+ 10 minutes reading time).

    Students may take into the examination any written materials excluding items borrowed from a University Library and may also take in electronic language dictionaries with no remote capabilities.

    It is each student's responsibility to read the examination timetable. Misreading the timetable is not accepted as grounds for granting a supplementary exam. University staff are not permitted to provide examination times to students over the telephone or in response to personal enquiries.

    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All assignments in this course are to be submitted electronically through Turnitin.

    All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the approved Law School style guide, The Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

    Extensions: Requests for extensions must be made electronically according to law school policy. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.


    1. Late Submission: Submission penalties of 5% (of the total mark of the assignment) each day (or part thereof) will be deducted for late submission (including weekends and public holidays), (ie, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is one day late, for a final mark of 58%, 10% if it is two days, etc).
    2. Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks available per 100 words or part thereof (ie with a word limit of 3,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated excluding footnote citations, headings within the text and cover page information. Quotations and all substantive information included within footnotes are included in the word count.
    Turnaround time: The research paper will be returned to students within 4 weeks of the submission date with written individual feedback. Students will be notified by email when assignments have been marked.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    Practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.