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CRIM12-216: Explaining Crime


Students will be able to identify the main streams of criminological thought from both psychological and sociological perspectives. Within those broad streams, students will be able to list and define key criminological theories and the social, historical, cultural and political contexts in which they developed. Students will evaluate these theories on a range of criteria such as whether they address laws, crimes, criminals or victims as subjects; whether the explanation is at the micro, meso or macro level; and what the ideological position of the theoretician might be. They will be able to apply these to contemporary justice issues, crime problems and to specific case studies.

Subject details

Code: CRIM12-216
Study areas:
  • Psychology, Criminology, and Social Sciences

Learning outcomes

  1. List and define the key criminological theories, whether psychological or sociological.
  2. Evaluate the main contemporary criminological theories in explaining specific offence types.
  3. Apply these theories to contemporary crime or justice issues or to specific case studies.

Enrolment requirements



Assumed knowledge:

Assumed knowledge is the minimum level of knowledge of a subject area that students are assumed to have acquired through previous study. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they meet the assumed knowledge expectations of the subject. Students who do not possess this prior knowledge are strongly recommended against enrolling and do so at their own risk. No concessions will be made for students’ lack of prior knowledge.