Crime and Media - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Essay 2 - Major Essay (50%) , Invigilated Exam (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

The mass media are the main sources of information for most people about crime and the criminal justice system. Critics claim that the media present distorted messages about crime, but perhaps the more interesting question is how audiences construct aspects of their own identities based on media representations of crime and criminality. The unit explores theories of media and crime, core concepts such as moral panic and fear of crime, crime as entertainment, newsworthy crime, the nature and functions of the new media, and implications for the development of media criminology. 

  1. Understand current and emerging debates about the intersections of media and crime,
  2. Understand and explain the nature of mass media representations of crime in local and globalised contexts,
  3. Understand key theoretical and methodological approaches to research in media criminology,
  4. Demonstrate your ability to apply these theoretical and methodological understandings to an analysis of crime texts,
  5. Have developed your critical faculties as consumers of the mass media, particularly in relation to representations of crime and criminality.
  • Essay 2 — Major Essay (50%)
  • Invigilated Exam (30%)
  • Quiz — Online Quiz/s (20%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

This is not an introductory unit, it is a second year unit. You must have a basic understanding of the first year criminology units.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Media theory: Theories of mass media: sociology and media studies perspectives
2Media audiences and effects: Media-person interactions
3Media and crime: What do we know? Theory and research
4Moral panics and the fear of crime
6Film and moving image
7Construction and production
9Identity and cyberspace
10Harassment, victimisation, and cyberspace
11Surveillance, crime and safety
12Media and the criminal justice system : Who uses whom?
13What's the point?

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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