Criminological Theories - 2016

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start
This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 1
  • Assessment: Assignment - Weekly Topic Questions (50%) , Essay - Research Essay (50%)

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 2,188.00
International 2,438.00

This is a survey unit that aims to introduce students to the central concepts of modern theories of crime, linkages with their historic antecedents and criteria for evaluating theoretical validity. A range of different perspectives will be presented covering the dominant sociological and psychological explanations of crime and criminality. On completion, students will have an understanding of the nature of theory, the ideas of key theorists and have the ability to critically evaluate theoretical explanations.

After successfully completing this unit you should be able to:

1  Appreciate the breadth and diversity of criminological theories from a psychological, biological and sociological perspective.
2  Critically compare and contrast the utility, strengths and limitations of different theoretical approaches to explaining the causes of offending and the implications for public policy
3  3. Demonstrate written and verbal communication skills applying critical thinking, analysis and application to a real world context

  • Assignment — Weekly Topic Questions (50%)
  • Essay — Research Essay (50%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

  • Broadband access

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Putting Theory into Context
2Biological and Psychological Theories
3Introduction to Sociological Theory
4Understanding Juvenile Offending
5The Problem of Arson
6The Problem of Fraud
7Situational Factors
8Labelling and Restorative Justice
9Crime from a Gendered Perspective
10Applying Theory Race and Ethnicity
11The Victimiology Perspective
12From Theory to Public Policy
13Reviewing Learning Outcomes

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture

Online materials

  • Printable format materials

This unit is a core requirement 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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