Police, Courts and Criminal Law - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Invigilated Exam - Exam (40%) , Quizzes - Online Quizzes (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 1,324.00
HECS 1,324.00
International 1,574.00

Police Courts and Criminal Law explains the law and procedural processes which govern the way crimes are investigated, tried and punished in Australia. It begins by considering some general principles of criminal responsibility such as the aims and functions of the criminal law and its sources. The legal principles guiding police investigations are examined, including police powers and responsibilities, the rights of suspects, and the importance of obtaining reliable and admissible evidence. Finally, students learn about the ways cases can progress through the court system, from initial charge to final sentence. The unit focuses primarily on the Queensland criminal justice system. Other jurisdictions are examined in passing, and general principles are common to all Australian systems.

At the completion of this unit students will have:

  1. Understanding of the aims and functions of criminal law and how it operates in the Australian criminal justice system.
  2. Knowledge about criminal responsibility, the elements of crimes and the classification of offences.
  3. Familiarity with the processes by which alleged offences are investigated, brought to trial, punished and ability to critically analyse the impact of criminal law processes on people affected by them.
  4. Knowledge of the powers, functions and ethical responsibilities of police and other investigators, prosecutors, defence lawyers and judges in both pre-trial and trial processes.
  • Invigilated Exam — Exam (40%)
  • Quizzes — Online Quizzes (20%)
  • Report — Court report (40%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • CCJ17 — The Law of Crime

Students are required to attend a court session to complete the court report assessment.

  • Other special requirement — Students are required to attend a court session to complete the court report assessment.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction: the idea and role of criminal law
2Understanding offences and offenders
3Introduction to police powers
4Police investigative powers I
5Police investigative powers II
6Pre-trial processes
7The criminal trial
8Evidence and criminal trials
9Punishment and penalty
11Appeals and miscarriages of justice
12Justice and injustice
13Review and conclusion

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

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

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

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.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Australian Criminal Justice

    By:Findlay, Odgers, Yeo

    ISBN: 9780195521153


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Enquire online

    Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
    Make an online enquiry.

    Enquire now

    Ready to enrol?

    Start studying this unit now.


    Got a question?

    Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.