Study Criminology

What is Criminology?

Criminology is a social science that looks at criminalisation and the causes of crime. It may also focus on crime prevention and systems of social control, as well as criminal justice and the rehabilitation of criminals.

Criminology has a strong practical link with key components of the criminal justice system including law enforcement agencies, the courts and correctional systems.

Criminology may be used to guide issues of public policy and political decision-making regarding crime and crime control.

Criminology is a holistic practice. It commonly integrates skills and methodologies from other disciplines including sociology, anthropology, psychology, social work, law and more.

Ethical and political issues, the representation of crime and deviance within the media and popular culture, and society's reaction to crime all form part of criminology’s ongoing challenges.

Discover JCU's
Bachelor of Arts

Combining subjects from Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Social Work and Law, this course equips you with skills to help make a difference in your community.

What does a criminologist do?

As a criminologist, you will likely work alongside a network of ‘crime-related professionals’, whose skills and qualifications complement each other. Your day-to-day colleagues may include social workers, psychologists, lawyers, police, prison officers, justice system administrators, and employees from youth support services or adult rehabilitation programs.

Criminology is, at heart, a people-focused profession. Criminologists are concerned with making a difference in their community and improving social outcomes, both at an individual and a program and policy level.

Although your initial interest might be sparked by the idea of working forensically to solve real-world mysteries, many criminologists in fact concentrate on the other end of the scale, seeking to help prevent crime before it occurs.

In this capacity, criminologists may perform a social worker-type role, working directly with young people or repeat offenders to help them overcome complex family patterns and change entrenched behaviours.

Or, criminologists may be more focused on macro social and cultural constructs. Combatting crime involves closely studying past and current approaches to justice and the criminal justice system. As a criminologist, you may assess how different forms of punishment, incarceration and rehabilitation impact crime reduction.

You may spend your days collecting and analysing data, and interpreting findings for a broad audience of decision makers. You may also apply the latest criminology research and methodologies to design practical programs and strategies to prevent or reduce criminality.

You will analyse crimes from a sociological perspective, seeking to understand how culture, time and place affect how and when crime occurs.

As a criminologist, you may also specialise in certain types of crime. Although violent crime sadly remains at the forefront of many careers, other areas of specialisation include cyber or digital crime, corporate wrongdoing and other white-collar crimes.

What jobs are there in Criminology?

Criminologists may find jobs in governments, private companies or research institutions, as well as roles embedded within the criminal justice system (the police, law courts or corrections).

As a qualified criminologist, you may also be able to work in a number of related professions and organisations, depending on your interests and your employer’s needs. These might include areas such as child protection, law, policy and more.

The kinds of jobs you could hold with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Criminology from JCU include:

  • Criminologist
  • Police officer
  • Probational and parole officer
  • Youth justice officer
  • Prisons/corrections officer
  • Youth worker.

Why study Criminology at JCU?

When you study Criminology at JCU in the Bachelor of Arts, you complete a versatile Major that will equip you with the capabilities and confidence you need to make your community a safer and fairer place for all.

JCU’s Criminology subjects, projects and research connect your learning to real-world scenarios, and can open doors to diverse new opportunities and experiences.

JCU Criminology students can participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities and networking events, in addition to their standard subject list. JCU’s Bachelor of Arts majoring in Criminology also enables students to undertake internships that further hone their practical and professional skills, ensuring they’re equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed in their careers.

Through the Bachelor of Arts majoring in Criminology at JCU, you will gain firsthand exposure to the work of practising criminologists and leading criminal justice thinkers. You will develop your ability to design and deliver unique solutions to the complex challenges faced in the field of contemporary criminology.

Prospective students should note that not all subjects are available internally. Students will need to take some subjects offered only in external mode.

Think global Develop a cross-cultural understanding of your field to enhance your career
Transferrable skills Expand employability opportunities through elevated thinking
Be the solution Become a critical thinker

Sabina Bin-Garape


Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Criminology

"I decided to study criminology with the interest of why people commit crime and how can you prevent it. Growing up in areas with high crime
rates you tend to ask questions and wonder or be involved in crime and I made the choice to ask questions and be involved in prevention. The support system here at JCU was great. Being Indigenous and having the Indigenous centre on campus has been wonderful, and the course flexibility with the options to do internal and external subjects has worked wonders for myself and family."

Discover Criminology at JCU

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