& Criminal Justice

Criminology & Criminal Justice


Reduce crime by better understanding it

Criminologists work to reduce crime by better understanding it. Criminologists look at the bigger picture, drawing from disciplines such as psychology, sociology, law, philosophy, cultural studies and history. As a student of Criminology & Criminal Justice you will learn about crime and social harm, and how society responds to it through social control and the criminal justice system.

During your study you will learn to tackle real world issues such as victimisation, drug related harm, organised crime and community safety. Key study areas include the nature of crime, what is defined as crime and how crime is measured, media reporting and portrayal of crime, why people commit crime and how societies respond.


Criminology and criminal justice courses

The Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice is a three year degree

You will be part of a unique cross-faculty program taught by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences and UNSW Law. You will study 16 courses in Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Policy & Research, and a further 8 elective courses.

Sample courses

  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Explaining Crime
  • Sex, Human Rights and Justice
  • Forensic Sociology
  • Issues in Policing
  • Crime, Politics and the Media
  • Indigenous Perspective
  • Prison and Punishment
  • Young People, Risk and Harm
  • Violent and Sexual Offenders
  • State Crime and Human Rights
  • Restorative Justice
  • Psychology and Law


Criminologists in the field

As a Criminology & Criminal Justice graduate you can develop a career in social policy and research in the private, public and non-government sectors.

Our graduates can be found working as policy analysts and advisors, research officers, project managers and research designers in organisations such as:

  • Attorney-General’s Department
  • National Drug, Alcohol and Research Centre
  • Social Policy Research Centre
  • State and Federal Government agencies and departments
  • Non-government organisations
  • The courts, prisons and many more.

This degree can be a platform for postgraduate study in Law and related fields.


Practical experience

Students in the Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice gain practical experience through a Major Social Research Project.

This project brings together the research and analytical skills necessary for research and policy-related work, including preparation of a research proposal, literature review and the completion of a research project embodying the results of the research.

Past Criminology and Criminal Justice research topics have included:

  • E-trafficking - using new technologies in the context of human trafficking
  • Degrees of difference? A preliminary study into the composition of criminology degrees at Australian universities

Crime and justice research network

As a Criminology and Criminal Justice students, you can get actively involved in the Crime and Justice Research Network – an interdisciplinary initiative that brings together academics, researchers and students across UNSW with an interest in crime and justice.

International exchange

As one of Australia’s most international universities, UNSW offers you the opportunity to spend a term or more overseas studying at one of our partner institutions as part of your degree. UNSW manages a large and active exchange program with over 200 different student exchange opportunities in 38 countries.

Vocational placement

Criminology and Criminal Justice students have the option to enrol in an elective internship through the Arts & Social Sciences Vocational Placement (Internship) course.

The program provides an exciting opportunity to put theory into practice and gain valuable professional experience.


A fourth year honours program is available for high achieving students in the Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Honours is an intensive study program that provides the opportunity to engage in specialised and extended research, to further develop research and analytical skills and expand graduate options.

Dual degrees

Combine your degrees

A dual or double degree means you can study your Criminology degree concurrently with another degree. You will graduate with two degrees, broadening your graduate options.

Criminology major

Students can also complete a major in Criminology in the following degree programs:

UNSW handbook

Degree program structure and academic rules information:

If you are a current student, please refer to the Online Handbook in the year you commenced your degree.

Student Profiles

Thinking of starting a degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice. See what our students have to stay about their studies!

Zara Khan - Bachelor of Criminology & Criminal Justice

Alumni Profile
Alumni Profile Jesse Veamatahau

See how Criminology and Criminal Justice took Jesse from watching NCIS to where she is today. 

Find out more about Criminology at UNSW
Find out more about Criminology at UNSW Visit our discipline hub

Learn about our research, staff and events.

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Domestic International
Term 1, Term 3
83 (2019 Lowest Selection Rank) / 83 (2020 Guaranteed Entry)
On Campus
Accepted Qualifications
Band 1
Degree Structure
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