prisoners hands around cell bars 


Criminology is a discipline in which a variety of approaches and theories are bought to bear on the study of crime and the criminal justice system. Criminologists have worked closely with government agencies in relation to the study and management of crime and the criminal justice system. This practical focus remains an important aspect of criminology. However, criminology also includes analytic and critical perspectives that explore the definition and construction of crime and examine the social processes through which individuals and groups are criminalised.

The Criminology program at the University of Western Sydney provides students with a critical and reasoned understanding about the real nature of criminal offending and victimisation, and the police and criminal justice response to this. Our research and teaching program challenges commonsense assumptions about crime and emphasises the importance of the social and cultural forces shaping offending, victimisation and law enforcement and justice responses. Our interdisciplinary approach to criminology incorporates aspects of social science including sociology, politics, history, cultural studies, law and forensic studies, in our critical analysis and learning. We also work closely with industry partners in criminology and policing.

The UWS Criminology program provides students with a firm understanding of criminal justice institutions and practices, as well as:

  • criminological theories
  • forms and patterns of victimisation
  • crime prevention strategies and debates
  • juvenile justice
  • the evolution of prisons and different forms of punishment
  • law enforcement and surveillance
  • violence, gender and crime
  • cultural depictions of crime
  • contemporary debates in criminology.

Why study criminology at the University of Western Sydney?

  • Staff with national and international expertise
  • The most up to date criminology and policing curricula available
  • Motivated staff
  • Variety of expertise
  • Guidance and mentorship
  • Face to face work (lectures, tutorials)
  • On-line discussions
  • Fieldwork
  • Scholarships
  • Flexible
  • Knowledge that you can apply

Criminology careers

Nationally and internationally, criminology has become one of the most important areas of social science and there are a broad range of employment and research opportunities in the field of criminology.

As a graduate of the UWS Bachelor of Social Science, specialising in Criminology, your future offers some rewarding career prospects. Graduates typically find employment in areas such as:

  • Criminal justice system (courts, corrections, probation and parole)
  • Crime prevention (public sector, local Councils, NGOs)
  • Law enforcement (AFP, NSW Police, Customs and border protection)
  • Research and teaching (via honours and postgraduate study)
  • Policy making (policy advisors, government)
  • Community agencies (child protection, social work)

Research agenda

The Criminology program at the University of Western Sydney includes a number of areas of expertise, with a particular focus on:
  • Violence and gendered violence, including the study of violence against women, hate crimes, violence and sexuality, urban violence and disorder, masculinity and violence, and cultural depictions and meanings of crime and violence
  • Criminal justice systems, including the study of public and private policing, crime prevention, victim services, juvenile justice, community corrections, access to law and legal services