JST205 Criminology: History and Theory (8)


This subject aims to introduce students to the historical development of the discipline of criminology and provides a broad overview of the major theoretical approaches to crime. It will provide students with the tools to apply theory to crime by explaining crime and understanding responses to crime. Students will develop the skills to critically analyse these theoretical perspectives and identify their strengths and weaknesses.


+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
InternalBathurst Campus
InternalPort Macquarie
DistanceBathurst Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: JST205
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLAustralian Graduate School of Policing and Security

Assumed Knowledge


Enrolment restrictions

Not available to students who have completed 24702

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to explain the major criminological theories that have influenced the discipline over the last 200 years;
  • be able to contextualize the development of theory within political and social changes over the last 200 years;
  • be able to articulate the historical development of contemporary theory;
  • be able to apply theory to explanations of crime and responses to crime;
  • be able to critically analyse these theories;
  • be able to articulate their understanding clearly and cogently;
  • be able to use the work of major theorists and authors to inform their understanding;
  • be able to demonstrate a growing professional awareness by being professional in all communications and conduct with academic staff and other students, and through presentation of assignments


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Historical development of crime theory: positivism, classical theory, Marxism, historical feminism, labelling, strain theory; Contemporary theory: life-course criminology, new-right perspectives, post-modernity, contemporary feminism, new-left and critical criminology, structural inequality, critical race theory, queer theory.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.