Bachelor of Social Science (Criminology)

  • Get qualified to work as a Criminologist or Forensic Analyst with this Bachelor of Social Science (Criminology)
  • No upfront cost & your textbooks are provided
  • Flexibility of studying online

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At a glance

Study mode



Swinburne (RTO 3059)
Career Opportunities
  • Criminologist
  • Australian Federal Police Officer
  • Criminal Profiler / Investigator
  • Corrections / Criminal Support Officer
  • Crime Prevention Officer

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.


Academic or work experience



Course length
Set your own timetable & finish the course within 2 years (minimum) to 9 years (maximum)
Study mode



Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.


Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.


Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Reports, essays, projects & exams
Start date

3 start dates per year.

Contact us about enrolling.
Swinburne (RTO 3059)

This Swinburne University of Technology qualification is delivered by Swinburne Online.

As a Swinburne Online student you'll graduate with a nationally recognised Swinburne University qualification, and have the flexibility of studying online when it suits you.

Read more about
Swinburne (RTO 3059)

Study now pay later – HECS-HELP

Upfront payment

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The entry requirements for this course are:

  • Successful completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or equivalent, (VCE studies must have included successful completion of units 3 and 4 in English with a minimum study score of 25 in English), and meet the associated minimum ATAR; OR
  • a Certificate IV qualification or above, OR
  • at least 4 years of work experience

Courses are only available to Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents.

What you'll learn

Become trained in:

  • How crime affects all levels of society and leaves a lasting impact on victims and their families 
  • Ways to reduce crime
  • Understanding the motivations of crime and implementing strategies to combat it
  • Learn how to use research to identify the social issues that lead to crime 
  • Development of policy and systems to address social problems that lead to crime

Course structure

24 units

Core units

  1. Learning & communicating online

    This unit will introduce fundamentals of communication and learning in an online environment. Students will gain increased capability in a range of skills such as online written communication, collaboration in individual and group work, and critiquing and analysing a variety of information sources. Students will be encouraged to draw on their own understanding and experience while contributing and sharing ideas with peers.

  2. Policing: Systems & practice

    This subject aims to provide students with an overview of criminology and policing. Students will gain an understanding of the breadth of the field of policing and criminology as well as an appreciation of the importance of theoretical models when developing research and programming within policing.

  3. Corrections: Systems & practice

    This subject provides students with an overview of criminology and corrections. Students will gain an understanding of the breadth of the field of corrections and criminology as well as an appreciation of the importance of theoretical models when developing research and programming within corrections.

  4. Introduction to forensic science

    This unit aims to introduce students to fundamental processes involved in forensic science. Students are introduced to the chemical and biochemical techniques used by forensic scientists to assist the judicial system in solving crimes or proving that a law has been broken.

  5. Understanding the modern world

    This unit provides students with an historical overview of the evolution of societies and it examines a variety of cultural and institutional practices around the globe. It introduces students to the sociological perspective, and to theories of modernisation, development and post?development. The key features and dynamics of contemporary societies are explored.

  6. Social research design: Principles & methods

    Students develop a mastery of the principles and skills required in designing and planning for a quantitative social research project. These include basic mastery of a range of quantitative research techniques, competent evaluation of other researchers' work, and the design and interpretation of students' own work.

  7. Criminology: Theory & practice

    This subject provides students with an overview of the discipline of criminology through a presentation of both the major theoretical models as well as the application of these models to a variety of criminal justice settings. Students will gain an understanding of the breadth of the field of criminology as well as an appreciation of the importance of theoretical models when developing research and programming within the criminal justice system.

  8. Advanced topics in criminology

    This unit builds on students' knowledge of criminology gained from earlier units in the course. The focus is on understanding the applications of criminology and criminological research to the Australian justice system. Issues examined in this unit will include proactive crime prevention initiatives, the development and assessment of specialty courts (e.g., drug courts), criminology and gender, criminology and culture, and offender rehabilitation programs.

  9. Introduction to forensic psychology

    This unit introduces students to fundamental principles involved in research and practice within Forensic Psychology. Students are introduced to the structure of the criminal justice system in Australia and in other countries. They study the methodologies involved in forensic work including interviewing, deception detection techniques and risk assessment. Psychological factors involved in eye-witness testimony and false memories are described and the nature of criminal behaviour explored. Developmental risk factors are also discussed.

  10. Sociological foundations

    This unit aims to provide students with an introduction to the foundations of the discipline of sociology, with particular attention to issues of social stratification. Additional focus will be put on understanding the nature of social relationships and institutions; patterns of social diversity and inequality; and processes that underpin social change and stability. Successful completion of this unit will prepare students to undertake study in the discipline at more advanced levels.

  11. Deviance, difference & conformity

    Students will examine the contribution a variety of sociological perspectives have made to the understanding of 'deviant' behaviour and the social responses it evokes. It introduces the sociological concepts of 'deviance' particularly in the context of crime and criminology, and explores the responses to this in the context of social problems and social control.

  12. Sources of conflict & its resolution

    This unit provides students with an understanding of how apparent points of conflict can be associated with underlying issues. It also explores the avenues that might be available to resolve these matters either before or after they have developed into overt conflict.


You will need to complete 12 electives as part of this course. You can select your units from a range of other Swinburne Online courses.

Support and delivery

Studying with Swinburne Online

Support for students

Set your own timetable

Designed for maximum flexibility, this criminology course allows you to study anytime, anywhere.

There are 3 teaching periods a year, and you can enrol in 1 to 4 units every period.

Payment options

There are 2 ways you can pay for this course:

1. Study now pay later – HECS-HELP

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP government loan scheme.

This means you don’t need to pay upfront for the course if you:

  • are an Australian citizen, OR
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa, OR
  • hold a New Zealand Special Category Visa and meet the residency requirements.

Through HECS-HELP the Australian government pays the amount of your course to the education provider on your behalf. You’ll start paying back this loan through the tax system once your earn more than the minimum threshold (which is $54,869 for the 2016-2017 financial year).

The total cost of this course is government-subsidised if you pay via a HECS-HELP loan.

This means the price you pay for the course is much cheaper – the Australian Government covers part of the course fee. Government-subsidised places in this course are called Commonwealth-supported places.

2. Upfront payment

You can pay for this course upfront via credit card or bank transfer.

Have a question about this course?

Our Learning Consultants can:
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Free call 1800 674 231

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