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Research and Criminal Justice Governance (CRIM90011)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCRIM90011
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

What does it mean for a criminal justice intervention to be effective? Why is it important to know? For whom? How does government emphasis on the impact of criminal justice programs affect the design and funding of programs? And what does this focus on effectiveness mean for research priorities and methods? This subject considers questions such as these in exploring how, why, and for whom criminal justice ‘evidence’ or ‘knowledge’ is produced. In this subject you will be asked to identify a particular criminal justice program or intervention (we will look at a range of examples), and to design an approach to discover whether or not it ‘works’ – thinking about how, why and for whom.

The subject is divided into three broad areas. First we will examine what ‘criminal justice governance’ actually is, what it means for criminal justice policy and practice, and the implications for ‘evidence’ about programs and interventions. In the second section we will explore different approaches to measuring effectiveness and gathering knowledge about criminal justice practices and programs. The last part will focus on different settings (e.g. prisons, policing) and subjects of criminal justice research (e.g. justice-involved young people), and the impact that different kinds of knowledge might have. Throughout, we will examine professional and political issues about the role and application of research in criminal justice, as well as ethical issues about engaging in research with vulnerable and offending populations.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • have obtained knowledge of a range of evaluative assessments regarding the effectiveness of criminological interventions;
  • have developed a framework for assessing the adequacy of criminological evaluations in terms of the questions being asked, the designed being employed, and the measures used in the evaluation.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should:

  • have highly developed cognitive, analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • have an advanced understanding of complex concepts and the ability to express them lucidly in writing and orally;
  • have sophisticated awareness of cultural, ethnic and gender diversities and their implications;
  • have an ability to plan work and to use time effectively.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Criminology at Undergraduate level.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • A class presentation (20%) scheduled during the semester.
  • An assignment of 4,000 words (80%) due during the examination period.
  • Students will be asked to identify a particular criminal justice program or intervention, and to design an approach to discover whether or not it ‘works’ - its effectiveness - thinking about how, why and for whom.
  • Hurdle requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject and regular class participation is expected.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursOne 2-hour seminar per week over twelve weeks.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

Time commitment details

Total 170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Readings will be provided online through the subject's LMS site prior to the commencement of semester.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    Subject coordinator approval required

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 3 April 2019