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Crimes of the Powerful (CRIM30005)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeCRIM30005
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject analyses the crimes and harms of the powerful. The subject examines the relationship between government, business and law both theoretically and through a series of case studies to explore the reasons behind business harms and crimes and why they are so difficult to tackle. The subject traces three different entry points into crimes of the powerful: corporate and white collar crime; business corruption and crimes of the powerful in a globalised economy. Students will explore a range of criminological theories that can help explain the harms perpetuated by the powerful as well as the techniques employed by the state in regulating white-collar and corporate misconduct. This includes the challenges of defining such harm as criminal and the strengths and weaknesses of trying to use the criminal law in curbing such activities. Case studies are used to deepen student's understanding of the breadth of such crime and harm as well as the the similarities and differences between them. Case studies include complex financial fraud, industrial disasters, professional misconduct, tax avoidance and environmental harm.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • have an understanding of the problems of definition of the various forms of business, occupational or corporate criminality.
  • have an appreciation of the importance of corporate criminality in the context of the social and political life.
  • have an understanding of the forms of individual business or occupational crime, including such forms of financial crime as complex financial fraud
  • have learned some of the problems which concern the regulation of white collar crime, including the features of law which cause particular problems in the control of corporate misconduct
  • communicate effectively in oral and written formats.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Criminology at Levels 1 & 2

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


Additional details

  • An essay plan of 500 words (15%) due early in semester.
  • An essay of 2500 words (60%) due mid-semester.
  • A take-home exam of 1000 words (25%) due during the examination period.
  • Hurdle Requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in tutorials is required.
  • Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10 marks per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorFiona Haines
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours30 contact hours per semester: 1 x 1.5 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

Time commitment details

Total of 170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

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

  • Subject notes

    Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.

  • Breadth options
  • 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.

  • 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: 11 October 2019