Master of Criminology

Postgraduate coursework

Learn how to think critically about criminal behaviour while gaining in-demand knowledge and real-world experience in crime policy and prevention.

Domestic International

International student information

Key facts


The time and cost could be reduced based on your previous qualifications and professional experience. This means you can fast track the masters degree from 1.5 years down to 1 year duration. See entry requirements below for more information. 


Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Studying the Master of Criminology will challenge you to think laterally about emerging discourses in power, harm and justice. You'll develop a deeper understanding of how we can approach criminal behaviour, crime policy and prevention as a society.

Want the skills to deliver justice in a way that makes a difference to both perpetrators and victims?

Deakin's postgraduate criminology courses are designed with input from a variety of industry partners and relevant stakeholders including police, policy and regulatory agencies, so you can be confident that the skills you develop studying Deakin's Master of Criminology will be relevant to your future or existing career.

You'll push the boundaries of the way we currently look at justice and creatively examine three key areas of ongoing and emerging criminological concern: the state, the digital and the environment. Get ready to engage and debate pressing issues of local, national and global concern.

To understand the balance of state and private control, you'll dissect how corporations have become embedded in the development and delivery of security, prevention and other traditionally state-run criminal justice roles.

The cyber world and the rise of robotics, artificial intelligence and new technologies within online and virtual platforms have created immense opportunities for criminal enterprises and challenges for regulatory authorities. You'll critically examine the ways in which digital technologies are shaping offender and victim relationships, while posing challenges for authorities in the fields of detection, prevention and prosecution.

You will explore the importance of security and sustainable development of the natural environment in the context of local, national and global governance and how damage and threats to the natural environment create complex challenges.

You can choose electives to create a degree built for your unique career goals. Some of your elective unit options include:

  • Environmental Offenders and Victims
  • Human Rights in World Politics
  • Governance and Fraud
  • Computer Networks and Security
  • The Carceral Society and Prison Futures

While the course is conveniently offered on our premium online learning platform, there are also opportunities to engage in practical learning. During the course, you can utilise Deakin's cutting-edge immersive learning environments to experience lively and engaging content.

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Course information

Award granted
Master of Criminology

2024 course information

Deakin code
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9

Course structure

To qualify for the Master of Criminology, a student must successfully complete 12 or 8 credit points (depending upon entry point) of study comprising:

  • 3 credit points of core units
  • Academic Integrity Module DAI001 (0-credit-point compulsory unit)
  • 5 or 9 credit points of study (depending upon entry point) from one of the Minor Thesis, Research Paper, or Professional Experience Pathways.

Core Units

  • Academic Integrity Module (0 credit point unit)
  • Cyber Crime and Digital Surveillance
  • Environmental Crime and Regulation
  • Populism and Policing Futures
  • Pathways

    Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway

  • Research Design
  • Plus 2 credit points of research units:

  • Minor Thesis A
  • Minor Thesis B
  • Plus 2 or 6 credit points (depending upon entry point) chosen from the course electives

    Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^

  • Research Paper
  • Plus 4 or 8 credit points (depending upon entry point) chosen from the course electives

    Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^

  • Internship Capstone (2 credit points)
  • Plus 3 or 7 credit points (depending upon entry point) chosen from the course electives

    ^ The Research Paper and Professional Experience options are not PhD Pathways.

    Course Electives*

  • Critical Criminology Theory
  • Public Criminology and Criminological Knowledge
  • Global Crime, Prevention and Responses
  • Challenges to Democracy
  • Security and Strategy
  • Terrorism in International Politics
  • Human Rights in World Politics
  • Research Design
  • Governance and Fraud
  • Computer Networks and Security
  • Internship A
  • *Students who have previously completed any of these units within the Graduate Certificate of Criminology are required to substitute with an alternate unit from the course elective list

    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Online


    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Online


    Additional course information

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Participation requirements

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. More information available at Disability support services.

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    The time and cost of your course could be reduced based on your previous qualifications and professional experience. This means you can fast track the masters degree from 1.5 years down to 1 year duration. See entry requirements below for more information.

    Academic requirements

    1 year full-time (or part-time equivalent) – 8 credit points

    To be considered for admission to this degree (with 4 credit points of admission credit applied^*) you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree in a related discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)
    • completion of a bachelor honours degree in a related discipline
    • completion of a graduate certificate or graduate diploma or higher in a related discipline

    1.5 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) - 12 credit points

    To be considered for admission to this degree (without admission credit applied*) you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree in a related discipline
    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in any discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)

    ^Recognition of prior learning into the Master of Criminology may be granted to students who have successfully completed appropriate Postgraduate level studies. Related disciplines which may be considered include: Criminology, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Social Policy, Gender Studies, Philosophy, Anthropology, Politics, International Relations and Law.

    Relevant work experience which may considered include: Enforcement, Investigation and Compliance, Enforcement, investigation and compliance officers (Victoria Police, Correction Department of Justice and Community, Centre Link, Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission, ATO, Insurance Companies, Victoria Licensing Authority, Department of Transport, Department of Employment, Department of Environment Land, Water and Planning); Security and Intelligence

    Security and intelligence officers/analysts/managers (Private Security Industry, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Australia Signals Directorate, Australian Secret Intelligence Service, Australian Federal Police). Policy and Research Policy and Research Officers (Justice, Police, Attorney-General’s, Youth Affairs, DFAT, UN and NGO’s, Market Research Firms, Higher Research). Service Provision and Activism, Domestic violence and rape crisis community centres, counselling and social work, case and support workers in areas of child protection, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, mental health. Environmental movements and those promoting human rights.

    *Recognition of prior learning will also be considered on a case-by-case basis. Learn more below.

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Recognition of prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning. 

    You can refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the handbook.

    Learn more about tuition fees.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Entry pathways

    Alternative exits

    • Graduate Diploma of Criminology (A604)


    Career outcomes

    As a graduate, your complex understanding of niche criminological situations will be in high demand by agencies focused on specific areas of the community. If you're already in the workforce, you'll be prepared for senior roles that require advanced knowledge, ensuring you're capable of making well-rounded decisions that will positively impact lives.

    If you're passionate about committing to further study, organisations such as the Australian Institute of Criminology seek to promote justice and reduce crime by finding motivated individuals to undertake and communicate evidence-based research to inform policy and practice.

    The graduate diploma and graduate certificate components of the Master of Criminology also give you a chance to exit the course early, with a glowing industry-recognised qualification.

    As a graduate of the masters, you'll have the in-demand knowledge and real-world experience in crime science and management that industry needs. You can confidently enter the role of a corrections officer, case manager/worker, specialist adviser or criminologist, and explore a variety of areas including:

    • anti-corruption agencies
    • correctional facilities and prisons
    • community services
    • criminology research
    • government agencies
    • intelligence and security services
    • sociology and youth work
    • state and federal police

    For more information go to DeakinTALENT.

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities

    Engage in independent and self-directed research that leads to the application of advanced and integrated knowledge of criminological studies to review and critically analyse key issues in the definitions, history, causes, harms and prevention of different types of crime and criminal behaviour within Australia and internationally


    Communicate research findings and analyses of criminological theories, concepts and their application to real-world contexts, in a broad range of written, oral and digital formats, to different audiences, including the public and individuals and groups associated with or engaged in criminological activities whilst meeting academic and professional standards

    Digital literacy

    Employ a broad range of digital technologies to communicate types and forms of crime and appropriate responses to a diverse range of audiences, including the public and individuals and groups associated with or engaged in criminal justice policy and practice

    Critical thinking

    Exercise independent research skills and critical judgement to organise, synthesise and evaluate complex theoretical approaches to defining and understanding crime and criminal behaviours in a variety of forms and contexts, and critically analyse and make creative recommendations to improve current policies and practices of governments and criminal justice agencies in Australia and overseas intended to prevent and/or respond to crime and criminal behaviour

    Problem solving

    Critically analyse differing perspectives and approaches to preventing and responding to crime and criminal behaviour in a variety of contexts, nationally and internationally, and employ initiative, creativity and sound judgement to investigate complex problems in a systematic manner as well as generate creative solutions to crime and criminal behaviour that are sensitive to a diversity of contextual factors and the ethical, logical political or cultural dimensions of the problem


    Critically engage in reflective practice that evidences initiative, autonomy, responsibility, accountability and a continued commitment to self-directed learning, research and skill development personally, academically and professionally in the field of criminological studies


    Collaborate productively in teams to research and evaluate explanations for and responses to complex issues in crime and criminal behaviour in a variety of national and international contexts

    Global citizenship

    Critically analyse and respond to issues in criminological studies, in domestic, regional and international contexts, as a reflective scholar and practitioner, taking into account cultural and socio-economic diversity, social and environmental responsibility and adherence to professional and ethical standards in a variety of contexts

    Approved by Faculty Board March 2020