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.

Key facts

English language requirements

IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with no band score less than 6) or equivalent


1 year full-time


  • Online
  • Burwood (Melbourne)*
  • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)*

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

2023 course information

Deakin code
CRICOS code?
0102046 Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Approval status

The course is approved by the University pursuant to the Higher Education Standards Framework.

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 8 credit points of study comprising:

  • AAI018 Academic Integrity (0-credit-point compulsory unit)
  • 3 credit points of core units
  • 5 credit points of study from one of the Minor Thesis, Research Paper, or Professional Experience Pathways.

Core Units

  • Academic Integrity (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 credit points chosen from the course electives

    Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^

  • Research Paper
  • Plus 4 credit points chosen from the course electives

    Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^

  • Internship Capstone (2 credit points)
  • Plus 3 credit points 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
  • State-Corporate Crime
  • Challenges to Democratic Governance
  • Security and Strategy
  • Terrorism in International Politics
  • Human Rights in World Politics
  • Research Design
  • AIX707 Qualitative Research (no longer available for enrolment)

  • Governance and Fraud
  • Computer Networks and Security
  • Internship A
  • ACR708 The Carceral Society and Prison Futures (no longer available for enrolment)

    ACR710 Environmental Offenders And Victims (no longer available for enrolment)

    *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
      • Burwood (Melbourne)*
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)*

      *This course will be offered at Burwood (Melbourne) and Waurn Ponds (Geelong) from Trimester 1 2024.

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Online
      • Burwood (Melbourne)*
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)*

      *This course will be offered at Burwood (Melbourne) and Waurn Ponds (Geelong) from Trimester 1 2024.

    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

    Entry information

    Admission to study postgraduate coursework at Deakin is based on recognition of your professional experience and previous qualifications. 

    • Bachelor honours (AQF8) degree in a related discipline or
    • Bachelor degree in a related discipline, plus two years relevant work experience or
    • Graduate certificate or graduate diploma in a related discipline or
    • Evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent.

    IELTS / English language requirements

    Please note that English language requirements exist for entry to this course and you will be required to meet the English language level requirement that is applicable in the year of your commencement of studies.

    It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that she/he has the required IELTS score to register with any external accredited courses. (more details)

    Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. To be eligible for admission to this program, applicants must meet the course requirements.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

    Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.

    For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library

    Recognition of prior learning

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for credit transfer. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your credit transfer. Your credit transfer is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    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