Master of Criminology

Postgraduate coursework

The Master of Criminology will challenge students to think critically about theories and approaches to examining criminal behaviour, crime policy and prevention.

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Key facts


1 year full-time or part-time equivalent


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

Key dates

Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 1 2023 close 19 February 2023

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 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
  • The Carceral Society and Prison Futures
  • Global Crime, Prevention and Responses
  • Environmental Offenders and Victims **
  • State-Corporate Crime
  • Challenges to Democratic Governance
  • Security and Strategy
  • Terrorism in International Politics
  • Human Rights in World Politics
  • Research Design
  • Qualitative Research
  • 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
      • Burwood (Melbourne)*
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)*

      * Next on campus intake available in 2024

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Online
      • Burwood (Melbourne)*
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)*
      * Next on campus intake available in 2024

    *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. Click here for more information.

    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.

    Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.

    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

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

    You can also 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
    $25,800 for 1 yr full-time - Full-fee paying place
    Learn more about fees and your options for paying.

    The available fee places for this course are detailed above. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.

    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 fees and available payment options.

    FEE-HELP calculator

    What is FEE-HELP?

    FEE-HELP loans cover up to 100% of tuition fees for eligible students. By taking out a FEE-HELP loan, the government pays your tuition fees directly to Deakin, and the balance is repaid from your employment income - but only once you're earning over $48,361.

    Please note: fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and based on 2023 rates. Actual fees may vary. We advise confirming fees with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

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    • $* is the estimated full cost for a Master of Criminology (8 credit points), based on the 2023 fees.
    • is the annual FEE-HELP payment, based on your current salary
    • of your current salary be spent on FEE-HELP


    Deakin University (Deakin):

    • gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the currency, accuracy or the completeness of the information provided;
    • advises users that no reliance should be placed upon on the information provided, and;
    • instructs users that they should confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    This tool provides indicative information about the fees that will be payable in respect of courses and subjects offered to prospective students domiciled in Australia during the periods indicated.

    Please note that the fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and actual fees may vary. Users are advised to confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    The estimated course fee is based on the tuition fee costs applicable to a domestic full time student commencing the course in Trimester 1 and studying full time for the duration of the course but:

    • does not include non-tuition costs that may apply, such as Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF);
    • does not take into account any scholarships or bursaries awarded to the student (including the 10% Deakin alumni discount);
    • assumes the maximum number of units that need to be successfully completed actual number completed may be reduced if recognition of prior learning is granted;
    • assumes that no exceptional, or non-typical, circumstances apply to the proposed course of study;
    • assumes that the options that the user selects are appropriate for the course of study that they intend to undertake;
    • where fees are estimated for future years those fee will be subject to annual increases in accordance with increases in the cost of course delivery.

    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 direct to Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through the Deakin Application Portal. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the how to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Need more information on how to apply?

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

    Entry pathways

    Alternative exits

    • Graduate Diploma of Criminology (A604)

    Contact information

    Our friendly advisers are available to speak to you one-on-one about your study options, support services and how we can help you further your career.

    Call us 1800 693 888 (Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm)
    Live Chat Mon–Thurs, 8am–7pm, Fri 8am–5pm


    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

    ^Australian Graduate Recruitment Industry Awards, 2017, 2018, 2019 winner