1.5 years full time or longer for part time
Delivery mode: 
In person
Start date:
20 February 2023
Application due dates:
Direct applications are due on 12 February 2023 for our next intake which starts on 20 February 2023.


Develop your law and legal skills and understanding with the Master of Criminology at Victoria University.

In this criminology course, you will challenge your world views and sharpen your analytical and legal skills to progress your law career.

You'll engage with cutting-edge approaches in criminological theory and practice, including a critical analysis of how we conceptualise and respond to crime.

In this course you will gain a deeper critical understanding of crime and criminology.

You can choose to specialise in either global criminology or crime prevention.

The global criminology stream focuses on your competency of crime outside of the normal parameters of criminology. Based on theory and practice, this stream aids you in examining the issue of crime in a global context.

You will encounter interesting case studies and up-to-date data that will make you an excellent candidate for a variety of interesting local, national and international career pathways. Topics include:

  • state crime
  • corporate crime
  • transnational organised crimes
  • human rights abuses
  • environmental harms
  • border securitisation
  • crimmigration
  • international justice mechanisms
  • security, surveillance and risk.

The crime prevention specialisation allows you to gain proficiency in innovative and inclusive approaches in every facet of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of prevention. This will provide you with the groundwork for exciting and experimental projects in both social and environmental prevention, making you an ideal candidate for a range of attractive and engaging career pathways.

Topics covered across the four units include:

  • primary prevention of crime and harm
  • typologies of prevention
  • crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED)
  • community safety
  • politics of prevention
  • social psychology and behavioural economics
  • role of police in prevention
  • prevention and community inclusion
  • urban planning and design
  • designing and evaluating prevention.

Following the overwhelming success of the revolutionary VU Block Model with undergraduate students, this course will be delivered in eight-week mode, which means you study two units (subjects) at a time over eight weeks (or one unit at a time over eight weeks for part-time study), rather than juggling several units at once.

With its focused timetables and smaller, collaborative classes, VU’s Block Model for postgraduate courses gives you more time to connect with your peers, lecturers and industry partners, helping you to build strong professional networks.

The VU Block Model has improved our student results and engagement, and has won multiple international awards for innovation and excellence.

Need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our experienced VUHQ course advisers to get your questions answered.

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Careers in criminology

The Master of Criminology will provide you with extensive career opportunities in areas such as:

  • state and federal government
  • local councils
  • welfare agencies
  • non-governmental organisations
  • policing and intelligence
  • community corrections
  • correctional services
  • court services
  • research and policy.

This course can also help to enhance your career if you are already working in law, legal services or criminal justice.

Course structure

To attain the Master of Criminology students will be required to complete 144 credit points in total consisting of:

  • 24 credit points of Foundation studies
  • 48 credit points of one specialisation
  • 24 credit point Capstone OR 24 credit points of Minor Thesis
  • 48 credit points of elective studies (which may be a second specialisation)

Year 1

Foundation Studies


48 credit points of Specialisation units

Year 2

Select 24 credit points from:


48 credit points of Elective units

*Available only for approved students

Elective Units

Students wishing to undertake both specialisations will follow this structure:

Year 1


36 credit points of Specialisation 1 units

36 credit points of Specialisation 2 units

Year 2

Select 24 credit points from:


12 credit points of Specialisation 1 units

12 credit points of Specialisation 2 units

*Available only for approved students


On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Interpret theoretical concepts and related knowledge to think critically on appropriate approaches to address contemporary problems in criminology;  
  2. Critically examine empirical evidence to analyse their implications for effective strategies and policy;  
  3. Demonstrate scholarship, professional judgement and reflection in response to complex social problems;  
  4. Communicate effectively to present clear and coherent independent expositions of knowledge and ideas to a variety of audiences;  
  5. Plan and execute a substantial research based project or evidence-based capstone experience linked to a contemporary issue in criminology;  
  6. Establish expertise in contemporary understanding of crime prevention and/or global criminology.  

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.


Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type for this course: Full-fee

Fee type definitions

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) or a full fee-paying place.

Students who enrol in a:

In addition to your tuition fees, you may also be charged a Student Services & Amenities Fee (SSAF).

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in a similar discipline
Completion of an Australian Graduate Diploma (or equivalent) in a similar discipline
Applicants without a degree in a similar discipline may be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Criminological Studies. Upon completion of the Graduate Certificate, graduates will be eligible for admission to this course with credit granted for completed units.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course chair or academic adviser.

How to apply

Available start dates:

  • 20 February 2023

Before you apply

Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:

  • Special admission programs: Depending on your life circumstances you may be eligible for special consideration of your application.
  • Advanced standing: If you have significant experience or studies elsewhere you may be eligible for credit for some units of your course and not have to undertake them.

Find out more about applying for our courses.

Apply direct to VU

Direct applications are due on 12 February 2023 for our next intake which starts on 20 February 2023.

Apply direct to VU

Already a VU student?

If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

After you apply

  • It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
  • Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered

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