Theories that help us to understand causes of and responses to crime are fundamental to the study of criminology. This introductory unit provides students with a strong theoretical foundation that will underpin their further studies in the course and will contribute to a better understanding crime policy and the politics of crime control. This unit (LCR6001) begins with an historical introduction to criminological theories and a survey of the changing ways that we have responded to crime. The unit will then focus on recent postmodern and critical theories along with critical engagement with concepts such as power, race, class and gender.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse and critique the main theoretical perspectives in criminology;  
  2. Analyse and critique the relative merits of competing perspectives on crime causation;  
  3. Demonstrate and apply critical understanding of recent critical perspectives on the definition of crime and its control.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Case study analysis 20%
Essay 2500 word essay 50%
Review 1000 word blog 30%

Required reading

Crime and Criminology, 6th Ed,
White, R., Haines, F. & Asquith. N.L., 2017
Oxford University Press.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.