Criminological Theory

Unit code: LCR2003 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Queen
Online Real Time
BLB1114 - Legal Research Methods; or
ASL1003 - Criminal Justice Systems; or
LCR1001 - Introduction to Criminology; or
ABA1003 - Introduction to Sociology
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


In modern times many social theorists have tried to understand the causes of crime. This unit provides students with an overview of the major theories of crime causation across level of analysis from individual to family and community and then broader social-structural issues. In doing so, it invites students to understand the historical and social context underpinning each theory. Beyond this, students will explore more recent perspectives on race, class and gender and develop a critical understanding of the nature of power, the changing definition of crime and the politics of crime control. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Outline and discuss the main theoretical perspectives in criminology;
  2. Analyse the relative merits of competing perspectives on crime causation;
  3. Demonstrate critical understanding of more recent critical perspectives on the definition of crime and its control.

Study as 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


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Test
Grade: 20%
Online quiz
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 40%
Case study analysis
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 40%
Short answer questions

Required reading

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

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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