Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


LCRM101 Introduction to Criminology OR LCRM106 Introduction to Criminal Justice System and Policy

Unit rationale, description and aim

Victimology is the study of the etiology (or causes) of victimization, its consequences, how the criminal justice system accommodates and assists victims, and how other elements of society, such as the media, deal with crime victims. It is an important area of sub-discipline study within the wider discipline of criminology, and contributes to the Criminology and Criminal Justice program as a whole by engaging with and complementing other core and elective units such as 'Introduction to Criminal Justice System and Policy', and 'Restorative Justice'. It counter balances the 'Corrections Law and Practice' unit that focuses on criminals - the other major group of actors within the criminal justice system apart from the state agencies. In this unit students will learn about victimology as a discipline and the way in which victimization is studied; the nature and impact of victimization, including the much-discussed notion of the 'fear of crime'; government responses to victims of crime; and the ongoing debate about victims' rights, and whether natural compassion felt for victims conflicts with the need for criminal justice system actors to work strictly impartially to deliver the common good of a fair and properly-functioning criminal justice system.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

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

LO1 - Describe key themes and principles applicable to modern approaches to victimology (GA1, GA3, GA5)

LO2 - Evaluate approaches to societal and/or government responses to victims of crime and their relationship to the operation of the criminal justice system (GA2, GA4)

LO3 - Apply contemporary principles to response evaluation and case studies (GA4, GA5, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - Demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

  • Understanding victims and victimology
  • Approaches to victimology
  • Nature of victimization and who become victims of crime
  • Fear of crime
  • The relationship between victims of crime and the criminal justice system and its constituent agencies
  • Government policy in relation to victims
  • Victims and the media
  • Victim support structures
  • The ongoing debates about victim rights
  • The ongoing debate about the use victim impact statements in court

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit comprises 150 hours of study in total. It will be taught over a 10 week semester and includes one 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial each week or ACU Online 10 week asynchronous delivery mode. The balance of the hours committed to this unit comprise private student study and undertaking of assessments.

The teaching strategy employed in this unit involves students’ active participation in practical learning and assessments that focus on real-world victimization problems and challenges. In these ways the unit seeks to help students to develop their problem solving, decision making and investigative skills with regard to issues of victimization and the role of victims in the criminal justice system. This unit engages students in active learning activities, such as reading, writing, discussion and problem-solving to promote analysis, synthesis and evaluation of class content. Collaborative working in the third assessment is an important part of active learning, providing opportunities for students to engage in purposeful critical discourse and reflection.

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks in this unit comprise a strategy that is explicitly created to support achievement of, and determination of, the unit Learning Outcomes. They do this through integration with the learning and teaching strategy above. The pass mark for the unit is 50%.

This unit will be assessed by three assignments: a short written task focused on the requisite content knowledge, a research assignment, and a final examination.

  1. Short Written Task. Students will be required to describe key themes relating to aspects of victimology. This may take the form of a short answer test, in-class ‘minute paper’ or other equivalent task.
  2. Research Essay. This assessment requires students to critically evaluate societal and/or government responses to victims. The research essay will allow students to engage with the scholarship on specific approaches to research and write a substantial essay that responds to a question that engages with key issues within sentencing law, practice and procedure.
  3. Case study. Students will work collaboratively to research and evaluate the contribution of victims impact statements in the trial process. This assessment will allow students to demonstrate their capacity to work collaboratively in the field of criminal justice and demonstrate a professional attitude, to the problems or task at hand. It will involve both written submissions and oral presentations.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Short Written Task: This assessment builds knowledge in relation to victimology and approaches to studying victimization.



GA1, GA3, GA5

Research Essay: This assessment develops skills around evaluating societal and/or government responses to victimization.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA9

Case study: This assessment requires students to work collaboratively to apply contemporary principles in an authentic simulation.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Davies P, Francis P & Greer C, Victims, Crime and Society, 2nd edition, 2017.

Davies R & Bartels L, The Use of Victim Impact Statements in Sentencing for Sexual Offences: Stories of Strength, 2021.

Karmen A, Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology, 10th edition, 2018.

Wilson D & Ross S, eds., Crime, Victims and Policy, 2015.

Iliadis M, Adversarial Justice and Victims' Rights: Reconceptualising the Role of Sexual Assault Victims, 2020.

Matthew H, Victims of Crime: Construction, Governance and Policy, 2017.

Davis R, Lurigio A & Herman S, Victims of Crime, 4th edition, 2012.

Milligan L, Witness: An investigation into the brutal cost of seeking justice, 2020.

Lee B, Eggshell Skull, 2018.

Garner, H. Joe Cinque's Consolation, 2004.

Kennedy, H. Just Law: the Changing Face of Justice - and Why It Matters to Us All. 2004

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