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CRIM3004 - Victimology

Criminology Unit


One trimester



Credit points: 



Successful completion of all 100-level units and four (4) x 200-level units 

Mode(s) of delivery:




Unit Objective

To enable students to examine trends and initiatives that impact upon ‘victims’ in various contexts, with particular reference to the criminal justice system. 

Learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the general history of ‘victim’ movements and victimology;
  • Evaluate a number of different definitions of ‘victimhood’;
  • Critically analyse the issues that underlie the main needs of crime victims;
  • Evaluate recent legislative changes that increase the opportunity for victims of crime to be active players in the criminal justice process;
  • Evaluate critically issues that emerge when particular types of victims are involved with the criminal justice system and other agencies;
  • Critically analyse media and other political debate about victims and their needs in broader economic, political and social contexts.

Unit Content

The first half of this course explores the relationship between victims, society, and the criminal justice system. We begin with an examination of how the discipline of victimology emerged and some of the ways victims have been conceptualised in relation to criminal behaviour and theories. We explore the [re]discovery of the crime victim, both in academia and in legal processes. This is followed by an examination of victim’s experiences of the criminal justice system and the sorts of legislative and procedural reforms that have arisen in response to an increased awareness of victim’s needs. The role of the media in the social construction of victim ideal types is studied, along with a critical examination of gender and experiences of victimhood, as well as the victimisation of especially vulnerable populations.

The second half of this unit focuses on specific forms of victimization, with a particular focus on crimes against the person. We explore the complexities around victims of sexual crimes before examining intimate partner violence. This is followed by a focus on the issue of hate crime from the perspective of the victim, and the emergence of interest in victims of international crimes such as people trafficking and terrorism. This unit finishes with a discussion on victim centred response to crime, the role of victim restitution in the aftermath of a crime, and current controversies in victimology.

Unit Workload

1 x 2 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial each week for 12 weeks. The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week

Assessment summary

Assessment information provided at the commencement of the unit in the online class space


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of trimester.