Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate, Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

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LevelUndergraduate, Postgraduate
FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Applied Media and Social Sciences, Gippsland
OfferedGippsland Second semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Alistair Harkness


Previously coded CJM4004


This unit examines the complexity of criminal behaviours and the range of criminological theories espoused in order to explain such diverse behaviours. Humans are rule-making and rule-enforcing beings, but not all of us conform to these rules. Many violate the rules and are subject to sanctions and punishment. Individual, group and organisational criminal behaviours and enterprises are examined in this unit. A sophisticated analysis of criminal behaviours includes exploration of biological, psychological and social explanations of crime and the interactionist tradition including differential association theory. Crowd disorders and street gang behaviours will be examined. Organisational and institutional criminal behaviours extend from white-collar and corporate criminal activity to the dynamics of political crimes of violence, corruption and human rights violations that can be committed by the state and against the state. The unit involves study of definitional and conceptual issues, causes, methods of control and the effects of such organisational criminal behaviour. The unit examines the legal controls and responses by governments and other agencies in order to curb and prevent criminal behaviours of individuals, groups and organisations.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students are expected to have developed:

  1. an understanding of definitions of criminal behaviour, including an awareness that the law is not static and changes over time
  2. the ability to identify the key characteristics of criminal behaviours and criminal enterprises
  3. knowledge about the core theoretical debates and issues of criminal behaviours that focus on individuals, groups and organisations
  4. the ability to identify traits about the nature of individuals, groups and organisations that engage in criminal activity
  5. an appreciation of the various models available for explaining the relationship between criminality, the individual and society
  6. an awareness of the contribution of the criminal behaviour theories to criminal justice policy and practice
  7. an understanding of what it means to be a victim of criminal behaviour instigated by individual, group or organisation

Chief examiner(s)