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Cold case exploration with Swinburne Online

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Thanks to the rise of the podcast and Netflix documentary specials, the world has become obsessed with true crime. Imagine if you could investigate these cases for a living. Swinburne Online Criminology students are given the opportunity to participate in field trips to put what they’ve learnt into action on a real cold case.

Read on to find out what Bachelor of Social Science (Criminology) student Lisa experienced on a field trip to Gatton, Queensland, and how she got to know her fellow students while studying online.


The field trip

Lisa and her fellow students headed to the small town of Gatton, west of Brisbane, where they applied what they learnt throughout their degree to the real-life case of an 1898 triple murder which remains unsolved. “During the trip we were lucky enough to attend talks by a wide variety of people who work in the criminal justice system,” Lisa said. Students asked questions of first responders, a forensic scientist and a magistrate, as well as local Gatton residents, where the case remains significant in the town’s history.

Another opportunity available to students in Gatton was a rare visit to Southern Queensland Correctional Facility, where Lisa spent time speaking with the prison’s Governor, prison staff and a select number of prisoners. Students were also given a guided tour, learning about rehabilitation opportunities available to the female prisoners at the facility.


Get to know your fellow students

The field trip to Gatton was an experience for students to both meet each other and their eLearning Advisor in person, with Lisa using the field trip to turn the online study environment into an opportunity to “regularly form study groups to help and support each other.”

Proving relevant and educational field experiences can be undertaken by online students too, Lisa said that in addition to touring the correctional facility and hearing from industry experts, she enjoyed the interaction with fellow students. “Online students come from a massive variety of backgrounds and places, so it was incredibly rewarding.” For students interested but unable to attend, a live feed was also established for applicable sessions of the trip.

After she completes her Bachelor of Social Science (Criminology), Lisa plans to begin a Master’s Degree and hopes to one day teach Criminology. Find out how you can study Criminology at Swinburne Online here.