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Bachelor of Criminal Justice and Criminology

A criminal justice and criminology degree will teach you how to navigate the Australian legal system so that you can change lives and protect communities.

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3 years full-time

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Mar, Jul, Nov

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100% Online

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‘The benefit of studying online with Swinburne Online has allowed me to schedule my time efficiently and effectively around [my life]. I have been provided with a world-class education led by industry leaders and professionals.’

Kate, Swinburne Online graduate

12% ▴

As a Criminologist, you’ll have a strong future ahead of you, with a 12% increase expected in the next five years.

Young University Rankings 2024

We’re ranked 24th for the Young University Rankings 2024 –  a list the world’s best universities that are 50 years old or younger.

‘The benefit of studying online with Swinburne Online has allowed me to schedule my time efficiently and effectively around [my life]. I have been provided with a world-class education led by industry leaders and professionals.’

Kate, Swinburne Online graduate

12% ▴

As a Criminologist, you’ll have a strong future ahead of you, with a 12% increase expected in the next five years.

We’re ranked 24th for the Young University Rankings 2024 –  a list the world’s best universities that are 50 years old or younger.

Young University Rankings 2024

During your Bachelor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, you will learn to demystify the criminal mind, assist victims and navigate the Australian legal system. Your units will cover different causes of crime and the how society – through the police, courts, corrections systems and victims support services – responds to crime.

Your course will examine local and global criminality, traditional approaches and responses to crime, as well as emerging trends and practices. It focuses on technological and other scientific advances that impact the criminal justice sector. These include an emphasis on predicting the commission of crime, detecting and stopping criminal behaviour and implementing effective and efficient criminal sanctions.

Our graduates work in the areas of law enforcement, corrections, offender rehabilitation, victim support and government policy development.

What will you learn?

  • Causes of Crime: Describe the nature of criminal activity and analyse and evaluate the main causes of crime.
  • Impact of Crime: Systematically review and undertake research to evaluate the consequences of crime on victims and the broader community.
  • Comparing Global Crime Responses: Apply knowledge and skills to compare and analyse Australia’s response to crime with that of other nations.
  • Effective Communication: Effectively and persuasively communicate with legal and non-legal audiences.
  • Crime Management: Analyse information from a variety of sources to investigate and evaluate proposed solutions to crime.
  • Technology in Crime Management: Evaluate technological and other scientific approaches to reducing crime and dealing with the consequences of crime.
  • Teamwork: Function as an effective member or leader of a diverse team and critically reflect on individual performance.

Learn more about our professional accreditations. Download a Course Guide.

Flexible study

What does flexible study mean for me?

Studying at Swinburne Online gives you the freedom to study how it suits you. Decide when and where it fits in with your life and tailor your study journey to your own needs. Get a world-class degree without giving up what’s important.

Flexible study at Swinburne Online

Set a study pace that work with what’s going on in your life. If you’re unsure about how much you can commit to, we can offer part-time options and the option of increasing your unit load as your progress. Interested in fast-tracking your studies? You also have the opportunity to complete up to 12 units per year.

You don’t have to put your life on hold to study. Prioritise what matters to you and fit study around family, work and personal commitments through a course that is flexibly designed for online learners.

Start when it suits. Swinburne Online offers multiple intake dates and flexible unit availability, so you can choose when you begin your studies or if you need to take a break.

Flexible study requires flexible support. As a Swinburne Online student, you’ll have support for extended hours, seven days a week. Student Advisors available to help with anything from tech support to research advice. You will also have dedicated online tutors in each of your units.


Your course structure

The Bachelor of Criminal Justice and Criminology consists of 24 units, including four core units, 13 major units and seven elective units.

Your learning will focus on technology and innovation within the criminal justice system. Your units will centre on understanding the different nuances of crime and how to adapt to new artificial intelligence technologies. For example, ‘Technological Advances in Dealing with Crime’ will introduce you to issues that emerge with sentencing as a result of artificial intelligence.

Studying law with Swinburne Online is a unique opportunity. Our courses are at the forefront of industry and provide you with the practical skills to success come graduation. View all units in your bachelor’s degree.

View All Units

How you'll learn

Learning designed for online

Your study journey with Swinburne Online is tailored to the digital space. You’ll study in a dynamic virtual classroom environment and interact with your peers in the custom-built social platform. You will also receive support at the times you need it from advisors who understand studying online.

Your online study journey

You’ll complete each of your units in Canvas, your online classroom, and be guided through coursework by an online tutor with real-world experience in your field of study. Canvas is where you’ll access classes, assignments and discussion boards with your peers.

The Student Hub is your online campus, where you’ll access the support and resources to assist you throughout your study journey. From managing your course to technical support and library resources, you’ll find it all in one easy location.

Swinburne Online will be there for you each step of the way. From enrolment through to graduation, we offer extended, flexible support in each of your units and advisors to assist with any queries.

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to meet the following minimum academic requirements:

  • Successful completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) (Minimum ATAR requirements may apply.) or its equivalent, such as an interstate or international Year 12 qualification; or
  • Completion or partial completion of an approved tertiary qualification (including Certificates IV (completed), diplomas, advanced diplomas, associate degrees and degrees); or
  • If you don’t have a formal qualification, you may be considered for entry upon completion of the STAT test.

VCE Pre-requisites

  • VCE Units 3 and 4: a minimum study score of 25 in any English (except EAL) or 30 in English as Alternate Language (EAL) or equivalent.

If you are applying as an international student, please view the English Language Requirements.


The estimated annual fee for this course is $16,323*. This is based on completing eight 12.5 credit point units in one calendar year.

*Unit fees are subject to change annually.

Commonwealth provided loans are available to assist eligible students to pay their course fees and there are a range of university, government and privately funded scholarships and prizes.

Discover more information about HELP loans.

Course fees will be affected by a student’s unit selection and any credit awarded in recognition of previous academic experience.

This course is offered to domestic and offshore international students. Depending on your citizenship, you may be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place.

Domestic students also contribute to student services and amenities via an annual fee.

Scholarships are available for both commencing and current students. You may be eligible for Swinburne Scholarships.


Your bridge to a career in law

Take the first step towards a rewarding career in law. Students seeking an alternative entry pathway into the Bachelor of Laws can transfer from the Bachelor of Criminal Justice and Criminology. This pathway requires that students complete four units of the Bachelor of Criminal Justice and Criminology with an average mark of 60%, ideally selecting from the recommended units below:

  • Learning and Communicating Online for Innovative Business Practice (COM10011)
  • Fundamentals of Criminology (CRI10002)
  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology (FOR10001)
  • Introduction to Law (LAW10021)
  • Law & Social Science (LAW10022)

Students who achieve this mark can contact our Course Consultants to transfer to the Bachelor of Laws, with all four units credited as electives.

Career Outcomes

Solve tomorrow’s crime today

Our graduates work in a range of rewarding roles and industries. The Bachelor of Criminal Justice and Criminology prioritises enhancing your technical literacy so that you can graduate with a future-focused skill set. You will:

  • Gain a broad understanding of criminal justice and criminology
  • Focus on the technological advancement within the criminal justice system
  • Learn from real industry leaders.

Specialise in your interests; such as law enforcement, victim support, preventing crime or offender rehabilitation.

Ensure the security of inmates and staff inside prisons, help to supervise activities and play a key role in maintaining safety.

Advise government departments on issues relating to security and foreign affairs.

Serve to protect public life and property.

Provide security insight and advice in private or public organisations.

Manage the security and integrity of a country’s borders.


‘I enjoy the flexibility and the quality of course content and support.’


Swinburne Online graduate

What are other students asking?
For students undertaking a degree, most of your learning materials are included with a free license provided to you by Swinburne Online. However, in some cases, you will be notified via your student email that you will need to buy specific software or eTexts. For TAFE Business students, all of your learning materials will be available online and are covered by your course fees. You won’t need to purchase any further materials.
When you enrol to study a degree with us, you will nominate how many units you would like to select per teaching period, based on a recommendation from one of our Course Consultants. From here, our enrolments team will allocate you automatically to the units they feel will be best suited to your needs, so you don’t need to worry about choosing units. If you want to choose something different than what you are allocated to, that is no problem, just get in touch with our Student Advisors and they will take care of it for you.
You won’t normally have to be online at a specific time. Your course material is available for you from the beginning of each teaching period and you can work through it in the hours that suit you. There are some live webinar sessions that run approximately once a month. These are a special opportunity for students to sign in at the same time as their tutors, normally before an assessment deadline. It gives you the chance to ask any questions relating to the assignment in real time and hear other student’s questions and thoughts. We understand that students won’t always be able to make these sessions, so they can be replayed the next day.

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