ATS3464 - Study tour: Comparative criminology USA - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr James Roffee

Not offered in 2017



This intensively delivered unit is part of our Criminology Overseas program. The unit introduces students to the comparative study of criminology which involves the study of crime and social control across different cultural contexts. While it may appear easy to make simple comparisons, there is a need for a far greater understanding of what, how and why a comparison is being made. This unit studies the production of criminological knowledge across cultures as well as its meaning and how we understand it. This unit it gives students the opportunity to gain on-location access to experienced professional practitioners - Judges, Police/FBI, Prison staff - in the field of criminology in the United States of America. Examples of topics for comparative understanding include: prisons and punishment, policing, social inequality and crime, immigration and race/ethnicity, organised crime/gangs, and juvenile justice.


The unit seeks to enhance the ability of students to undertake independent research under the guidance of supervision. Upon completion of the unit students will be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  1. appreciate the need for a comparative understanding of criminology in historical and current social perspectives;
  2. find and generate information and data that can be used to facilitate a comparative understanding of criminology, and its relationship to other social and political systems;
  3. critically evaluate contrasting perspectives and practitioner approaches to criminology in different jurisdictions;
  4. consider understandings of criminology in both domestic and international settings and the impact of these;
  5. synthesize, analyse and apply critical understandings of criminological comparisons to practices of national and international efforts to achieve justice;
  6. communicate the key elements necessary for comparative work to be undertaken and critically evaluate the advantages and limitations of understanding crime and social control across cultures.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two gateway units in Criminology.