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The Criminology major involves the study of crime, the investigation of the causes of criminal behavior, and of society's responses to it.

PLEASE NOTE: The new Criminology major will be available from Trimester A 2024!

Exploring the intricacies of criminality and the criminal justice system is an essential aspect of criminology. The Criminology major engages with mātauranga Māori perspectives especially around the mass incarceration of the indigenous people and provides a distinctive lens through which students can view these issues. 

This exciting new major invites students to explore the captivating field of crime and criminal behavior. Students will gain an extensive understanding of how society responds to criminal conduct, the underlying reasons for criminality, and how social discourse and relationships influence the perception of the criminal justice system. The major also provides a unique focus on the impact of colonisation on the criminal justice system, with a particular emphasis on the mass incarceration of indigenous populations in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world.

Students will also explore the work of key criminological theorists, and develop the skills necessary to analyse, reflect upon, and respond to common societal views of criminality from a criminological perspective. With the major’s emphasis on critical thinking and practical application, students will be well-equipped to navigate the complex world of criminal justice and make a meaningful impact on society.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Area of Study:

Study Criminology in these qualifications

Study Criminology as a specialisation of

Career opportunities

  • Community Development Advisor
  • Criminal Justice Worker
  • Criminology Researcher
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Iwi Researcher
  • New Zealand Police
  • Policy Analyst
  • Victim Advocate

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
CRSCI101Introduction to Security and Crime Science15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Online)
This paper introduces the topics, theories, and approaches that make up Crime Science. The central focus is on understanding crime.
FPSYC101Introduction to Forensic and Criminological Psychology15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Online)
This paper introduces students to forensic psychology and encompasses a wide range of topics derived from the intersection of psychology with the crime, the legal system and the criminal justice system.
HISTY107Aotearoa Histories: Past and Future15.024B (Hamilton)
This introductory paper provides students with an overview of Aotearoa New Zealand's histories through hundreds of years of Maori and Iwi history and British Colonial invasions, to the present. Students explore popular overarching myths and narratives of Aotearoa NZ history, key events, peoples and leading scholarship in the field....
MAORI150Te Tiriti o Waitangi: An Introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi15.024A (Hamilton), 24B (Hamilton) & 24X (Hamilton)
This paper seeks to provide a sound understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It reviews historical and contemporary interpretations and takes into account the interplay of contextual issues of the time.
PACIS100Introduction to Pacific Histories, Languages and Cultures15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Secondary School - Unistart)
This paper introduces students to foundational elements of Pacific Studies, including various histories, languages and cultures and their importance to contemporary societies, surveying a number of Pacific Nations.
PHILO106Social and Moral Philosophy15.024A (Hamilton), 24A (Online) & 24A (Tauranga)
An investigation of contemporary moral and social issues from a practical ethics perspective. Issues may include abortion, animal welfare, discrimination, euthanasia, freedom of speech, genetic enhancement, privacy, punishment, and your online life.
SOCIO102The Sociology of Crime, Deviance and Social Justice15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This paper provides students with an introduction to criminology and the criminal justice system, with a focus on the New Zealand context.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
CRSCI201Understanding Crime Events0.024B (Online)
The focus of this paper is on crime as a potentially preventable event. Crimes occur in a patterned way that is partly determined by situational factors and people's decision-making. This paper introduces students to theories about crime events, and approaches to analysing these events.
FPSYC201Psychology and Crime15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Online)
Crime is a result of how people think, feel, and behave within their ecological context, making psychology one of the core disciplines in understanding, explaining and addressing problems associated with crime.
GEOGY219Māori Lands and Communities15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to Maori geographical perspectives and examines key events that shape Maori communities and their relationships to land, water and other taonga.
LEGAL205Foundations in Legal Studies15.024A (Online)
A paper to provide students with a basic understanding of the New Zealand legal system, and an introduction to the law of torts, contract, agency, sale of goods and services, persons, including corporate bodies, property and consumer legislation.
PACIS200Pacific Migration, Diaspora and Identity15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper looks at the various socio-historic influences on migration in the Pacific and the relationship between Indigenous cultures of origin and diasporic cultures and identities formed in countries such as Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia and the US.
POLSC224Terrorism, Violence and the State15.0No occurrences
Terrorism is an increasingly prominent global phenomenon. We will clarify it conceptually and situate it historically with theory and case studies in situating it in comparative political and International Relations analysis.
PSYCH206Social Psychology and Development15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
Social psychology topics include environmental psychology, social relationships, and helping and hindering others. Developmental psychology investigates why we develop as we do. Together, this paper explores why we do the things we do.
SOCPY200Social Policy and Social Issues15.024A (Online) & 24A (Tauranga)
The paper continues the study of social policy at 200 level. The focus of this paper is on the welfare state, the policy cycle as well as social problems, such as poverty.
SSRES200Social Science Research Methods15.024B (Online)
This paper introduces the core research methods used in the social sciences. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are introduced, along with consideration of aspects such as ethics and the Treaty of Waitangi.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
CRIMN301Criminology15.024B (Online)
The paper overviews criminological approaches to the study of crime, causes of criminal behaviour, and society's responses, developing familiarity with the work of key theorists, including those developing matauranga hou.
FPSYC301Correctional Psychology: Theory, Research and Practice15.024B (Online)
This paper examines the application of psychological theory, research and practice to the operation of correctional systems and their various roles with the people in their care. There is a strong emphasis on New Zealand practice, including emerging Maori-led and Maori-influenced practices.
GNSEX303Intersectionalities: Identities and Inequalities15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a comprehensive review of the historical context for understanding contemporary issues of race, gender, sexuality, and social class. It investigates micro and macro level experiences and the social construction of identities. In doing so, this paper looks at how power is distributed in society, the theories that...
HISTY302Blood, Land, DNA: Contemporary Indigenous Histories and Archives15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper explores critical questions about power, sovereignty, and belonging in contemporary Indigenous history, focusing on Aotearoa, the Pacific, and North America. Students will work with diverse archival sources to develop independent research questions.
IRSST331Cyber Security and the Global Politics of the Internet15.024B (Online)
This course explores the global politics of cyber security and the internet. It covers the major political/strategic/theoretical debates around enhancing the security of computer systems and how states and non-state actors are responding.
LEGAL301Crimes30.024D (Hamilton) & 24D (Tauranga)
The general principles of criminal liability.
MAORI303Critical Indigenous Theory15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper looks at the key theoretical influences, from Marxism to post-structuralism, upon critical Indigenous studies and the most significant writings by those Indigenous scholars who have chosen to engage with critical theory.
PSYCH302Community, Culture and Diversity15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
The focus of this paper is the study of social justice, intersectionality, transformative interventions, and social change strategies that are central to community, indigenous and liberation psychologies. Issues covered include inequalities, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and (dis)ability. Key considerations are the broader co...
SOCIO311Current Issues in Crime Control and Social Justice15.024G (Online)
This paper examines sociological explanations for criminal behaviour and examines issues within criminal justice.
SOCPY303Critical Feminism and the Prison State15.024A (Online)
This paper employs anti-carceral feminist theories and frameworks to explore the phenomenon of mass female imprisonment across nation states, with a particular focus on Indigenous and Black Imprisoned Radical Tradition.

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