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CQUni Knows Criminology

Get to know Stephen

My name is Stephen Colbran, I’m a law professor and Dean of Law at CQUniversity.

We’ve developed a new degree program that’s really attractive and modern – the Bachelor of Science (Criminology and Psychology). It has been written from scratch and is available from March 2019. These two fields are such a natural fit and putting it in one degree of relatively short duration gives students the ability to combine both fields, and then go straight out into the employment market.

Criminology, which looks at things like criminal justice, criminology theory, digital criminology and crime, is perfectly underpinned by psychology, which is a very useful field in understanding criminal activity. There are other types of pure criminology degrees at other institutions, but this one is designed to combine the two fields together in a relatively a shorter timespan than other criminology courses.

The big advantage is that it’s going to be taught face-to-face in regional areas, places like Townsville, Rockhampton and Bundaberg, where it hasn’t been in the past. People would usually have to travel to a capital city to do it. It’s also going to be taught online right across Australia.

I have a real passion for online education. I think that it’s a better way to actually deliver education to be honest. It’s better than sitting in a lecture because you can design interactive experiences online and you can have students interact with one another and with the lecturing staff. They can study at their own time and pace, so it offers students the flexibility to be able to have part-time employment and pursue other activities while they study. Or, if you’re a more mature student and you’ve got a family, a job and you’re balancing all other types of commitments, it gives you the flexibility to do a degree you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.

This degree is unique, different and vibrant, drawing on the latest theories and approaches in psychology and criminology to really make a contemporary program. The idea is to give students the ability to combine both fields and then go out into the employment market and apply them. If students do well enough, they can also go on with a little bit of further study into the Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) course, which will prepare them for conditional registration as a psychologist in Australia, so that they can go down that career path if they want to as well. A greater depth of knowledge in multiple disciplines makes you far more employable.

The other important thing is that this course has a choice of capstone units. All the other criminology courses essentially have a work placement as the sole choice for their capstone unit, but we’ve actually got a research choice as well. So, if you want to become an academic in this sort of field, then you can go down the research option. Or, if you want to go work in the field, then you can do the work placement. There are different types of students, so we want to give them a broad choice at the end of their qualification. The degree can take you to a lot of different areas, from prisons, the police force and customs to academic research and teaching.

One area students will learn about is digital criminology, which is fascinating because that’s becoming a much bigger field. Digital fraud is pretty prevalent, theft of data and misuse of data, online stalking and bullying, and there’s a whole range of things in that area that are becoming more dominant because of the pervasive nature of technology.

Students will also learn the theory related to traditional criminology and contemporary theories that they’ll be able to apply to crime scenes and different types of crimes. So, they can understand the pattern of those crimes, why they occur and where they occur. But the other big advantage with all of the psychology units in the course is that students get an appreciation of the psychology of what’s going on, the psychology of the criminal behaviours.

Criminology has a certain appeal, largely because of the media and television programs. Crime scene investigations, analysing crime scenes and profiling criminals are areas of interest to a lot of people. Those who find these fields interesting would, I think, appreciate this degree and set themselves up for roles in fields like protective services, customs, the police force and other government departments, security organisations and in private security.

If your passion is to understand the criminal mind and work in the field we will give you the latest skills and theories to do so.