Study Criminology and Criminal Justice - Bachelor of Arts

Criminology is the study of crime and its effects on victims and society, and the workings of the criminal justice system including the police, courts and prisons. Criminology is a great choice if you want a career in an organisation associated with the criminal justice system.

In the Criminology and Criminal Justice major you develop a sound understanding of criminology in national and international contexts. You explore crime and policing in New Zealand and overseas, approaches to crime prevention and punishment, restorative justice and critical issues facing the criminal justice system. Throughout the major, you develop problem-solving skills related to criminology and criminal justice.

Talk to us about your study options

Thinking about studying at AUT? Book a time with us to discuss your study options.


This is part of the Bachelor of Arts.

Download programme guides

This major will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the field of criminology, drawing on the theory and practice in both national and international contexts. You explore crime and its control in New Zealand and other jurisdictions, and become familiar with contemporary debates within criminology. Develop an understanding of criminal justice institutions and crime in New Zealand, critically examine criminal justice policies and practices, and explore how criminological concepts can be used in real-life settings.

We aim to educate students to assess the research literature within the discipline and formulate critiques of current approaches to crime and its regulation. You'll also be encouraged to think beyond critique and engage in problem solving.

Apart from the courses below you also need to complete courses from your second major, your chosen minor(s) or electives.

Core courses

All Bachelor of Arts students need to complete core courses that help you develop transferable skills and support your work in all other courses in the degree.

Workplace experience is an important part of your degree, and the Work Integrated Learning course is the final part of your degree. This is a supervised work placement related to your major(s), for an organisation of your choice. It's a great way to get industry experience while still being able to get feedback from AUT lecturers, and for many of our students this workplace experience also leads to a job offer.

Recent placements included:

  • Department of Corrections
  • Just Speak
  • New Zealand Police
  • Prison Fellowship New Zealand
  • Rethinking Crime and Punishment
  • South Auckland Violence Protection Network
  • TYLA (Turn Your Life Around)

You could also take the Foundations in Research course if you’re considering continuing into postgraduate study.

Want more info about work integrated learning at AUT?

Read more about workplace experience in AUT programmes, how it works and why it’s so beneficial when you start your career.

Workplace experience in AUT programmes

Criminology and criminal justice courses

If you're majoring in criminology and criminal justice, this is the main subject area you specialise in. It makes up one third of your degree and consists of eight criminology-related courses you study throughout your degree.

Year 1 courses

Complete the following courses:

Year 2 courses

Complete the following courses:

Year 3 courses

Complete three of:

Build your degree

Use our online tool to build your own degree and see what your three years of study could look like.

Build your degreeBuild your degree

Career opportunities if you study criminology

  • Department of Corrections
  • Local authorities
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Social Development
  • National and international human rights organisations
  • New Zealand Customs
  • New Zealand Police
  • Non-governmental community groups

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Criminology Careers

Other majors in the Bachelor of Arts

*This major focuses on New Zealand Sign Language and developing the skills to become a Sign Language interpreter. It doesn’t include the option to include courses from different subjects.

Key features
  • Explores crime and its effects
  • Strong links with: NZ Police, Community Probation, Mason Clinic, Rethinking Crime and Punishment, and local councils
  • A great choice if you want a career in an organisation associated with the criminal justice system
  • Includes workplace experience
  • Option to include subjects from across AUT in your degree
See yourself as
  • Passionate about justice
  • A problem-solver with attention to detail
  • Inquisitive and open-minded
  • Good at keeping confidences
  • Able to make good judgements
Husna Akbar
Bethany Delaveau (Willis)
Ameto Junior (AJ) Aukusitino Lauofo
Wairua Taru Grant Pukeiti

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.