Criminology Major - 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 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.


This is part of the Bachelor of Arts.

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 a comprehensive 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.

Core papers

All students in the Bachelor of Arts complete core papers. In this major, you study:
COMM570 Academic Communication
CLSY504 Knowledge and Inquiry
CLSY500 Culture and Society
COMM604 Communicating

Criminology papers

Papers you could take over your three years of study include:
PSYC580 Introduction to Psychology A
SOSC583 Social Institutions
CRIM681 Understanding Crime
CRIM680 Policing and Society
SOSC682 Methods of Social Research
CRIM780 The Police and Crime Prevention
CRIM781 Prisons and Punishment
CRIM782 Understanding Restorative Justice
CRIM783 Current Issues in Criminology
CRIM784 Crime and Deviance

Workplace experience

Workplace experience (Work Integrated Learning) is the final part of your degree and takes a full semester. This is a supervised work placement related to your major(s), for an organisation of your choice.

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)

  • 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

Key features
  • Explores crime and its effects
  • Workplace experience in an organisation related to criminology or criminal justice
  • 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
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

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