Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces students (or graduates) without a legal background to the key concepts and principles that underpin criminal laws in NSW. The course covers essential knowledge of state law for non-lawyers working in the criminal justice system. It provides an important legal foundation for other courses offered in the Criminology and Human Services majors, and Social Work, Psychological Science, and Communication Programs, through theoretical examination of the elements of major substantive criminal offences and defences, within the wider historical, social, and political context.

Students will examine the way criminal responsibility:

a) attaches to certain behaviours,

b) is processed via the agencies of the State, and, finally,

c) the disposition of offences by way of sentencing, bail, and parole.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Define the nature of criminal law, and describe perspectives on the meaning of crime

2. Explain the sources of Criminal Law in NSW

3. Identify ‘conduct’ and ‘mental’ elements of crime

4. Explain how the court system functions, and examine arguments around the application of bail, sentencing, and parole


Topics will include:

  • Sources of Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Substantive Offences (selected)
  • Defences to Criminal Liability (selected)
  • Sentencing and Punishment

Assumed knowledge

Completion of first year studies in Social Science, Criminology, Human Services, Social Work, Psychological Science, or Communication programs.

Assessment items

Quiz: Quiz (15%)

Project: Criminal Court Research Paper (40%)

Written Assignment: Take Home Exam (one week) (45%)

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 24 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks

These sessions are for Intensive Delivery mode when offered.- 6 hours per Day for 4 days. Current students must choose one delivery mode only to complete CRIM2030, ie 2 hours per week for 12 weeks or as an intensive course (when offered).


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1

Current students must complete CRIM2030 in one delivery mode only, ie 2 hours per week for 12 weeks or as an intensive course (when offered).

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.