Now that you’ve found out about what it’s like studying a Bachelor of Criminology at Monash, it would be totally understandable if you’re looking for an in-depth opinion on the course, culture, assessments and staff involved in criminology at Monash.
Well, look no further because you’ve hit the jackpot!
We got to chat with Georgie, a Bachelor of Criminology student, who helped us get to understand the Criminology course at Monash.
If you want to find out about the pros and cons, the ups and downs and ins and outs of criminology, then keep reading!
Why should you study a Criminology degree at Monash?
Let’s start at the beginning. Criminology, simply put, is the study of crime. A criminologist will analyse information, collect data and make decisions to try and understand why a particular crime was committed.
Criminology is an extremely multifaceted discipline. There’s never a straight forward answer.
A criminologist is actually looking for the social, psychological or cultural factors that led up to and influenced a crime. It’s all about understanding a crime’s context, external influences, its impact on society and how it can be prevented in the future!
As a student in the Bachelor of Criminology program at Monash, you can expect to be taught everything there is to know about crime and the social contexts that facilitated it. You’ll learn by understanding our society’s values, challenges and attitudes.
Specifically, you’ll become well versed in how to evaluate policy, identify credible evidence and develop practical solutions to contemporary crime-related issues.
Top 3 Pros of a Criminology degree
#1: Interesting and challenging content
One of the most important things to consider when you’re knee-deep in making those big uni decisions is whether you’ll actually enjoy learning the content.
A lot of the time we’re encouraged to commit to a degree that offers the most job prospects or career opportunities and if that’s something you’re cool with, then great! But sometimes it can be really difficult to put in the work when you’re doing something that you don’t enjoy.
This was a really important factor to consider for Georgie who said that the reason she loves this degree so much is because of the compelling material.
“Because the degree is so interesting, it enables students to challenge their own preconceived ideas of crime and social injustices and all the issues that fall within them. I think that’s where a lot of growing comes from, challenging your own preconceived ideas. I think that’s a massive pro,” Georgie explained.
#2: Great support network
“The support that the students have in the degree is phenomenal — the teaching staff go above and beyond. They’re all so helpful and educated so they’re a great resource,” Georgie told us.
She elaborated, “I think Monash provides for all students of all abilities. There are so many different services for mental health, finances — they foster a really good environment for learning and thriving.”
Monash Uni offers a range of student support services for all sorts of different reasons and Georgie told us that this is something she really values. Whether you’d like some academic help, language support, course advice, counselling, IT support or help with disability accessibility services, Monash is there to help.
#3: Plenty of opportunities
Georgie told us that another great feature of the Bachelor of Criminology program at Monash is the wide ranging experiences and opportunities that it offers. Not only do these help consolidate your knowledge but they’re the kinds of experiences that look great on a resume.
“The opportunities that come from this degree are expansive. There are overseas trips, different professional experiences, paid and voluntary, and onshore excursions like going to prisons or going to courts. So, the degree offers so many opportunities for every student no matter what their interests are,” Georgie said.
Top 3 Cons of a Criminology degree
#1: A lot of independent study
Georgie explained that this con is completely dependent on the student. Some students thrive working independently while others prefer more guided and supported work.
She told us, “The assessments are quite self-directed and students are required to do a lot of independent study. This is great given you can work at your own pace and in your own time. However, for students who struggle with working independently or need that extra guidance, it is up to the student to reach out to lecturers or tutors.”
So, there you go. Alongside your weekly lectures and tutorials, you should be looking to dedicate a decent amount of time to some individual study because that’s how most of your assessments and tasks will be set.
This is also a great time to note that everyone’s experience at uni is different. Georgie really loves her degree but the parts that she loves the most, may not be up your alley and that’s fine!
#2: No required placements
“There are no compulsory internships or student placements. While there is the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) elective, it’s up to the student to enrol in this unit and seek a placement. Despite this being a con, I think the WIL unit is a fantastic opportunity and all students should get involved despite it not being compulsory,” Georgie said.
As Georgie said, there is no required placement program in the Criminology course at Monash. The good thing, though, is that the option is still there, you just have to take the initiative to opt in — which Georgie really encourages.
Luckily, you do have the option to take Work Integrated Learning subjects as part of your electives. This is one of the best ways to get the most out of your degree and to develop some great industry knowledge and experience.
You’ll gain academic credit and work closely within a workplace in the following forms:
- Clinical placements
- Study tours
#3: Not much focus on cybercrime
The final con that Georgie listed was the minimum coverage of cybercrime in the Criminology program. Cybercrime is on the rise as we continue to advance technologically so Georgie admits that she wishes this was explored a little more.
“There is only one unit relating to Crime in IT. Although the unit is great, there should be a greater focus on cybercrime given tech is an emerging field that impacts every single industry. I hope to see Monash introduce new subjects in this area in the future.”
If you’d like to check out the kinds of subjects you’ll be completing as a Criminology student at Monash, you can check them out here!
“I like to not have any regrets. I like to be confident that I’m making the right choices but I guess I wish I did get involved in the Student Association in my first year,” Georgie admitted.
This generally tends to be a pretty common answer so I think it’s safe to say that joining societies and associations is key! This didn’t have a huge impact on Georgie though because she joined the next year and is now the current president of Monash’s Criminology Student Association. How cool!
Georgie went on to explain that the Student Association “is just such an amazing resource to connect with other students, connect with industry professionals and find career opportunities that you wouldn’t usually find on your own. So, I guess for all students, no matter what uni you’re at, or what degree you’re doing, get involved as much as possible. I’m in the club now but I do wish I got involved earlier.”
What do you wish you had known before starting Monash Criminology?
Georgie told us that the main thing she wished she had known before beginning this degree was just how wide the scope of career opportunities actually are. It can be easy with less career-focused degrees to assume that there won’t be a huge amount of jobs at the end of it.
As a third year student and president of the Criminology Student Association, Georgie was pleased to find out that this assumption wasn’t the case at all.
“I came into the degree thinking ‘I love true crime, I love watching documentaries, I guess one day I could be a detective or a police officer or something like that’ but I didn’t realise just how many different fields the degree opens you up to. I wish I had known that but I guess that’s a part of being a student, you learn as you go,” Georgie said.
There are plenty of career opportunities for Criminology students that go far beyond a narrow path to just becoming a criminologist (which we’ll lay out in more details a little later on). Georgie told us that during a recent internship at the Department of Justice, she was astounded by the vast amount of positions that she hadn’t even heard of before!
Georgie advised, “Just being open minded to the different opportunities because so many things come up that you just wouldn’t have known existed so it’s so good to explore all of those.”
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
Georgie gave us the rundown of why she had chosen Monash Uni in the first place.
She explained, “I wanted to do a criminology specific degree and Melbourne Uni didn’t offer it, they only had an Arts degree. Melbourne Uni also doesn’t offer Law undergrad which is what I eventually wanted to get into. That’s what made me choose Monash.”
Monash Uni, according to Georgie, has also proven itself to be a great institution for those needing accommodation as they study.
“I’m from regional Victoria so I had to move to the city for uni and it was a priority to find a uni with good accommodation. Monash is super social and supportive and I had heard really good things about it. I thought it would be a good environment to go into after moving out of home. Definitely an easy choice,” Georgie told us.
If you’re like Georgie and considering a life on campus at Monash, you can check out the Residential Services on offer right here!
What inspired you to choose Monash Criminology?
We put the question to Georgie, who told us: “I’m very passionate about criminal law, helping those that are affected by crime and combating social injustices. I’m very passionate about it so I think it was an easy choice to go down that field.”
Luckily for Georgie, it was the perfect option for her and had proven to be a great experience.
“It’s flown by, I can’t fault the degree itself, I’ve really enjoyed it and Monash Uni is incredibly supportive especially for students who are moving from different areas of Australia. They provide services in all areas like financial support or mental health support — they’re really great in that respect,” Georgie confirmed.
Georgie also transferred into a double degree with Law last semester so she’s well on her way to graduating with her dream degree!
What are the possible career paths?
So, no, a position as a criminologist is definitely not your only option. The practical skills and theoretical knowledge that you’ll develop throughout this degree will be valued in a wide scope of professions — particularly those focused on the legal system, crime, prisons or victims.
You’ll be set to work in private and public institutions and with some further study you could become an educator, an academic or, like Georgie, you could complement your studies with a Law degree!
Whatever you choose to pursue, you can be confident that the Bachelor of Criminology at Monash has given you the right skills. Whether you’re interested in being a part of the legal system, working within the police force, combating cyber crimes, or supporting individuals and families who have been impacted by crime, a Bachelor of Criminology will get you there.
Gemma Billington is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an undergraduate student at the University of Technology Sydney. While studying Journalism and Social and Political Sciences, Gemma enjoys spending her time at the gym or reading about Britain’s medieval monarchy – ideally not at the same time. She currently creates and administers social media posts for Central News and writes for the student publication, The Comma. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to study a Masters of Medieval History and is very excited about the prospect!