Bachelor of Criminal Justice


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

  • Explore the inner workings of the criminal justice system and discover how it responds to crime and promotes justice for individuals and the community.
  • Investigate current trends and contemporary issues such as cybercrime, counter-terrorism, police investigations and intelligence, and applied criminology.
  • Learn about cutting-edge developments and research in criminology from academics with extensive industry experience.
  • Study a degree that will enhance your career prospects if you are currently working in social work, counselling or welfare support, as well as law enforcement.


Study a 100% online criminal justice degree designed specifically for online learning. Take full control over your study - access support seven days a week, engage with content from day one of your course, view learning resources 24/7, and log into the interactive online environment anywhere, any time and on any device.

From law enforcement to the courts and corrections, the criminal justice system plays a crucial role in maintaining, enforcing and administering the law to help promote justice for individuals and the community, as well as reduce and prevent crime.

Informed by the latest thinking and the most up-to-date developments in criminology, you’ll learn current trends in innovative fields like cybercrime, victimology, offender rehabilitation and desistance theory. You'll graduate with a holistic understanding of the criminal justice industry and will study courses from a range of disciplines including law, policing, applied criminology, psychology, and sociology.

By gaining insights into the roles and functions across the full spectrum of the criminal justice sector, you’ll develop a powerful skill set, and a broad knowledge base to tackle issues from different perspectives. The knowledge and skills you gain through this degree will open up diverse careers in security and the criminal justice sector at a time when the industry is experiencing steady job growth.

What you'll learn

This degree introduces you to a range of contemporary perspectives, approaches and issues in the criminology and criminal justice field. As a Criminal Justice student, you will:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the criminal justice system and study a mix of courses from different disciplines including social sciences and law;
  • Explore topics covering policing, offender rehabilitation and desistance, youth justice, social research methods and crime, cybercrime, victimology, as well as gender and sexuality;
  • Critically analyse crime prevention theories, techniques and crime reduction programs; and
  • Learn to apply research methods to real industry problems.

You can tailor your degree to your interests and broaden your career prospects with the choice of electives. You can select four electives from any of the University of South Australia Online degrees.

Degree structure

Please note, courses may not be displayed in order of study.

First year

  • Critical Approaches to Online Learning
  • Foundations of Law
  • Criminology and Public Policy
  • Psychology Concepts
  • Principles of Public Law
  • The Social World
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Criminal Law and Procedure

Second year

  • Policing Investigations and Intelligence
  • Corrections: Offender Rehabilitation and Desistance
  • Youth Justice
  • Social Enquiry Methods
  • Sociology of Crime and Deviance
  • Elective X3

Third year

  • Cybercrime and Digital Evidence
  • Psychology of Investigative and Legal Processes
  • Crime, Gender and Sexuality
  • Aboriginal Australians, Policing and the Criminal Justice System
  • Victimology
  • Crime Prevention
  • Human Services Workers and the Law
  • Elective

Study Criminal Justice 100% online

Bec Medhurst, Online Course Facilitator: University of South Australia Online gives an insight into what the Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree is about, and how the degree has been designed to suit busy adults on the go.

Why a Bachelor of Criminal Justice

With increasing attention on national and international security and crime, this degree is your opportunity to learn how to make a difference to the safety and wellbeing of your community, and society at large.

Employers look for graduates who can apply their knowledge and skills to real industry challenges. With a strong focus on applied learning, you’ll learn the same principles, approaches and assessment techniques used across the criminal justice system – so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running, no matter what area you choose to work in.

You’ll learn to apply various approaches and techniques used by intelligence analysts and investigators in the field, evaluate crime prevention strategies, and understand the complex factors that have led to the over-representation of minority groups in the criminal justice system.

Our academics have decades of industry experience. They’ve brought their wealth of knowledge and connections to develop engaging, interactive and relevant course content using real and current case studies from the field.

Your career

With the industry experiencing steady job growth, there are many diverse career opportunities available for criminal justice professionals. While many roles are found in government agencies, including law enforcement and intelligence as well as social welfare and correctional services, there are also opportunities to work in the private sector and with not-for-profit organisations.

If you have experience in social work, counselling, welfare support or law enforcement, this degree will complement your work experience, giving you a competitive edge to take the next step in your career.

A University of South Australia Online Criminal Justice degree can help you pursue the following careers:

  • Policy adviser: develop and analyse policies guiding the design, implementation and modification of government or commercial operations and programs; conduct environmental scans to identify and develop options to address topical and emerging issues, trends, risks and opportunities in the criminal justice system; and research, analyse and prepare papers, briefings and reports on a range of criminal justice issues.
  • Strategic policy and planning manager: lead policy development and planning activities to help inform the ways in which criminal justice activities occur; provide authoritative policy advice on complex and potentially sensitive strategic matters; possess an understanding of the criminal justice system, key stakeholders and contemporary challenges, as well as government functions and processes; and inform the community about changes to legislation and reform.
  • Intelligence and policy analyst: gather, analyse and evaluate information from a variety of sources; determine the significance and reliability of incoming information; establish and maintain intelligence records and files; develop and analyse policies to guide the design, implementation and modification of government and commercial operations and programs.
  • Correctional services officer: undertake a frontline role in the prison system, and be responsible for a wide range of duties relating to the safety, security and welfare of prisoners; manage day-to-day issues, and contribute to ongoing rehabilitation of offenders; develop and delivering rehabilitative and training programs for offenders; write clear and concise reports, statements and records; and assess and counsel offenders with matters affecting their welfare, security, behaviours and routines.
  • Child protection officer: respond to the concerns regarding the safety and well-being of children and help families strengthen their capacity to provide care and safety for children and other family members.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS total [6.0]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
  • IELTS speaking [6.0]
  • IELTS listening [6.0]

IT Requirements

As a general rule of thumb, any desktop or laptop computer purchased in the past three years should be capable of meeting your online learning needs. While mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones will be able to access most of your online course content, there are likely to be elements of most courses where we recommend you use a desktop or laptop computer. Your computer should be able to:

  • Run a modern browser (Internet Explorer 10, Firefox 24, Safari 5, or Chrome 32 or later versions)
  • Run Java and in some cases Flash (devices running on Apple's iOS operating system, such as iPads, iPhones, do not run Flash)
  • Run programs to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations
  • Use a web camera and headset (or ear pods with microphone)
  • Some University of South Australia Online degrees require an online exam. The online exam software – Remote Proctor Now – has specific capability requirements. Please refer to the system requirements prior to conducting your exam to ensure your computer is compatible.

Access free IT software and resources

As a University of South Australia Online student, you'll:

  • Get free access to the full Office 365 ProPlus suite, which includes full versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access and Lync software. Install the full suite on up to five different devices (PC and Mac compatible).
  • Get 1Tb of personal storage that syncs with your PC or mobile device through OneDrive - it's like an extra hard drive that allows you to open any of your files from any of your devices, whenever you need them.
  • Get free access to - Access more than 5000 video courses on a broad range of topics such as the Microsoft Office suite, time management and study skills, health and wellbeing, communication and presentation skills, photography, film making and designing your own games or mobile apps.
  • Be able to connect with others using Skype for Business, Yammer and the Outlook Web App.

There are some degrees that have specialised software requirements. We've made this software available to students to access for free - you'll be able to download and install any of the required programs on your own device anywhere and anytime.

How to apply

The application process is easy – just follow these simple steps:

1. Submit an online enquiry

If you're ready to apply, the first step is to fill out and submit our online enquiry form. Here you'll be asked a series of questions to see if you're eligible. Following your online enquiry, one of our Degree Advisers will contact you at your preferred time to discuss the application process.

2. Speak to a Degree Adviser and start your application

If you're eligible, you'll receive an email outlining the entry requirements and the relevant documentation you need in order to be considered.

In order to verify your academic qualifications, you'll need to upload relevant documents like your official parchment, certificates or transcripts. If you have work experience, you will need to upload your CV as well as any other documents like work references, professional recognition or accreditation or your training certification.

Your email will contain information on the specific documents you need to provide as well as a link to begin your application. You'll be asked to create an account and set your own password.

3. Complete your application and send through your documents

In order to proceed with your conditional offer, you’ll need to complete your application and provide the required evidence of your previous study or work experience.

CRICOS Provider No. 00121B

Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

The University of South Australia’s 100% online degrees give you full control and flexibility over your study choices. With more than 25 years of experience providing online and distance education, yo ... Read More

The University of South Australia’s 100% online degrees give you full control and flexibility over your study choices. With more than 25 years of experience providing online and distance education, you can be confident you’re gaining a high-quality university qualification from a globally-recognised institution. Read less