Justice is your opportunity to learn to create a more just, equitable world. Study policing and governance, learn about the contemporary issues in social justice that are influencing our lives, and build skills and strategies to shape a fairer society.

Units you can choose

Design your own study abroad or exchange semester by selecting individual units or a set of related units in your field of interest. Some of our study areas also have packages of units that will make your applying process easier.


We've done the hard work for you and packaged together some of our units to make your decision easier. Choose a package depending on your interests and previous study, or choose from all our justice units to create your own study plan.

No previous studies in justice required

Requires some knowledge of justice

Approved units

All students can study these units, regardless of your academic background. These units will be approved on your QUT study plan after you apply.


JSB158 Policing Diversity

The issue of policing diversity is salient because of the nature of police work and the type of community engagement it entails. This unit will focus on a range of issues facing police and policing in relation to the growing diversity of Australia's population. A significant component of this unit will be a focus on the specific issues regarding the relationship between police and diverse communities such as those identified by race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender-identity difference, disability and homelessness. Police awareness training and identifying strategies to prevent misconduct and maintain awareness of bias towards diverse people willl also be a focus within the unit.

JSB170 Introduction to Criminology and Policing

Introduction to Criminology and Policing will provide you with an introduction to the disciplines of criminology and policing. This unit will provide you with a foundation for understanding theories, concepts, and issues related to criminology and policing in an Australian and international context. It begins with an exploration of the existing explanations of crime from both an individual and social theoretical perspective and will provide you with a background of policing in Queensland, Australia, and internationally. The remainder of the unit then covers topics of interest to those within the area of criminal justice, policing and criminology, for example, crimes in the home, crime in public, white collar crime, and youth crime.

JSB171 Justice and Society

An understanding and appreciation of the complexities of social justice, and particularly their impact on criminal justice outcomes in our society, is a key skill for competent justice professionals. This unit provides the foundational sociological and criminological knowledge that is necessary to understanding justice in a social context, and which is essential for ensuring justice professionals act in socially just and ethical ways.

JSB172 Professional Academic Skills

Professionals in many fields including Justice are required to have outstanding academic literacy and professional skills, particularly the ability to source, understand and analyse written sources and synthesise evidence into professional written formats. This unit gives students a thorough grounding in the core academic and professional literacies required during their studies and into their graduate careers.

JSB173 Understanding the Criminal Justice System

Justice professionals require a thorough foundational understanding of how Australia’s systems of justice operate structurally and how people progress through those systems. This unit provides a critical overview of the Australian Criminal Justice System through examinations of the key arms of policing, courts and corrections and their processes.

JSB174 Forensic Psychology and the Law

Forensic Psychology is readily acknowledged as one of the fastest growing areas of psychology in the world. Psychologists are now involved significantly in policing, judicial procedures and correctional processes. The term 'forensic' literally means 'of or used in law courts' (Australian Oxford Paperback Dictionary). The phrase 'psychology and the justice system', however, is now used more generally to describe the different ways in which psychology and law intersect - namely the psychology of the law, psychology in the law, and psychology by the law. By its very nature the study of psychology and law draws from a wide multidisciplinary base for the application of specialised knowledge. As a student of this discipline area, you will need a broad introductory appreciation of (and a critical perspective on) what the study of psychology involves.

JSB178 Policy, Governance and Justice

This unit is designed to introduce students to the practice and theorising of politics and policy making. It will provide you with a foundation to understand the people, systems and structures that influence how our government works. Understanding political dynamics and how good policy-making happens helps prepare students to work in government agencies, or to work more effectively in non-governmental roles concerning law and justice. In addition to providing a conceptual overview of the structures and functions of government, this unit introduces students to the practical elements of policy-making enabling you to develop basic political communication skills.

JSB180 Deviance

The study of deviance engages with fundamental aspects of criminology and justice studies, such as the making and breaking of laws, responses to rule and law breaking, and the analysis of issues pertaining to marginalised social groups and activities. Drawing on problem solving skills and interpretive traditions in the social sciences, the unit encourages students to think critically about "deviance" (often manifesting as a social problem or contested behaviour), asking why some activities, sub-cultures and social groups are considered deviant and others not across various historical and cultural contexts. The unit also examines social and legal responses to managing and controlling deviance and engages with important issues of social justice and discrimination. The scope and concerns of the unit make it broadly accessible to students and the unit's focus on real world social problems will appeal to a broad cross-section of QUT's student market.

JSB181 Introduction to Justice Research Methods

Research within criminology highlights that in order for justice students to undertake research themselves and be able to critically read and assess the research of others they need to have a clear understanding of the research methods commonly used in the field of justice (Kleck et al., 2006). This unit is designed to provide students with essential knowledge and skills required to undertake justice research. At completion of this unit, you will: (a) be able to take these learned skills and apply them to your practice as a future justice professional, (b) develop skills that can be used for further advanced study in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and analysis, and (c) practice research in culturally safe and ethical ways.

Units requiring approval

Students need specific academic background knowledge to study these units. We will assess your eligibility and determine if you’re able to take these units after you apply. We will let you know the outcome as soon as possible.


JSB184 Sex and Crimes

This unit teaches specialised knowledge to students about how sex crime is legislated, regulated and adjudicated and explores the implications that this may produce for victims and offenders. It connects broader knowledge about policing and criminal justice with specific issues relevant to sex offenders and sex crime victims involved in the criminal justice process.

JSB207 Punishment and Penal Policy

In the modern Western context, concerns with crime, victimisation and social harm are key concerns for the citizenry. These issues also make up a significant part of media and political discourse and it could thus be argued that crime and punishment are defining cultural motifs of modern Western societies, forever concerned with security and safety from the 'criminal other'. This unit offers you a critical overview of the evolution of Western responses to crime over the past two centuries. The unit introduces the philosophies and theories that have underpinned the development of penal policy during that period. Using Australian and other case studies, you will be introduced to a range of policies and interventions associated with the construction of the modern penal system. The various stages of the development of penal policy will be covered. The unit will challenge you to think critically about a range of key issues confronting the penal system and policy-makers.

JSB208 Gender, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System

The Justice degree aims to produce competent justice professionals. In order to achieve this purpose, this degree combines knowledge of the criminal justice system with an understanding and appreciation of the complexities of social justice. This unit explores patterns in gendered:1. offending2. victimisation, and 3. experiences with criminal justice systems.

JSB219 Case Studies in Major Crime

Serious crimes such as homicide and child abuse are prominent in contemporary media debate and public commentary. Criminology and Justice Studies are multidiscipinary enterprises with a key focus on how both the criminal justice system and society more generally responds to these types of crime events. By closely studying different aspects of a range of historical major crimes, students will obtain a better understanding of the important criminal justice system responses and social processes associated with these events, and will develop enhanced skills in cultural analysis and social justice. The unit's focus on real world social problems will appeal to QUT's broader student market.

JSB224 Understanding Trauma in Criminology

This subject addresses the ways in which trauma is important to theory and practice in criminal justice and social justice discourse. Trauma informed practice is explored in ways that introduce students to theory and skills in order to inform their engagement with policy and practice and expand their understanding of professional work in criminal justice. This is particularly important in understanding intergenerational trauma in Indigenous communities. This subject will build on understanding gained in core units to help prepare for careers working in criminal justice agencies and policy development in criminal justice related fields.

JSB228 Technology and Crime

Technology is becoming increasingly used within society and is an important domain of knowledge and skills for justice professionals. This unit provides students with a grounding in how technology may be used to perpetrate crime and respond to crime problems. Students will learn about different types of crime that may be perpetrated using technology, such as cybercrime, image-based abuse, and technology facilitated coercive control. Students will also learn how technologies may be used in modern policing practices, including the use of body worn cameras, apps and other technologies. At completion of this unit students will be able to consider the implications of technology in the practice of justice.

JSB229 Border Security

This unit will prepare participants to examine critical aspects of border security. It will explore various aspects of border management and discuss how they relate to border security and law enforcement. The unit will also prepare participants to critically evaluate the formulation and implementation of border security practices that involve the complex integration of various factors; and help them better understand the changing dynamics of border security in an international environment.

JSB234 Interpersonal Skills for Justice Professionals

In all professions in the field of Justice, there are key interpersonal skills that are highly valued by employers. These include written and oral communication skills that demonstrate authority, deep listening, and compassion when working with a diverse audience. Employers also look for skills in teamwork and networking, as well as a candidate that exhibits a strong professional personal brand. This unit will help students to build their personal brand and communication confidence to make them strong professional candidates and to set them up for success in their future careers.

JSB237 Negotiating Conflict in a Global Context

The peaceful resolution of global conflict and the elimination of social justice issues (including poverty, human rights, inequality, corruption and global health) requires diplomats to engage in a wide range of cooperative strategies. In this unit students will be introduced to the world of the diplomat and will have the opportunity to develop diplomatic skills, including negotiation and mediation. The course introduces students to the practical elements of conflict resolution such as process design, monitoring and evaluation, the resolution of stalemates and the navigation of contested relationships. Students will learn how diplomacy is used to: create substantive social justice policy, to resolve and transform conflict and to build productive inter-personal relationships amongst a range of diverse actors (including world leaders, civic servants and activists).

JSB240 Organised Crime

Organised crime operates in every country of the world and has existed since human beings formed complex social groups. While it is something we cannot eliminate, we can significantly reduce its harm on the population; harm that in Australia costs up to $50 billion per year. This course will teach about the nature of organised crime, its operation, market places, and social impact. We will look at organised crime as a generic international and local phenomenon and will illustrate these concepts with Australian case studies. Organised crime is much more subtle and widespread than Mafia movies or Sons of Anarchy would have you believe. There are many myths that are still believed even by senior politicians. This unit will give you a strong understanding of the nuances to better prepare you for a role in policing, intelligence or policy.

JSB255 Environmental Justice and Climate Change

Issues pertaining to ecological harms and the protection of the environment are becoming ever more crucial in the development of both national and international policy. The balance between 'developing' and 'harming' the environment is socially constructed through discourses around such issues as trade, resource exploitation, international justice, activism and human rights. It is vital that all harmful acts - unlawful or otherwise - that damage or destroy the environment are understood and critiqued within the broader context of governmental policies of prevention and regulation.This unit prepares future professionals who will be employed in an environmental capacity, or will work more generally in policy and advocacy-based positions which intersect with issues of ecological harm and justice.

JSB261 Theories of Government

You cannot fully understand our system of government without understanding the history of the theories that have led to this point. This is core knowledge for working in policy or politics. This unit will run through all the major theories of how governments should operate and the basis of authority, legitimacy and freedom. JSB261 Theory of Government will provide you with the necessary knowledge of what our system of government is designed to do and why we have this rather than another system of government.

JSB263 Global Political Institutions

Justice graduates are increasingly taking on key roles working in or alongside political institutions. It is essential that graduates have a full and working knowledge of the structure and process of international governance in order to excel in these roles in an increasingly professionalised and globalised public sector. This unit will explore the establishment, evolution and functioning of key international and Australian political institutions, in order to increase students' understanding and awareness of our systems of governance.

JSB266 White Collar Crime and Official Corruption

The study of public sector ethics covers the types of actions and the methods of enforcement required to bring about performance in the public interest. This unit will introduce you in detail to the most important issues of public sector ethics, both in Queensland and the world. As government employees, it is essential that you not only understand these concepts but put them into practice. White collar crime is becoming more common in Australian society. There are a larger number of people in a position to participate in white collar crime and new opportunities are presented by a more corporatised and technological society. Greater resources are being applied to detect these crimes within police services. The study you will undertake in this unit follows on from learning in JSB172 Professional Academic Skills or JSB178 Policy, Governance and Justice.

JSB270 Global Justice and Human Rights

In an increasingly globalised world, justice professionals are frequently faced with challenges that are international in scope. Human rights abuses, environmental instability, poverty, conflict and regional instability act as obstacles to the maintenance of domestic order and international peace and security, as well as an individual's capacity to live a dignified life. This unit explores challenges to human rights in a global context, with a focus on human rights violations during conflict, issues of justice and equity associated with the movement and migration of people, and the human rights environment for marginalised communities. The unit also introduces students to theories of global justice as a lens through which to understand human rights. This unit will assist students to understand challenges in the global context and how they might work to address them.

JSB272 Theories of Crime

Criminology is a multi-disciplinary field and this is reflected in the diversity of theoretical approaches, which draw on various sciences, psychology, sociology, philosophy and politics. Theory is typically offered as distinct from methods of research; however, together they provide the foundation for policy and practice. The unit provides an analytical framework in order to critically assess the epistemological claims and justifications found in criminological theory. A range of criminological explanations and theories of crime are explored: classicism/neo-classicism; biological and psychological positivism; anomie; strain theory; the Chicago school; labelling theory; feminist criminology; Marxism; critical criminology; new right theory; left realism; and cultural criminology. The course stresses the relevance and application of theory, examining how theory 'works' (or 'fails') in practice.

JSB273 Justice Research Methods

Research within criminology highlights that in order for students to undertake research themselves and be able to critically read and assess the research of others they need to have a clear understanding of the research methods commonly used in the field (Kleck et al., 2006).  This unit is designed to provide students with essential knowledge and skills required to undertake justice research.  At completion of this unit, you will: (a) be able to take these learned skills and apply them to your practice as a future justice professional, and (b) develop skills that can be used for further advanced study in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and analysis.

JSB280 Engaging Men

This unit explores the field of efforts to work with men, across such areas as domestic violence and crime, parenting and care work, and sexual and reproductive health. In Australia and internationally, there has been rapid growth in programming and policy focused on men and boys and aimed at building gender equality, fostering health, and ending violence. This unit will equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the ‘engaging men’ field, the elements of effective practice, and key challenges and directions in this work. The unit is relevant for careers in health, welfare, and social services, crime and justice, education, social work, public health, and other areas of policy, programming, and advocacy.

JSB284 Policing in Context

This unit is concerned with the diverse roles, duties, powers and problems of policing in Australia. These issues are explored through a variety of topics, which include the history and context of policing in Australia, the powers and duties of police officers, the varied tasks that police are required to perform as part of their job, ethics, and the key issues that police face in undertaking their role in society.

JSB285 Political Violence and Terrorism

Understandings of multiple forms of political violence (including terrorism) is crucial for work in the law enforcement or justice sectors and agencies. Political violence and terrorism take many forms and are a growing form of conflict and insecurity globally.The history of political violence and terrorism and the issues that motivate individuals, non-state groups, and governments to engage in violence are complex. In order to understand the existence and influence of, and responses to, political violence and terrorism, this unit explores: the defining characteristics of political violence and terrorism historical and geographical contexts of political violence, drawing on historical and contemporary examples responses to political violence and to terrorism, and current developments and challenges in addressing such violence

JSB286 Domestic Family Violence

Domestic and family violence are crimes that are pertinent to virtually all justice professions and contexts from policing to law and justice policy. It is also a central issue in health care and social services, and arises in many other employment contexts. This unit provides a comprehensive introduction to research, issues and professional practice that students will be able to apply in many areas.

JSB290 Victimology

This unit builds on your understanding of criminology by introducing you to the closely aligned discipline of victimology. This unit centres the perspectives of victims and provides opportunity to build a more comprehensive understanding of criminal justice, political perspectives, and working with vulnerable people. The unit will provide you with opportunities to build, practice and provide evidence of your analysis and problem-solving skills in relation to the role, needs, and rights of victims of harm.

JSB372 Youth Justice

The unit teaches specialised knowledge to students in their final years of study and is imperative for students interested in working in the field of youth justice. It connects broader knowledge about policing and criminal justice with specific issues relevant to young people who become involved in the criminal justice system, with a focus on socially just outcomes for young offenders.

JSB374 Crime Prevention

In recent years the effectiveness of the criminal justice system has come under sustained criticism. A key criticism of traditional criminal justice responses to crime involving police, courts and imprisonment is that they are reactive responses, occurring only after a crime has been committed. This has led policy makers, criminologists and criminal justice practitioners to develop schemes that involve federal, state and local authorities working together to predict, identify and address causes of offending. Such approaches to crime control emphasise proactive responses, which seek to prevent the crime before it has occurred. There are various approaches to crime prevention, as well as many perceived barriers to its successful implementation. This unit introduces students to the concept of crime prevention as well as its application to societal problems.

JSB379 Political Practice, People Power, and Protest

There is increasing demand in Australia for graduates with the skills and expertise required to contribute to the policy-making process and delivery of democracy. It is therefore necessary for students who wish to work in the public sector or as part of the political process to understand the role of people power in political decision-making. This unit offers students an insight into global and national social movements, political lobbying, and political participation.

JSB380 Critical Policy Analysis

Critical policy analysis is an essential ability in the justice sector, and policies in this field have significant social consequences.  It is imperative that those employed in areas connected to justice are equipped with the skills to critically interrogate policy evidence, impacts and implications. This unit will draw on important debates in contemporary policy (including Indigenous policy) to explore some important ways policy works - as a practical expression of government intentions, as a mechanism for social inclusion and exclusion, and as an expression of social and political relationships. This unit provides the opportunity for you to draw together the knowledge and skills you have developed in this area, and build on them, in order to hone and practice these capabilities.

JSB386 Death Investigation

The investigation of death is a well-regulated system, orchestrated through the coronial system with identification of suspicious deaths undertaken by the criminal justice system. This death investigation model involves legal, medical and criminal justice personnel to establish both the medical cause and legal circumstance of death. The information gathered in this way is also used to inform government policy, including preventing deaths. In the wake of Harold Shipman in the United Kingdom and Dr Patel in Australia, the issue of concealed homicide has become topical, with questions asked about how the coronial system can better investigate death. Detailed knowledge of death investigation in Australia is crucial for legal and medical professionals as well as criminal justice agency personnel. This unit examines the history, processes, procedures and outcomes of death investigation in Queensland; including overrepresentation, cultural issues, trauma and determining manner of death.

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