Criminal Justice Honours

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1 School of Law (CRICOS Provider No 00114A) Criminal Justice Honours Handbook 2015 Contact: Dr Russell Brewer Honours Convenor (Criminal Justice) Room 3.35, Law & Commerce Building Telephone: Criminal Justice Honours

2 Table of Contents What is Criminal Justice Honours?... 3 Why do Honours in Criminal Justice?... 3 Do I qualify for Honours?... 4 Enrolment Deadlines... 4 What does Honours involve?... 4 Who teaches in the Honours program?... 6 What should I do next?... 6 When can I start?... 7 What is the difference between Criminal Justice and Criminology anyway?... 7 Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Honours)... 8 Careers in Criminal Justice and Criminology... 8 Further study in Criminal Justice and Criminology... 9 Presentation and Submission of Theses Financial Assistance Assessment Procedure for Honours Theses Flinders University School of Law

3 What is Criminal Justice Honours? The Honours program in Criminal Justice represents the latest course development in the Criminal Justice field at Flinders University. It offers students who have completed a three year degree of the requisite kind and standard, the opportunity to undertake advanced-level studies in Criminal Justice and Criminology. The normal duration is two semesters (one academic year) or four semesters (two academic years) if studying part-time. It is the only Honours program of its type in South Australia, and one of only a limited number available in Australia. Why do Honours in Criminal Justice? Having an Honours degree offers good students a number of advantages: It enables advanced and specialised learning and research in an area of particular interest for the student. Employers often prefer Honours graduates to those who have completed three-year degrees. In a competitive job market, an Honours degree can provide a student with an edge. Honours indicates to prospective employers that students have undertaken advanced study in some depth, requiring students to develop superior research, analytical, and communication skills. Postgraduate degree programs at Masters or Doctoral level usually give preference to students who have completed Honours degrees. As scholarships can be scarce, having an Honours degree can assist your chances of obtaining a scholarship. Students get the chance to work closely with academic researchers who share their field of interest and who have established reputations as scholars in their sub-fields of criminology, criminal justice and socio-legal studies. Criminal Justice Honours

4 Do I qualify for Honours? There are two routes into Criminal Justice Honours. Some students receive automatic offers of entry, based upon their undergraduate results at Flinders University. Other students who do not receive such an offer, perhaps because they majored in another area, or did a degree at another university, or indeed because their results were not quite at the level for automatic entry, may still apply via the BA Office for discretionary entry. Automatic offer: In order to qualify for automatic admission to Honours, students must achieve a GPA of 5.25 in 27 units of upper level Criminal Justice/Legal Studies (relevant major sequence) topics. Students may also apply for discretionary admission. Discretionary admission: Students not granted automatic entry to Honours may apply to the BA Board for admission. Students applying for entry to Honours would normally be expected to have achieved either CR or better in 27 units of the upper level relevant to the Criminal Justice Honours program, or a minimum grade point average of 5.0 in 27 units of the upper level of the relevant major sequence. Such students should apply for Honours via the BA Office, which will then forward applications to the Honours Convenor (Criminal Justice) in the Law School. Students interested in this route into Honours are advised to discuss their situation early in their final year of undergraduate studies with the Honours Convenor. Finally, you do not need to be a graduate of Flinders University, or to have a major in criminal justice, to be considered for Honours Criminal Justice. You may well have comparable achievements in your degree from this or another university in another, though related, field that warrant your admission under the discretionary entry system. Enrolment Deadlines Students should enrol during November, however applications will be considered in January as well. What does Honours involve? 4 Flinders University School of Law

5 Students must successfully complete 36 units to qualify for an Honours degree. In order to do this, students must undertake two compulsory unit topics, plus a thesis. The topics are CRIM7201A and CRIM7201B Advanced Criminology and CRIM7202A and CRIM7202B Crime and Public Policy. The thesis topic is CRIM7200A/B Criminal Justice Honours Thesis (18 units). A student will normally take one Honours topic in each semester of their enrolment. A student normally would also be enrolled in the thesis topic in each semester. Part-time students will normally do the same, but defer their thesis topic until the following year. Students who enrol mid-year will take the unit topics in reverse order, i.e. Crime and Public Policy, followed by Advanced Criminology. CRIM7200A/B CRIMINAL JUSTICE HONOURS THESIS Units: = 18 (Note: students formally enrol in Part 1 and Part 2, but a grade is assigned only on completion of both Parts) Duration: 2 Semesters Class Contact: 6 seminars Convenor: Dr Russell Brewer The Criminal Justice Honours thesis is a piece of supervised independent research leading to the production of a 15,000 word thesis. The topic chosen by students will deal with a theme or question arising within the disciplines of criminology and criminal justice. Students will meet regularly with their appointed supervisor to discuss their work and to receive guidance and feedback in the conduct of the research and the writing of the Thesis document. Honours Theses must be submitted by 4.00 pm 27th May 2015 for students who commenced their thesis at the beginning of S2 (2015), or by 4.00pm 23 rd October 2015 for students who commenced at the beginning of S1 (2015). Except in exceptional circumstances, theses will not be accepted after this date unless an extension of time has been granted. CRIM7201A&B* ADVANCED CRIMINOLOGY Units: Duration: Semester 1 Class Contact: 1 two-hour seminar weekly Convenor: Associate Professor Marinella Marmo Criminal Justice Honours

6 *CRIM7201A and CRIM7201B must be taken concurrently In this topic students will examine a range of major approaches to understanding crime and reflect on the practical application of concepts, models or frameworks. Students will be given an overview of theory and then be invited to take criminological knowledge into a criminal justice related agency. The objective of the topic is to provide an opportunity to broaden student understanding of criminal justice theories and perspectives and to position student learning experience in a criminal justice related agency. In actively relating abstract knowledge to real-world experience students will be in a position to gain better understanding of the parameters of applied criminology. CRIM7202A&B Units: Duration: Semester 2 Class Contact: Convenor: CRIME AND PUBLIC POLICY 1 two-hour seminar weekly Professor Andrew Goldsmith This topic examines the formation, implementation and evaluation of crime and criminal justice policy in Australia, reviewing the practical problems faced in applying criminological theory to practice. Students will research contemporary policy issues, including policy responses to specific crimes, victims, crime prevention, policing, prosecution and corrections. Who teaches in the Honours program? Primarily it is Criminal Justice and Legal Studies staff who teach Honours in Criminal Justice; however, other staff from within the Law School or indeed elsewhere in the university may also become involved in supervision of theses. What should I do next? Well, it depends. In most cases, you should aim to complete the BJS (CRIM), BJS or major in Criminal Justice as successfully as you can, so as to qualify for automatic entry. Any of the Criminal Justice staff are happy to talk to you about available topics and your interests in the field generally. 6 Flinders University School of Law

7 If you are not currently pursuing a major in Criminal Justice, you might want to ensure that you ve taken as many Criminal Justice topics as you can prior to applying for discretionary entry. Each application under this heading will be looked at on its merits. However, as a general guide, having at least 12 units of Criminal Justice topics at DN level or better in the academic year immediately prior to making application for Honours would normally constitute a strong basis for an application. Students interested in Honours but currently enrolled at other universities may want to consider cross-institutional enrolment in Criminal Justice undergraduate topics, and in any event, should seek to do as well as possible in all their topics. Doing well in fields related to criminal justice or criminology is likely to impress those deciding upon discretionary admission. Students interested in the possibility of doing Honours are encouraged to discuss their situation with their lecturer and/or the Honours Convenor as early as possible. Any questions? Contact the Honours (Criminal Justice) Convenor: Dr Russell Brewer, Room 3.35, Law and Commerce Building, Ph: , When can I start? You can start Honours either in March or July. Mid-year entry for Honours will apply to persons qualifying automatically for Honours entry by the end of Semester 1 in any given year, as well to those who apply for discretionary entry and want to start mid-year. If you start Honours mid-year (i.e. July 2015), you will first take CRIM 7202A & B Crime and Public Policy in your first semester followed by CRIM 7201A & B Advanced Criminology in the first semester of the following year. Applicants for mid-year entry should make contact with the BA Office (or BBS Office, when applicable) in the same manner as if applying for entry in March. What is the difference between Criminal Justice and Criminology anyway? Not much is the short answer. Criminal Justice, by its inclusion of the word justice, suggests a substantial emphasis on the institutions of the criminal justice system and alternative mechanisms for providing justice in cases where crimes have been committed. Thus the courts, the police, the prisons, community Criminal Justice Honours

8 corrections, and increasingly, private sector initiatives in these areas, have been the focal interests of criminal justice scholars. By comparison, criminology, like other -ologies has tended to refer to the systematic study of crime, frequently by the use of methods that emulate the natural sciences. Some criminologists have thus tended to view themselves as scientists, preferring to leave criminal justice issues to criminal lawyers and those interested in institutional questions. Today, the distinction matters for little. Schools of criminology will teach criminal justice subjects, while departments of criminal justice will offer subjects looking at crime and how we explain it. There is an interesting trend now in Australia for departments in this broad field to call themselves schools of criminology and criminal justice. The important thing to note is that the Criminal Justice major and the Honours program in Criminal Justice provide a sound academic training in both criminal justice and criminology. Students who complete our programs can consider themselves well-prepared for further study in a range of fields, including criminology, criminal justice, legal studies, and justice administration. Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Honours) Criminal Justice is a recognised cognate of the Bachelor of Behavioural Science degree. Students successfully completing the Bachelor of Behavioural Science may apply to Criminal Justice for admission to the Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Honours) degree. In such cases, they must meet the normal criteria for admission to Criminal Justice Honours. If accepted, they will pursue the normal Honours program for Criminal Justice students. Upon successful completion, they will qualify for the award of Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Honours). Careers in Criminal Justice and Criminology Because criminal justice has strong links with a number of other subject areas in the social sciences, it provides a strong foundation for a career in a wide range of areas. It is relevant to work in the criminal justice system as a lawyer (provided one also has the appropriate legal qualifications), a police officer, a correctional services officer, or in the private security field. It is also relevant if you are seeking employment in the Court Administrations Authority, Department for 8 Flinders University School of Law

9 Correctional Services, or Department of Justice. It is also useful for work in social and community services, social policy analysis and social science research. The Criminal Justice System covers a wide range of disciplines so that graduates in Criminal Justice tend to have a broader choice of work from the following fields: Community agencies Correctional Services Counselling Courts Services Crime prevention Criminal Justice Research Drugs and Public Health Forensic Psychology Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Journalism Law Reform Bodies Legal Centre advice Para-legal work (Private Profession and Legal Aid Commissions) Parliamentary Research and Committee Support Police Services Policy development Private Security Public Service (especially Policy and Legislative Advice) Research Social work Having an Honours degree, as was noted earlier, provides students with a more thorough preparation for employment in these fields. Further study in Criminal Justice and Criminology There is a wide range of further study opportunities in the fields of criminology and criminal justice, both in Australia and overseas. Criminal Justice staff members are very aware of study opportunities for those wishing to do further study at Masters and Doctorate level, and can assist and advise students on suitable courses and universities. Needless to say, postgraduate study can be highly competitive and very expensive. An Honours degree is a distinct asset in the search for a place and a scholarship. Criminal Justice Honours

10 How do I prepare to Research and Write an Honours Thesis? Working up a Proposal and Finding a Supervisor Students intending to do an Honours thesis should start to think seriously about a topic as soon as possible, and preferably at least a semester before formally enrolling. Since Honours is a fourth year of study, there will have been opportunities in previous studies to consider a range of topics from which a thesis might be developed. Students may find it useful to talk through ideas with lecturers in areas that interest them. This will provide guidance in working up a proposal. Often, the lecturer will also offer to be the supervisor. This depends on whether or not they are available over the period of the enrolment. If not, it will be necessary to find another supervisor. The Honours Convenor can assist students who are having problems finding a supervisor. Students should make their topic proposal succinct (no more than 2 pages), but sufficiently detailed (a single paragraph is unlikely to meet this requirement). It should clearly state the aims of the paper, the questions to be asked and the areas to be covered. It should also indicate a proposed methodology for the research and outline any ethical issues that may arise from the use of that methodology (see the section below on Ethics Approval.) Students should be clear why this is an important area of criminal justice/criminology and what they hope will be achieved by the investigation. For example, a study may add a new perspective to an area that has already been considered; it may address a pressing social problem; it may try to resolve an area of dispute; or it may propose to consider an area that has not previously been analysed. The aim should be to contribute original ideas or fresh insights wherever possible. It is important though not to be too ambitious. A succinct and narrow focus is generally easiest to manage. It is more likely to say something useful than a wide ranging study that seeks to address so many issues that it results in a thesis which is overly narrative and therefore lacking critical perspective. The most common cause of proposals being returned by the Honours Convenor or potential supervisor for reconsideration is that they are over-ambitious and unlikely to achieve any clear conclusions. Once a proposal has been carefully prepared, it will generally also form the basis of an introduction and a clear plan for how the thesis is to proceed. Time spent on a good proposal is time saved in writing the thesis. 10 Flinders University School of Law

11 Timing of preparation of thesis proposal Students should observe the following schedule of dates and events in the first semester of their enrolment in the thesis topic CRIM7200A/B: Week 1: Week 2: Week 3: Weeks 4-6: Week 6: Week 8: Week 9: Submission of draft thesis proposal to Honours Convenor by Friday of that week. This should indicate the title, structure (chapter headings) and a brief statement of the issue or problem to be investigated. Each student should discuss briefly with the Convenor the nature of their thesis interests, so as to indicate possible supervisors Students to consult with potential supervisors; students to report back to Convenor on preferred supervision arrangements. Convenor to liaise with potential supervisors Appointment of supervisor(s) for each student Students work on preparing thesis proposal in greater detail, with assistance of supervisor. Proposal should contain a statement of the problem or question to be investigated, a literature review of at least 2000 words, plus a discussion of the proposed methodology. Students submit their research proposal to the Honours Convenor. The proposal document will be circulated to Criminal Justice staff and other students prior to the seminar date. Students present their proposals to the Honours Work in Progress Seminar, comprised of staff members and other Honours students. Students presentation is compulsory. Students will arrange to meet with their supervisors to discuss presentations during week 8. Formal approval given for thesis work to proceed; alternatively, program of action agreed with student for re-submission of proposal. Re-submission to occur no later than end of Week 11. Students needing to apply for ethics approval should prepare (or have prepared) the Criminal Justice Honours

12 necessary documentation and checked the deadline for submission of the relevant Ethics Committee (normally, Social and Behavioural Sciences). Supervisors assist students in preparing the necessary documents. Ethics Approval Some proposals may need ethics approval. Generally, this will be the case if a study is intending to gather information through a survey or where people are to be formally interviewed and the information obtained is to be incorporated into the study. As a general guide, library based research will not require ethics approval, while a hands-on community based study that uses interview or client based data generally will. Students who think that their paper will need ethics approval should contact the Honours Convenor as soon as possible in order to discuss the ethical issues and to allow enough time to make an application to the relevant University ethics committee. Further information can be found at: Guidelines for Supervision The following provides a brief framework to guide supervisors and students completing honours theses. It sets out some general principles which the Honours Convenor (Criminal Justice) believes will: ensure that supervision occurs in a way that will best assist students to undertake successful theses; ensure that as far as possible students receive equal assistance in the preparation of their theses; provide a realistic indication to students of the amount of supervision that they can reasonably expect; and provide examiners with an indication of the level of supervision that a student could have expected. Prior to the student submitting a proposal, the prospective honours supervisor should discuss the topic with the student, and preferably read and comment on the written proposal. The supervisor should also indicate their availability to act as a supervisor over the coming year and indicate the level of support and knowledge that he/she can offer the student. If a student s work appears to require ethics approval, the supervisor must alert both the student and the Honours Convenor (Criminal Justice) to this fact as soon 12 Flinders University School of Law

13 as possible. Supervisors should also advise students on any ethical issues associated with the work that become apparent to them. Students and supervisors should agree on deadlines for completion of drafts and students should adhere to those agreed deadlines. Supervisors should make their students aware of their general availability over the year, particularly periods when they are likely to have heavy teaching or marking commitments or when they will be away from the University. Students should take these issues into account when planning their work and seeking assistance from supervisors. When providing material to supervisors for comment, students must ensure that supervisors have a reasonable opportunity to read and comment on their drafts. There is an expectation that supervisors will be available to meet with students over the year. The frequency and duration of these meetings will vary from case to case, as will their format (they could involve exchanges of , telephone conversations or be face-to-face). But as a guide, face-to-face meetings should occur not less than monthly, for half an hour. As the submission deadline becomes closer, more frequent contacts may be desirable. Normally, an initial meeting should be held prior to the commencement of Semester 1 to plan the outline and progress of the paper. A final meeting should occur within the month prior to submission. Early on, the meetings will provide you with an opportunity to discuss your research as it develops, and to help refine your ideas and data collection methods. Once you have started to write up sections of your thesis, these meetings will provide an opportunity to discuss your drafts and to receive feedback from your supervisor. Past Honours theses in Criminal Justice are held in the Law Library, Reserve Collection. Current students are invited to review previous work for the quality of the research required and the layout of the final draft. It is a student s responsibility to keep in touch with a supervisor However, supervisors may wish to take responsibility for following up their students if they disappear or seem not to be making satisfactory progress. Alternatively, they can raise their concerns with the Honours Convenor. Where a student is concerned about the supervision they are receiving, they too can raise these concerns with the Honours Convenor. Criminal Justice Honours

14 Supervisors should be prepared to read and comment on drafts and work in progress. It is expected that they will have read and commented on at least one draft of the whole thesis prior to its submission. Students should allow supervisors a reasonable amount of time to read the draft. Presentation and Submission of Theses Theses should consistently adopt a relevant style. In Criminal Justice and Criminology, examiners usually prefer the Harvard citation system. While it is possible that your supervisor may prefer an alternative, we recommend as a general rule that students adopt the version of Harvard used by the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. Students should consult a recent issue of the journal for further details. The word limit of 15,000 words includes any text in footnotes, and excludes any preface, table of contents or bibliography. The length of each thesis will be checked on submission, prior to being sent out to examiners. Theses which exceed the word limit will not be accepted. Note the Law School takes very seriously offences of academic integrity (especially plagiarism). You should familiarise yourself with the Law School and University policies. The Student Related Policies and Procedures Manual can be found here: and in a summarised form in the Enrolment Guide. These policies refer to the crucial requirement that students understand and respect the rules and practices of academic integrity. Breaches will have consequences always serious, sometimes severe. Binding of the Thesis When completed, three copies of the thesis must be submitted to the Honours Administrative Assistant. One copy of the thesis for the Library will be softbound using the glue-binding system available at the Library for a cost of $7.00 per copy. At least one copy must have attached to it the standard Law School cover sheet for assignments, including a signed declaration by the student. 14 Flinders University School of Law

15 Submission Deadline For students commencing Honours in February/March, theses must be submitted by 4.00pm on the 23rd of October Except in exceptional circumstances, theses will not be accepted after this date unless an extension of time has been granted. Students who commence their Honours course mid-year in 2015 must submit by the 27th of May Applications for extensions of time to submit an Honours thesis must be made to the Honours Convenor, who will decide whether an extension is warranted. The application should be made using the form provided by the Law School for use in all topics. Financial Assistance Honours students have access to limited maintenance funds for necessary expenses, such as printing, photocopying, and binding of a thesis. Assessment Procedure for Honours Theses Papers will be assessed on their overall academic merit; reference will be made to structure, research, expression, originality, and coherence of argument. Honours theses must be marked by at least two persons appointed by the Honours Convenor, one of whom will normally be the supervisor. Where the supervisor is an examiner, they will be invited to add confidential comments relating to any specific issues that may have arisen concerning the supervision process. The examiners mark independently. In the event of a significant discrepancy between their marks, the Convenor may either: (a) (b) arrange for the examiners to receive a copy of each other s reports and invite them to confer with a view to agreeing on a final mark, failing which the thesis will be referred to a third examiner; or immediately refer the thesis to a third examiner. Where a third examiner is appointed, they will not as a general rule be given access to the original examiners reports. Criminal Justice Honours

16 After all examiners reports have been received, the Honours Convenor must consider both the comments and the recommended marks of the examiners and then decide upon a final mark. After the thesis has been examined, one copy is given to the supervisor, one to the Law Library, and one to the Honours Convenor. Students are invited keep a copy for future reference. Copies of the examiners reports may be provided to students upon request, though without (so far as practicable) revealing the identity of the examiners or disclosing any confidential comments they have made. 16 Flinders University School of Law

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