Get to know the School of Law and Criminology at Murdoch

Embarking on study in Law or Criminology? What lies ahead is an exciting adventure with a career journey that’s completely up to you. Our progressive and inclusive School of Law and Criminology can help get you there.

It’s no exaggeration to say that, as a society, we are absolutely fascinated with law and crime. 

We’re showered with fictional entertainment and real-life content, which we can’t seem to get enough of. We’ve been glued to true crime podcasts like The Teacher’s Pet and Casefile, and shows like Making a Murderer. But law extends so much further, into every aspect of our society. Lawyers shape the debate on aspects as diverse as the legalities of environmental protests, voluntary euthanasia, freedom of the press, asylum seekers, pill testing at music festivals, unregulated fishing in international waters, consent, the housing crisis, anti-discrimination laws, detection of modern slavery and animal rights.

Law is a fundamental pillar of society and really does have the power to alter lives, community, and culture. So if you have a burning desire to change the world, the School of Law and Criminology is your first step.  

What’s the difference between law and criminology? 

You’re probably most familiar with law, so we’ll start there. Law is concerned with applying the rule of the law. Criminology, on the other hand, is the study of crime and people who commit crime. Criminology encompasses forensics, sociology and psychology, and includes crime detection and prevention, prison, policing, and rehabilitation.  

Need a few examples to help you picture it? 

Law: Suits, Lincoln Lawyer, and Law & Order. 

Criminology: The Wire, Mindhunter, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

How can you use law to make a difference?

You could find yourself addressing environmental concerns in the regulation of mining projects, helping tenants, working with refugees and asylum seekers, stamping out corruption, working with families in crisis, assisting in regulating the corporate sector. Your work could involve representing clients ranging from large multinational corporate entities to First Nations corporations, from small businesses to individuals in crisis. 

What’s special about the School of Law and Criminology at Murdoch?  

We’re not your typical law school. We’re committed to guiding the next generation down a more ethical and compassionate path in the legal system. We want universal social justice, to speak up for the vulnerable, and right wrongs wherever possible. We also have genuine care for our tight-knit community, making sure every student has access to hands-on learning experiences. Our passionate academics include many who are experts in their field.

The opportunities available with us are second to none. Here are just some of the unique features of our school: 

  • An award-winning law clinic where students get on-the-job experience whilst helping disadvantaged members of the community. 
  • Unique course choice not found elsewhere in WA, including the Bachelor of Criminology / Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biology and Toxicology
  • Combine your degree with one of Murdoch’s other unique and modern degrees. Possible combinations could be Law and Criminology, Law and Psychology, Law and Information Technology, among others.
  • A choice of Criminology majors including Criminal Behaviour, Legal Studies, and Crime Science.
  • Opportunities to develop your courtroom skills through our mooting and trial advocacy programme.
  • Travel the world while you study - attend our Human Rights programme in Geneva or our European Trade Law programme in Italy.
  • Even helping solve real-life homicide and missing person cases through the renowned Cold Case Review initiative!

Wondering what your future job options are? Find out more about careers in law and careers in criminology. 

Meet your academics 

You’ll be learning from experts in a diverse range of specialities. This includes terrorism, environment and sustainability, cybersecurity, behaviour analysis, business, refugee rights, human trafficking, elections, white collar crime, and policing.  

What have our academics been up to in their working lives? 

  • Working professionals in the justice system.

  • Expert collaboration with law enforcement agencies.

  • Held prominent positions in the industry.
  • Editors of international journals.
  • Conducted research.
  • Written academic textbooks.
  • Presented at conferences, and
  • Won numerous awards.

Meet our team and check out our research projects

A fork in the road: your life, your career path 

We have so many unique options for you to really shape your own career. The first logical step is to decide whether Law or Criminology will meet your career aspirations.  

If you like both equally, there’s the option to study a Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Criminology. Otherwise, enrol in a straight Bachelor of Laws (four years), Bachelor of Criminology (three years), or choose from a range of our ultra-popular combinations, with dozens of combined degrees to get excited over. These combined degrees are highly topical and relevant for modern-day life, and include Business, Arts and IT.  If you already have an undergraduate degree in any discipline, complete our Bachelor of Laws degree in just 3 years with our LLB (Graduate entry) option.

Read more about our specific course options and combinations, and why Murdoch is the clear university of choice for both Law and Criminology

Building a brighter future, together  

At Murdoch, we honour the pioneering principles we started with almost 50 years ago. 

Challenging the conventions of the time when university was traditionally for the elite, we extended higher education to all. We did this by making it easier for marginalised groups and mature-age students to study, we offered distance learning, and opened alternative entry pathways (the first university in Australia to do so!).  

It’s this compassionate and inclusive philosophy that is woven into the fabric of our school as we educate the next generation of legal professionals. 

Posted on:

10 Jan 2024

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