Louise Porter - Transition In
School of Criminology & Criminal Justice/ 1011CCJ Criminology Skills
Overview and Objectives:
This core, introductory course introduces students to the range of potential careers in criminology and criminal justice, and to the key practical and academic skills they will need to master in order to succeed in both their studies and professional lives. Students reflect on, and develop, essential transferable skills in areas of critical thinking and communication, including written, oral and group communication. The course teaches students to become competent in searching for, and evaluating, criminological materials, and to understand issues relevant to professionalism and integrity at University and in the workplace. Students are also introduced to the range of resources and opportunities available at Griffith for developing skills and increasing their employability.
Rationale for inclusion of career development:
Skills essential for academic success are also essential for success in the workplace. Allowing students to reflect early on their career options and goals, and the skills they need to master to achieve those goals, ensures they see the long term significance of their learning and assessment at university. It also enables students to plan their university experience according to their own development needs and career goals, enabling them to take advantage of opportunities available at Griffith to increase their employability upon graduation.
How career development is included:
The course begins with a consideration of the key skills necessary for a successful career in criminology and criminal justice. This is facilitated by short videoed interviews with a range of professionals discussing their roles and the skills they need. The first assessment item is then a skills audit and reflection that enables students to identify areas for development.
Thereafter, the course is divided into two main parts. Part 1 introduces students to the main source materials commonly used in the study of criminology and criminal justice and frameworks for critical evaluation. The aim is for students to learn to think critically about where information about crime and the criminal process comes from, how to find it and how to evaluate it. Part 2 aims to help students strengthen their key communication skills. Here, a key focus is on breaking down the writing process and learning how to write for different audiences and purposes. Oral presentation and group communication skills are also developed through in-class activities and assessments. The course concludes with some reflections on how students might put their criminological skills to best use in their degree program and in professional life. This includes guest presentations from the Griffith careers service, as well as from students who have experienced some of the opportunities Griffith offers, such as studying abroad or undertaking work placements and internships. Students also redo the skills audit so they can reflect on their skills development since the start of the course.
Throughout the course, an emphasis is placed on practical activities delivered through tutorials. This is based on an understanding that students learn best by doing things and by practicing their skills.
Student evaluations show that students both appreciate the relevance of the course and find that it assists them with their skill building, leading to improved performance. Comments from past students include the following:
I think that this course is important as all the skills and areas you talk and learn about will help you through your whole time at uni as well as in the workforce.
I think it is an excellent course and all first years should do it.
Overall, I found that I was submitting work that I was really proud of, and that I was receiving wonderful marks for. I attribute a lot of this to the skills I learnt in this course
Criminology Skills is a core course for the Bachelors in Criminology and Criminal Justice and available as an elective.