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Socio-Legal Studies is the study of legal ideas, practices and institutions in their social and historical contexts. Examine the institutions that make and enforce laws –parliament, the courts and the police. Learn about legal practices and their impact, including arrest and imprisonment, the use of CCTV surveillance, regulating business, enforcing human rights and prosecuting international war crimes.

Two central elements of the minor are criminology—examining the logic of crime and punishment, medico-legal and forensic practices—and human rights. Understand the impact of the legal system in different communities, consider how the law operates across different countries and regions, and learn how law changes over time.

In your first year units you will be introduced to the key ideas and concepts that criminology scholars have developed to help understand the world. You will also become familiar with the methods and techniques that will enable you to undertake your own research. Your senior units will consolidate your grasp of theory and methods, and enable you to focus on particular topics in socio-legal studies, such as the logic of crime and punishment, medico-legal and forensic practices, the philosophy of law, and the changing international regime of human rights.

You will engage with these aspects of socio-legal studies in lectures and tutorials, but also in the real world. You will learn to write and think in socio-legal terms using essays, reports, oral group work, posters, debates, and new social media.

For more information on the program structure and content including unit of study information, please refer to the Arts and Social Sciences Handbook.

This minor is offered by the Department of Sociology and Social Policy.

Graduate opportunities

Our graduates enter a wide range of careers. Examples include:

  • Business and government consultant 
  • Correctional services officer 
  • Criminal investigator 
  • Human resources officer 
  • Journalist 
  • Policy analyst 
  • Public relations adviser 
  • Public service positions
Courses that offer this major

To commence study in the year

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.