CRIM 1011: Introduction to Criminology

Students arrive at a critical understanding of the core concepts, basic data sources, and general research findings in the field of criminology, with particular attention to Canadian developments. Topics include the role of media in shaping our understanding of crime, crime measurement, patterns and trends in crime and victimization, criminological theories, how the theories are related to public policies and the criminal justice system, and the important role race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, and gender play in the above.


After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Assess the scope and contributions of criminology as an academic discipline that studies crime and deviance and how to control and reduce them.
  • Use criminological terminology and concepts appropriately.
  • Evaluate methods of measuring crime and victimization; identify patterns and trends in crime and victimization and how they vary based on race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, age, etc.
  • Summarize basic elements of theories to explain crime and deviance; and evaluate their respective strengths and weaknesses and apply these theories.
  • Identify the origins of and variables related to people’s differential levels of fear and risk of crime, in particular race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, age, etc.
  • Explain how and why certain behaviours come to be defined as deviant and criminal behaviour, incl. the relevance of race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, age, etc.
  • Critically assess contemporary crime control methods employed within society in general and the criminal justice system in particular.

Course outline

Part I: What We Think We Know About Crime & What the Data Show

  1. Crime, Law, & Criminology
  2. Fear & Risk & Measuring Crime & Victimization
  3. Violent Crime: Types & Extent
  4. Property Crime: Types & Extent
  5. ‘Public Order’ Crime & White Collar Crime: Types & Extent

Part II: Explaining Crime & Deviant Behaviour

  1. Non-Sociological Theories
  2. Classical Sociological Theories
  3. Recent & Contemporary Sociological Theories

Part III: Contemporary & Alternative Responses to Controlling Crime

  1. Contemporary Policies
  2. Alternative Policies

Part IV: Applying Explanations of Crime & Deviant Behaviour

  1. Crime & Social Exclusion
  2. White-Collar Crime

Required text and materials

Students will receive the following:

  1. O’Grady, W. (2018). Crime in Canadian Context: Debates and Controversies. (4th Edition) Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press Canada.
    Type: Textbook, ISBN: 9780199025985 .

Note: If you have any questions about course textbooks or other materials, please contact Enrolment Services at or 1.800.663.9711 (toll-free in Canada), 250.852.7000 (Kamloops, BC), and 1.250.852.7000 (International).


Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.

To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Exam. The following table illustrates how your final grade will be determined for this course.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: REACTion Paper 10%
Quiz 1: Violent Crime 10%
Quiz 2: Property Crime 10%
Assignment 2: Theory Research Paper 20%
Quiz 3: Crime and Social Exclusion 10%
Final Exam (mandatory) 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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