Undergraduate CRI Courses

Please check the Arts & Science Timetable for current CRI undergraduate course offerings.

In the introductory courses (CRI205H1 Introduction to Criminology, CRI210H1 Criminal Justice, CRI215H1 Introduction to Sociolegal Studies, and CRI225H1 Criminal Law) students will learn how to think critically about the material and set the tone for advanced courses in the program.

In third-year courses, students are encouraged to think critically about the assumptions behind the various views of crime and the criminal justice system that are part of our everyday discussions. The focus is on going beyond simple views about crime and the justice system toward a more critical - and evidence-based - understanding of the general phenomena that relate to crime.

400-Level CRI Topics Courses 

In fourth-year courses, students have an opportunity to study a number of specialized topics in a seminar setting. These courses examine in depth topics that were covered in lower level courses.  The seminar courses are often connected to the instructors' research interests. Students in 400-level courses will be required to complete extensive readings, research and writing assignments in addition to actively participating in seminar discussion.

400-Level CRI Topics Courses - Course Descriptions


Fall 2024

CRI420H1 Current Issues in Criminal Law

Instructor: Adriel Weaver
Seminar: TU:18:00-20:00

An exploration of the concept of harm  in shaping criminal law and policy on issues such as drug use, sex work, and various forms of expression. Drawing on philosophy, legal scholarship, case law, legislative debates and social science research we examine the multiple and sometimes competing ways in which harm is invoked to both justify and limit state intervention. Topics include the meanings of harm, the relationship between harm and morality, and how harm is established.


CRI490H1 Advanced Topics in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

Topics: White Collar Crime
Instructor: Leon Kosals
Seminar: WE:15:00-17:00

This course examines the theories and empirical research on white-collar crime (WCC) in Canada and around the globe. The theoretical explanations for WCC trends are considered in the broad social context of globalization, the fourth industrial revolution, the growing level of education, the leaps in inequality, and social and territorial mobility. The focus of the discussions is on the differences and similarities of WCC to other types of crime; who are perpetrators and the victims; what are the harms and costs of WCC; how the current criminal justice system deals with WCC and faces new challenges; and what are the contemporary policy-making approaches to its reduction. Various types of WCC are studied including fraud, corruption, conspiracy, embezzlement, cybercrime, tax evasion, corporate crime, and criminal organizations. The course includes four major parts: i) Understanding WCC, ii) Major Types of WCC, iii) Actors of WCC, and iv) Policing and Regulating WCC.


CRI491H1 Advanced Topics in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

Topics: Violence, Punishment, Social Control
Instructor: TBA
Seminar: TH:15:00-17:00

This course will focus on violence and its theories that explain how violence originates. Additionally, it will explore the concept of punishment and its reasons for enactment. It will also examine the formal and informal methods of social control. Drawing insights from various disciplines such as criminology, sociology, political science, social psychology, and social anthropology, this course aims to provide a diverse perspective. Several related documentaries will also be incorporated as part of the course.


CRI492H1 Advanced Topics in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

Topics: Senses of Justice
Instructor: TBA
Seminar: WE:14:00-17:00

This is a fourth year-level seminar that focuses on the senses of justice. The world today is characterized by enormous forms of political, social, economic, and other kinds of violence committed in conflict and peace times. In the aftermath of such violence, survivors grapple with the consequences of such harm that impact on their lives for a long time. Society must put in place systems, mechanisms, and processes to deliver justice and reduce the impact of violence on survivors, their families, and communities. In this course we will unpack the meanings of justice from the lens of people who survive violence. In particular, the course delves into understanding survivor’s senses of justice after conflict-related violence. Justice is understood in this course as something that is pluralistic and conceptualized by survivors as relational, holistic, and lived in the everyday. This sense of justice is called ‘lived justice.’ Justice as lived emanates from an in-depth study of women who survived wartime sexual violence in northern Uganda. Using this research as a foundation, the course has three parts. Part 1 provides background and experiences of human rights violations in various around the world. Part 2 introduces learners to emblematic notions and mechanisms of justice (transitional, restorative, traditional & transformative). Part 3 discusses the senses of justice as articulated by survivors in northern Uganda alongside specific case studies from other parts of the world. This will include place-based, relationship-based, needs-based, and compensation-based senses of justice.


CRI493H1 Advanced Topics in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

Topics: Human Rights Law and the Postcolonial Condition
Instructor: TBA
Seminar: MO:13:00-16:00

This interdisciplinary course examines the important role played by the Courts in shaping and expanding the rights of workers, minorities, and marginalized groups. It explores the historical tendencies of the postcolonial state towards authoritarian governance and the impact of human rights jurisprudence on the democratic political culture in postcolonial societies.

CRI494H1 Advanced Topics in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

Topics: Local Justice Programs Collaborative Research Project
Instructor: TBA
Seminar: FR:15:00-17:00

In this 4th year research seminar, students collaborate to conduct an environmental scan of all diversion, alternative and youth justice programs available in Toronto. We will create an accessible navigation 'guide' to the programs, and share it widely through outreach to community and government justice practitioners. In addition (time permitting) we may also conduct interviews with program staff to create short podcast episodes sharing information about justice programming in Toronto. Both these forms of knowledge dissemination (the guide and the podcast episodes) will support future research in this important area. The course will support the development of students' research, collaboration, outreach, interpersonal, writing, and presentation skills.


Winter 2024

CRI491H1 Advanced Topics in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

Topics: Statistical Foundation of Quantitative Analysis
Instructor: Ángela Zorro Medina
Seminar: MO:13:00-15:00

Recommended Preparation: PSY201H1/​​ PSY202H1/​ SOC202H1/​​ CRI350H1

Every day, we are exposed to data. We are either generating data points that will later be used by someone, or we are giving meaning to all those data points individuals in societies generate. Thus, understanding what data means and how we can use data to answer different questions is imperative to all our societal roles (i.e., voters, policymakers, researchers, etc.). In this course, we will explore the different questions we can ask from a quantitative perspective, the characteristics of the data we need depending on the question, and the appropriate quantitative method we need to answer those questions. To do this, this course will provide students with a statistical foundation to be critical to quantitative analysis and to implement advanced quantitative methods.


CRI494H1 Advanced Topics in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

Topics: Introduction to Chinese Policing
Instructor: TBA
Seminar: FR:13:00-15:00

This course aims to provide an overview on policing in China. While the common conception on the topic suggests that China has an extremely powerful policing institution, this course hopes to bring into the discussion at large a different, diverse perspective: that the Chinese police are rather weak. The objective of the course, therefore, is to obtain a better understanding on Chinese policing by digging into its origin, history, and current frameworks.