Program Manager Russell Solomon discusses how RMIT is providing students with the vital skills they need as professionals to improve the justice system, locally and nationally.
What is my career outlook after studying this degree?
As a graduate of the Master of Justice and Criminology, you will be prepared with the research skills and work-ready capabilities to succeed in a range of areas within the justice sector, including federal and state justice departments and other areas of government.
You will be able to work in the related fields of policing, customs and border control, corrections, human services and child protection, and the courts. Graduates have also found career opportunities in statutory corporations and in the non-governmental sector given the more general demand for justice and legal postgraduate qualifications.
What kinds of jobs will I be able to apply for?
The degree prepares you for policy, administrative and research jobs in government and the related justice agencies. Increasingly these agencies are also calling for postgraduate qualifications for those engaged in their frontline work.
Whom will I learn from?
During your studies you will learn from experienced staff, many who have been employed in relevant areas of the justice or legal sectors and who retain strong links to these. The program takes advantage of its strong links to industry, and a number of industry professionals are involved in many of the courses through guest lectures. Many staff are also engaged in research in justice related topics such as police interview procedures, domestic violence policy, and wrongful convictions.
What kind of the industry connections does the degree have?
The degree has extensive industry connections across the policing, corrections, customs and border control, the courts, the Department of Justice and Regulation and the community legal sectors. A strong and continuing relationship with industry is bolstered through our industry liaison committee who advise the school to ensure our curriculum retains a relevant applied focus and who regularly update us on the career opportunities for our graduates.
Can I head overseas for study or exchange?
There is a growing list of what we call global intensive courses and one that is taught from within the justice and legal discipline is a Comparative Criminal Justice Systems, which has been held in Malaysia in the mid-year break. RMIT’s Global Mobility Office supports you to undertake exchanges or short-term mobility activities, including taking courses for which you can gain credit, with over 165 partner universities worldwide.
What do graduates say about the degree?
Graduates have endorsed the degree as having given them additional research and applied capabilities to work in the justice sector at more advanced levels than is the case with an undergraduate degree. The internships or industry research projects undertaken towards the end of the degree have provided students with opportunities to work at a higher level or to closely study their chosen areas of the justice sector.
Where are graduates working and what career paths have they taken?
This is a relatively new program, but graduates appear to be mainly employed in state regulatory areas, most of which are directly in the justice sector. The degree is seen by them as providing an important building block as they seek to move, if they have not already done so, across into their chosen area within the justice sector or to higher positions within the justice sector.
Do you offer credit for relevant work experience or previous study?
Students are able to apply for a number of course credits for previous and related study and are also able to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning in respect of their relevant work experience.
Anything else I need to know?
Students have been accepted into the degree with a wide variety of previous study backgrounds and employment experiences. The degree makes allowance for this variety of background knowledge and work experience.
RMIT is home to the Bridge of Hope Innocence Initiative, which aims to examine cases where a person may have been wrongfully convicted, and assist in exonerating that person if there is evidence of a wrongful conviction. As a student, you can apply to work alongside staff on real-life cases and potentially make a difference in someone’s life.
RMIT also has the Centre for Innovative Justice, which advocates and applies innovative ways to improve the justice system, with a particular focus on non-adversarial dispute resolution, therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative justice.
Both are unique opportunities for students to learn from thought leaders and apply their learning in a practical, real-world setting.
Dr Russell Solomon is the Program Manager for the Master of Justice and Criminology. Russell has teaching interests in human rights and welfare law, advocacy and public policy making. He has published in political economy and human rights.
Story: Jaclyn Lombardo