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PICT707 – Understanding Organised Crime

2017 – S2 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Garry Dobson
Contact via via iLearn
Building Y3A Room 236
Vincent Hurley
Contact via via iLearn
Building Y3A Room 236
Mick Plotecki
Contact via via iLearn
Building Y3A Room 236
Tutor
Rob Critchlow
Contact via via iLearn
Building Y3A Room 236
Tutor
Derek Schagen
Contact via via iLearn
Building Y3A Room 236
Tutor
Joe McNulty
Contact via via iLearn
Building Y3A Room 236
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
Organised crime is increasingly becoming a major threat to Australia’s national security. However, the parameters of organised crime remain largely subjective and its dynamic not well understood. Still, the insidious, clandestine, pervasive, destructive and resilient nature of organised crime, its variable manifestations, its global presence, transnational operations and its undeniable but often immeasurable impacts, render it among the highest of priorities for establishing and maintaining the safety, security and well-being of individuals, populations and states. In this unit we will adopt a thematic study of the markets, networks, drivers, environment, impacts and emerging trends of organised crime through the use of a combination of open source research and discussion by current industry professionals.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Evaluate the markets, networks and key drivers of organised crime on a regional and international basis
  2. Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  3. Examine the socio-economic factors that drive the development of organised crime
  4. Investigate the macro and micro level impacts of organised crime on society
  5. Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism
  6. Investigate the emerging markets for organised crime including the role of technology in its facilitation

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Quiz No 1 5% Week 4
Analytical Exercise 30% End of Week 8
Discussion paper 50% End of week 12
Quiz No 2 15% Week 10

Quiz No 1

Due: Week 4
Weighting: 5%

Online quiz


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Evaluate the markets, networks and key drivers of organised crime on a regional and international basis
  • Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  • Examine the socio-economic factors that drive the development of organised crime
  • Investigate the macro and micro level impacts of organised crime on society
  • Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism

Analytical Exercise

Due: End of Week 8
Weighting: 30%

Refer to Turnitin section of iLearn for details of assignment.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Evaluate the markets, networks and key drivers of organised crime on a regional and international basis
  • Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  • Examine the socio-economic factors that drive the development of organised crime
  • Investigate the macro and micro level impacts of organised crime on society
  • Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism
  • Investigate the emerging markets for organised crime including the role of technology in its facilitation

Discussion paper

Due: End of week 12
Weighting: 50%

Refer to Turnitin Section of iLearn site for details


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Evaluate the markets, networks and key drivers of organised crime on a regional and international basis
  • Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  • Examine the socio-economic factors that drive the development of organised crime
  • Investigate the macro and micro level impacts of organised crime on society
  • Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism
  • Investigate the emerging markets for organised crime including the role of technology in its facilitation

Quiz No 2

Due: Week 10
Weighting: 15%

Online quiz


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Evaluate the markets, networks and key drivers of organised crime on a regional and international basis
  • Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  • Examine the socio-economic factors that drive the development of organised crime
  • Investigate the macro and micro level impacts of organised crime on society
  • Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism

Delivery and Resources

DELIVERY AND RESOURCES

 

UNIT REQUIREMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS

  • You should spend an average of 12 hours per week on this unit. This includes listening to lectures prior to seminar or tutorial, reading weekly required materials as detailed in iLearn, participating in Ilearn discussion forums and preparing assessments.
  • Internal students are expected to attend all seminar or tutorial sessions, and external students are expected to make significant contributions to on-line activities.
  • In most cases students are required to attempt and submit all major assessment tasks in order to pass the unit.

 

REQUIRED READINGS

  • The citations for all the required readings for this unit are available to enrolled students through the unit iLearn site, and at Macquarie University's library site.  Electronic copies of required readings may be accessed through the library or will be made available by other means.

 

TECHNOLOGY USED AND REQUIRED

  • Computer and internet access are essential for this unit. Basic computer skills and skills in word processing are also a requirement.
  • This unit has an online presence. Login is via: https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/
  • Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.
  • Information about IT used at Macquarie University is available at  http://students.mq.edu.au/it_services/

 

SUBMITTING ASSESSMENT TASKS

  • All text-based assessment tasks are to be submitted, marked and returned electronically.  This will only happen through the unit iLearn site. 
  • Assessment tasks must be submitted as a MS word document by the due date.
  • Most assessment tasks will be subject to a 'TurnitIn' review as an automatic part of the submission process.
  • The granting of extensions is subject to the university’s Disruptions Policy. Extensions will not in normal circumstances be granted by unit conveners or tutors, but must be lodged through Disruption to Study: http://www.students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/manage_your_study_program/disruption_to_studies/.

 

 

LATE SUBMISSION OF ASSESSMENT TASKS

  • If an assignment is submitted late, 5% of the available mark will be deducted for each day (including weekends) the paper is late.
  • For example, if a paper is worth 20 marks, 1 mark will be deducted from the grade given for each day that it is late (i.e. a student given 15/20 who submitted 4 days late will lose 4 marks = 11/20).
  • The same principle applies if an extension is granted and the assignment is submitted later than the amended date.

 

 

WORD LIMITS FOR ASSESSMENT TASKS

  • Stated word limits include footnotes and footnoted references, but not bibliography, or title page.
  • Word limits can generally deviate by 10% either over or under the stated figure.
  • If the number of words exceeds the limit by more than 10%, then penalties will apply. These penalties are 5% of the awarded mark for every 100 words over the word limit. If a paper is 300 words over, for instance, it will lose 3 x 5% = 15% of the total mark awarded for the assignment. This percentage is taken off the total mark, i.e. if a paper was graded at a credit (65%) and was 300 words over, it would be reduced by 15 marks to a pass (50%).
  • The application of this penalty is at the discretion of the course convener.

 

REASSESSMENT OF ASSIGNMENTS DURING THE SEMESTER

  • Macquarie University operates a Grade Appeal Policy in cases where students feel their work was graded inappropriately: http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html
  • In accordance with the Grade Appeal Policy, individual works are not subject to regrading.

 

STAFF AVAILABILITY

  • Department staff will endeavour to answer student enquiries in a timely manner. However, emails or iLearn messages will not usually be answered over the weekend or public holiday period.
  • Students are encouraged to read the Unit Guide and look at instructions posted on the iLearn site before sending email requests to staff.

 

Unit Schedule

Week

Title

Description of Week

1

Introduction, Definitions and Context of Organised Crime

This session lays out the structure of the Unit for the semester including coverage of assignments and expectations. It also presents as an opportunity to develop a common understanding of key concepts and issues.

2

Markets for Organised Crime

This session commences the study of the Unit in earnest with an analysis of the markets that exist for organised crime with an opportunity to look at both the demand and supply side aspects of OC, the profit motive and the acquisition of expertise to exploit potential markets by organised crime networks.

 

3

Key Drivers of Organised Crime

Organised crime is driven and facilitated by a diverse range of factors. In this session we will examine a range of social, cultural, psychological, physical, legal, economic and influencing factors that both encourage the existence of organised crime and in many instances drive the growth in activity.

 

4

Organised Crime Networks

In this session we examine the factors that impact on the very existence of organised crime groups. How do organised crime groups develop? What are their areas of common interest? How do the networks establish and develop? How are the organised and to what degree are they able to adapt to changing circumstances? These are just some of the critical issues that this session with examine.

5

Legitimisation of Organised Crime Operations

The very nature of organised crime has changed in recent decades. No longer just a backroom operation, organised crime now infiltrates and supports legitimate business operations. This session will examine what and how organised crime is developing a facade of legitimacy.

6

Relationship between Organised Crime and Terrorism

Terrorism requires more than an ideal to move from the philosophical to the physical. Funding is a critical component of terrorist operations and the synergy between the cash rich environment of organised crime and access to people with a common ideal of terrorist organisations presents significant challenges for response agencies.

7

Macro Impacts of Organised Crime

As organised crime groups grow and mature their impact changes. In the early stages the development of the OCG is most often based on physical harm and threat but as it matures into a more permanent structure the issues become more attuned to economic based threats. This in turn impacts on public resources that are allocated to address the issues and the community in terms of curtailing freedoms and liberty as tighter legislative controls are implemented. This session will look at the macro level impacts on states and nations of the existence of organised crime.

8

Micro Impacts of Organised Crime

The existence of organised crime influences community behaviour and attitude at the micro level. Social behaviours, personal security measures, privacy impacts and individual costs are examples of some of the impacts that are felt in a localised setting. This session will examine some of the consistent micro level impacts communities are confronted with both directly and indirectly as a result of the intrusion of organised crime.

9

Industry Responses to Organised Crime

This session will examine a range of law enforcement industry specific responses to organised crime. The very structure of the law enforcement industry has changed primarily as a result of the growing threat and reach of organised crime in communities. Police Forces have been joined by a variety of government and semi-government agencies with a charter of reducing and eradicating organised crime. This session with look at a number of them, including an analysis of how they work together.

10

Government Responses to Organised Crime

National and State governments have a critical responsibility in establishing the appropriate regulatory and policy frameworks to support the activities of law enforcement bodies in reducing and eradicating organised crime. This session will examine and analyse the activities of a range of governments in creating supportive environments. It will also look at the international responses to organised crime which is so important in meeting transnational threats.

11

Socio-economic Drivers of Organised Crime

The economic standing and resilience of a country plays a significant role in the capacity of it to resist the incursion of organised crime groups. Additionally the relative wealth, health and capacity of the population to prosper plays a significant role. The social organisation of the community also acts as a conduit for organised crime networks as individuals and groups with a common set of beliefs and values work cooperatively to establish organised crime operations and distribution networks. This session will look at some of the socio-economic drivers that exist in some states/nations.

12

Role of Technology in Organised Crime

Technology is seen as a major facilitator of many forms of organised crime. Fraud scams, pyramid schemes, money/asset laundering are just some of the activities that rely on technology to function effectively, but technology also impacts on existing markets and activities through coordinating organised crime operations and even through the manufacture of equipment that can be used in the business of organised crime. This session will look at some of these issues.

13

Emerging Organised Crime Markets

Organised Crime has among other things, the qualities of resilience and adaptability. Those who engage in these activities are constantly looking for new opportunities to exploit as well as means to remain relevant, despite the constant attention of law enforcement and government. In this final session we will look at a range of emerging organised crime markets and consider what and how authorities could address them before they become major issues.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Evaluate the markets, networks and key drivers of organised crime on a regional and international basis
  • Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  • Examine the socio-economic factors that drive the development of organised crime
  • Investigate the macro and micro level impacts of organised crime on society
  • Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism
  • Investigate the emerging markets for organised crime including the role of technology in its facilitation

Assessment tasks

  • Quiz No 1
  • Analytical Exercise
  • Discussion paper
  • Quiz No 2

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  • Examine the socio-economic factors that drive the development of organised crime
  • Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism
  • Investigate the emerging markets for organised crime including the role of technology in its facilitation

Assessment tasks

  • Analytical Exercise
  • Discussion paper

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Evaluate the markets, networks and key drivers of organised crime on a regional and international basis
  • Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  • Examine the socio-economic factors that drive the development of organised crime
  • Investigate the macro and micro level impacts of organised crime on society
  • Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism
  • Investigate the emerging markets for organised crime including the role of technology in its facilitation

Assessment tasks

  • Quiz No 1
  • Analytical Exercise
  • Discussion paper
  • Quiz No 2

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  • Examine the socio-economic factors that drive the development of organised crime
  • Investigate the macro and micro level impacts of organised crime on society
  • Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism
  • Investigate the emerging markets for organised crime including the role of technology in its facilitation

Assessment tasks

  • Quiz No 1
  • Analytical Exercise
  • Discussion paper
  • Quiz No 2

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  • Investigate the macro and micro level impacts of organised crime on society
  • Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism

Assessment tasks

  • Analytical Exercise
  • Discussion paper

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Examine and explore critical texts, concepts and theories relating to the investigation of organised crime.
  • Examine the socio-economic factors that drive the development of organised crime
  • Examine the linkage between organised crime and terrorism
  • Investigate the emerging markets for organised crime including the role of technology in its facilitation

Assessment task

  • Discussion paper