University of Newcastle Australia program

Crime Fiction

This program, ENGL3012, introduces the literary genre of crime fiction, as well as a number of sub-genres and contexts.

This program is part of the Bachelor of Arts degree offered by The University of Newcastle Australia

Develop a detailed insight into a range of crime fiction texts in English.

In this program, you will gain detailed knowledge of one of the most popular and widely read literary genres: crime fiction. You will become familiar with the evolution of the genre from the early nineteenth century to the present day and will develop advanced skills in analysing and contextualising crime fiction texts from the UK, the US, Australia and beyond.

The course as a whole challenges the traditional view of crime fiction as formulaic “genre fiction”, seeing instead the genre as a form of literature defined by its diligent investigation of some of the key issues of modern society: justice, inequality, urban life, gender, sexuality, race and many others.

Want to try it out for free? Enrol in our three-week taster course.

We acknowledge the traditional owners upon whose ancestral lands the University of Newcastle campuses stand.


4 courses

The University of Newcastle Australia

The University of Newcastle stands as a global leader in higher education, distinguished by a commitment to equity and excellence. Our degree programs are internationally recognised. Our research is world-class and diverse, and our partnerships and collaborations drive innovation.

UON continues to build its global reputation for being one of the world's most prestigious universities and is consistently in the top 10 Australian universities for research.

  • The University of Newcastle Australia

Who will you learn with?

I'm an Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Newcastle, Australia. I'm also a specialist in - and avid reader of - crime fiction and have published extensively in this area.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Outline the history of crime fiction and some of the key crime fiction subgenres.

  2. Examine the key formal, thematic and contextual characteristic of individual crime fiction texts.

  3. Investigate crime fiction texts in relation to their genre and the idea of genre evolution.

  4. Analyse crime fiction texts as investigations of specific political, social or philosophical issues.

  5. Debate the concept of “popular literature”, its significance in modern culture and its limitations.

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