Department of Criminal Justice

Criminal justice embodies numerous unique theoretical rationalisations for the roots, preservation, and corollaries of crime. For instance, Restorative Justice Theory concentrates on healing the harm caused by crime. It advocates for the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with the victims and the community affected by the crime. In stark contrast Retributive Justice Theory emphasizes punishment rather than rehabilitation. It argues that the response to crime should be proportional to the offense, and the threat of punishment serves as the most effective deterrent to crime.

Transformative Justice Theory offers a structural approach that analyses the social conditions in which crimes occur, the reasons for victimisation, the need for restitution, and the establishment or restoration of peace and security. The Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Zululand (affectionately known as UniZulu) follows a holistic and comprehensive theoretic and applied African understanding to criminal justice.

Various sciences (not limited to the science of criminology) and disciplines (for example, genetics, algorithms, data mining, geographical information systems, robotics, space, etc.) are traversed to address the complex phenomenon of crime today, yesterday, and tomorrow, the African way.

Our degree (all formally accredited) offerings (Bachelor of Arts in Correctional Studies; Bachelor of Arts Honours in Criminology; Bachelor of Arts Honours in Penology; Master of Arts in Criminology; Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology), teach expert knowledge and skills indispensable for an extremely rewarding career in the criminal justice system.

Our cutting-edge modules are taught by industry experienced and award-winning staff, and touches on phenomenon such as CRISPR-Cas9 technology and future crimes, digital media and the development of serial killers, high frequency trading and the fronting of orders; to name but a few. Our research informs policy, expert practitioners and communities internationally, regionally and at home.


Covid 19 Information

Hotline number 072 097 0901 for queries and information

The Department of Criminal Justice is 1 of 16 departments within the Faculty of Arts, situated on the plush UniZulu KwaDlangezwa Campus (nestled between the warm Indian Ocean and the Ongoye Forest Reserve). A state-of-the-art library, various sporting facilities, and residences, amongst many others, serve approximately 450 Department of Criminal Justice undergraduate students, 20 honours students, 10 masters’ candidates, and 5 doctoral aspirants, each year. The Department of Criminal Justice Student Society, alumni, and associates are actively engaged, and highly sought after.

It is the VISION of the Department of Criminal Justice at UniZulu is to be the leading university department of criminology and criminal justice on the African continent. The MISSION of the Department of Criminal Justice at UniZulu is a truly South African university department of criminology and criminal justice of choice, that is academically excellent, innovative in research, entrepreneurial, and critically engaged with society.

More specifically, the choice university department for the most talented criminology and criminal justice students and scholars; renowned for delivering African scholarship, pedagogies and methodologies in our teaching and learning programmes that transform talented students into labour market prepared and empowered graduates; recognised for African criminology and criminal justice research impact, innovation and entrepreneurship; known for service delivery; and acknowledged as a leader in embedded sustainability and good governance in all aspects of our operations, teaching and learning, research, and community engagement.


Prof J Steyn­

Head of the Department

Prof J Ras­

Associate Professor

Dr M Buthelezi

Senior Lecturer

Z Snyman­


M Makhaye­

NGAP Lecturer

Dr S Dlamini