Programme, master’s level
120 credits
Malmö | daytime | 100%
28 August, 2023 - 6 June, 2025
Full tuition fee: 235000 SEK
Applications open 17 October

About the education

You will independently, critically and systematically analyse complex topics relevant to social and behavioural science with a focus on criminology. Students from a variety of fields and cultural backgrounds make up the classroom environment, and you are encouraged to discuss subjects in both a Swedish and an international context.

The Department of Criminology specialises in the areas of: risk-assessment, prevention, geography and crime, juvenile offending, criminal careers; and victimology. The department also hosts guest researchers from both Swedish and international universities for our students to broaden their perspectives. Students receive supervision while writing their thesis and have the opportunity to explore research topics of their own choosing. This is a chance for students to establish contact with employers and identify new research projects that meet the needs of society and the students’ future careers.

The programme is based on self-study, group work, journal clubs, workshops and lectures. You are encouraged to discuss, question and think critically in all learning activities. In line with the Swedish learning approach at university level, students are responsible for their own learning development and are provided with an open and interactive teaching environment.

The programme highlights international perspectives and encourages student mobility. All courses can be taken independently and are open to national and international students and free-movers, as well as exchange students.

There is a substantial demand in today’s labour market for knowledge in the field of criminology.

There is a need for collaboration between social actors that offenders and victims come into contact with, such as the prison and probation services, social services, the justice system, the psychiatric sector, and other sectors involving individuals with substance use and mental health issues. This programme seeks to improve the competence of students entering existing professions within municipalities, county councils and state administrations, as well as institutes and organisations within the private sector. The programme builds upon the students’ earlier experiences and academic studies.

Since the programme is taught in English, our students will be well-prepared for the international labour market.

If you are new to criminology, one or all of the following books can be useful as an introduction and/or reference during the programme: Criminology by Tim Newburn, Introduction to Criminology by Frank Hagan, The Oxford Handbook of Criminology by Mike Maguire, Rod Morgan and Robert Reiner.

As a student at the Faculty of Health and Society, you have the opportunity to participate in various international activities both within Sweden and abroad, and earn what is referred to as a ‘Certificate of International Merits’ (CIM). The CIM functions as a supplement to your diploma, demonstrating: your international experience, your academic personal and professional development, your intercultural competence, and your ability to compare international contexts related to your career.

Entry requirements and selection

Here you can find the entry requirements, as well as how the available study places are distributed between applicants in the selection. For general admissions enquiries please contact the Admissions Office: admissions@mau.se

Entry requirements

Bachelor’s degree with a major in social or behavioural science or medicine and the equivalent of English 6 in Swedish secondary school.

Selection

Applicants are selected and ranked according to precedence from submitted three-part supporting document.

Apply with supporting document

Please note that you are recommended to submit a supporting document with your application to this programme. If you fulfil the admissions requirements but do not submit the supporting document, you can only be admitted if space allows. You cannot use documents from other universities. 

To complete your application with the supporting document, follow the steps below:

  • Create an account and apply to the programme via universityadmissions.se or antagning.se.
  • Upload your documentation as a pdf on universityadmissions.se/antagning.se or send the document by post. You will need to demonstrate both a bachelor's degree and English proficiency to be considered eligible for the programme. Applicants in their final year, who will receive their diploma before the programme starts, can also apply but must follow specific instructions.
  • The supporting document must be uploaded to universityadmissions.se (antagning.se) by the deadline. 
  • For students applying in the first application round (international admission round, 18 October – 17 January), the supporting document must be uploaded to universityadmissions.se by 1 February. 
  • For students applying in the second admission round, (national admission round, 15 March – 19 April ), the supporting document must be uploaded to antagning.se (universityadmissions.se) by 19 April.

Supporting documents submitted after the above dates will not be accepted. For late applications, study places and waiting list places are ranked by application date.  

Supporting document Criminology

Assessment matrix for the supporting document

Prior knowledge and capability to perform in the programme

Part 1: List of previous experiences

Education and work experiences with relevance to the programme.

  • Not applicable (0p): Not assessable/ unclear, the applicant lacks education and experiences of relevance for the master’s programme in criminology.
  • To a minor extent (1p): The applicant’s previous education and experiences show some knowledge of relevance for the master’s programme in criminology.
  • To a high extent (2p): The applicant’s previous education and experiences show knowledge of high relevance for the master’s programme in criminology.
  • To a very high extent (3p): The applicant’s previous education and experiences show knowledge of very high relevance for the master’s programme in criminology.

Part 2: Description of how previous education and experiences are related to the Criminology master’s programme

Understanding in the subject area of the programme, ability to write, argue, and present.

  • Not applicable (0p): Not assessable/ unclear, no link between the subject area of the programme and previous experiences is provided.
  • To a minor extent (1p): The applicant’s previous education and experiences show some understanding of the subject area of the programme. The writing shows that the applicant can communicate on a sufficient level for advanced studies.
  • To a high extent (2p): The applicant’s previous education and experiences show a good understanding of the subject area of the programme. The writing of the applicant displays good communication skills.
  • To a very high extent (3p): The applicant’s previous education and experiences show a very good understanding of the subject area of the programme. The writing of the applicant displays good communication skills.

Part 3: Independent project work

Academic relevance in relation to the programme, and ability to analyse and reflect.

  • Not applicable (0p): Not assessable/ unclear, the independent project work lacks relevance for the content of the programme.
  • To a minor extent (1p): In the independent project work (problem, purpose and theoretical approach), the applicant displays some academic knowledge relevant to the content of the programme, and some ability to analyse and reflect.
  • To a high extent (2p): In the independent project work (problem, purpose and theoretical approach), the applicant shows good academic knowledge relevant to the content of the programme, and a good ability to analyse and reflect.
  • To a very high extent (3p): In the independent project work (problem, purpose and theoretical approach), the applicant shows very good academic knowledge relevant to the content of the programme, and a very good ability to analyse and reflect.

"We bring the world into our classroom"

The world is not clearly defined as black and white. People are not only good or bad. It is in a grey zone, some place in-between where you can find the interesting aspects of humanity, and it is in that grey zone where aspiring criminologists like Naomi Theuri thrive. Combining her background in...

"We bring the world into our classroom"

The world is not clearly defined as black and white. People are not only good or bad. It is in a grey zone, some place in-between where you can find the interesting aspects of humanity, and it is in that grey zone where aspiring criminologists like Naomi Theuri thrive. Combining her background in human rights and journalism, Naomi says she found a field that inspired her to further her studies.

"I have a special interest in criminology. I wanted to develop my understanding of crime – the social aspects, individual aspects, and responses towards crime. That’s why I chose to study criminology."

A really good deal

Naomi appreciates the programme encouraging students to have an independent approach.  

"I enjoy the multidisciplinary approach and in-depth courses. One gets to build up a deeper understanding of different aspects such as history and theories of criminology, links between crime and ill health, victimology, and much more. That’s what makes it fascinating to study criminology. This programme is designed in a way that puts a lot of responsibility on students and that makes you feel as part and parcel of lectures and the programme as a whole."

Sharing insights

Being multidisciplinary, the programme accommodates individuals from different fields, something that creates a deeper understanding and wider perspective of the subjects. 

"Having students with diverse backgrounds opens up your view of things because you interact with diverse and sometimes conflicting opinions. You then realise that there are many sides of a story, depending on who is telling it, and that makes this programme very unique. Furthermore, students bring in their experiences in seminar discussions, which I think is an advantage. We do bring the world into our classroom; for instance, our class has students from different countries with expertise in areas like medicine, social work, law, and police education  it’s really diverse. These experiences provide important insights. We don't just engage in hypothetical discussions, we get to hear of how it actually is in practice and in different contexts."

A great student town

Naomi has studied in Malmö for four years, and thinks it’s a great place for students who want to survive on a budget. 

"Malmö is great as a student town. You can live outside of the city and it is easy to commute. I also like that the university is located in a city where there are things to do apart from visiting the library and going back to your student apartment. You can meet friends and have a great social life, and it’s affordable as well."

"I like being challenged to think outside the box"

Why do people commit crimes? This is one of the core questions criminology asks, and from the very beginning, that was what made Kajsa Rydén curious about this field of study.

"I like being challenged to think outside the box"

Why do people commit crimes? This is one of the core questions criminology asks, and from the very beginning, that was what made Kajsa Rydén curious about this field of study.

"My interest started in high school, where we read and talked a lot about deviance. To me, that sounded a lot like criminology – the backstory of crime, and why people do criminal things," she says.

Coming from a background in criminology, she felt that the Master’s programme offered an in-depth approach and prepared her for a career in research. 

New perspectives

Six months after graduation, Kajsa is working as a research assistant at Malmö University.

"The programme made an effort to combine students with different backgrounds, some of whom had never studied criminology before, but had different educational backgrounds.

"You get different perspectives and I like being challenged to think outside of the box. We have our focus and our legal system and our definition of what a crime is. And then you go to another country, and it might be completely different. Those discussions and realisations are healthy for everyone."

Encourages independent thinking

Having studied criminology for five years, Kajsa still thinks there’s a lot to explore within the field. It’s the fundamental issues within criminology that inspire her. 

"I have always liked to analyse. Being a researcher means I can do that and it feels like a natural next step. The Master’s programme encourages independent thinking, and that’s one of the reasons why I liked it so much. You have to work hard, discuss the issues and explain your standpoint.

"One of the basic questions that criminology asks is, ´why do people deviate?´. And that’s still my interest. I’m interested in the childhood aspect of it all. How being victimised affects you. What makes a person with a perfectly good childhood become a criminal, and why do some people not commit crime in spite of a problematic childhood? That’s something I would love to explore in the future.

"If you are interested in criminology and new perspectives and have an open mind, then this is something for you. Critical thinking and independence are important in criminology. It’s important regardless of what you study, but especially when dealing with humans and human interaction – it’s crucial."

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