Programme, master’s level
120 credits
Malmö daytime 100%
29 August, 2022 - 31 May, 2024
Full tuition fee: 160000 SEK
Applications open 18 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 in order 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.

Courses within the programme

Admission requirements

Admission requirements

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

Selection

"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 deepr 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 said.

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 analysing. 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, interested in 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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