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Masters Degrees in Sociology, Belgium

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The Master of Criminology programme is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of crime, public response to crime and, specifically, criminal justice in Europe and beyond. Read more

The Master of Criminology programme is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of crime, public response to crime and, specifically, criminal justice in Europe and beyond.

What is the Master of Criminology all about?

The programme is characterised by a strong link between education and research, an explicitly international orientation, and a comparative approach, with special attention to the cross-border character of criminality. 

General subjects include criminological theories and models of law enforcement, psychology, law and criminal justice, youth criminology and juvenile justice, and research methods. The programme also offers cutting-edge courses on international police and judicial cooperation, political crimes and transitional justice, restorative justice, terrorism, and organised and corporate crime – research fields in which our Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC) professors are internationally renowned experts.

LINC is the most recent institutional incarnation (2007) of the criminological tradition in Leuven, which began with the establishment of the School for Criminology in 1929. Excellence in criminology continues today, combining solid research with a deep commitment to society structured within ten research lines. LINC is composed of 11 professors and more than 70 assistants and fellows involved in criminological research and education. 

Is this the right programme for me?

 Prospective students should possess:

  • a critical-reflective attitude towards law (as a normative behavioural regulating framework), community and crime;
  • genuine interest in (inter)personal and social interactions;
  • theoretical knowledge of applied psychology, sociology and anthropology within the field of crime and the treatment of crime;
  • extensive knowledge of basic research methodology
  • familiarity with specific criminological sources as well as legal, psychological and sociological sources
  • the ability to formulate research questions from existing literature
  • basic knowledge concerning (quantitative and qualitative) data collection
  • the ability to independently carry out analysis and report results
  • basic skills of oral and written reporting, especially in a criminology context;
  • an ability to apply criminological theory in practice (for instance, in an internship, case study, etc.);
  • basic knowledge of English, that is, the ability to read and understand English texts and comprehend seminars and lectures taught in English



  • the criminological program provides an appealing specialized, European and internationally oriented and research-based study of crime and the way of dealing with it as well as the study of the processes of (de)criminalization
  • to optimize methodological skills and attitudes in order to make autonomous constructive and high standing contributions to the field as well as further research possible
  • an international and comparative approach has been highlighted in the Master program, bearing in mind however the characteristic Belgian situation

Final terms

Knowledge: The graduates need 1) to obtain specialized and more in-depth theoretical insights into the criminology; 2) to know facts concerning the developments and (the possible solutions for) problems in policy and practice of institutions that are involved in dealing with criminality. 3) to have specialized knowledge of recent developments in the field of methodology that allows to examine the problems from a point of legal and empirical-criminological view.

Skills: The graduates must be able to make an autonomous contribution in the development in the search to solutions for complex social and individual questions on the field of crime and the treatment of crime. More specifically: to be able to formulate relevant challenges for further criminological research; to observe, detect and analyze the large variables and indicators; to collect information independently; to comment and report in a methodically founded statement; can possibly function in (multidisciplinary) surroundings with eye for its own input and the guarantee of its quality.

Attitude: the graduates need to develop a discerning mind and recognize the importance of theoretical, methodological and moral reflection, both to guarantee the quality of policymaking as the quality of the own vocational practice. From an ethical notion the students develop further sensitivity for the tensions which occur at the treatment of crime and (in)security, at the individual, institutional and social level on the one hand and between these levels on the other hand.

Career perspectives

The programme is intended to prepare students for research and professional employment in national and international policy and operational agencies in the fields of criminal justice and victim assistance.

Graduates find employment in the domains of:

  • safety, police, justice
  • youth care
  • execution of sentences and penal measures
  • forensic mental healthcare
  • private security and safety
  • the civil service
  • the non-profit sectors at the national, European and international level

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This programme offers an interdisciplinary perspective on migration. Read more
This programme offers an interdisciplinary perspective on migration. You gain an in-depth understanding of the broader field of migration while being able to specialise in a particular migration issue, (eg, human trafficking, asylum or forced migration, or integration and citizenship), and to examine the links between migration and other fields ranging from development economics and conflict analysis to human rights law or international migration law.

The programme brings together theory, policy and the examination of case studies, and is suitable either for students who have recently completed their undergraduate studies or those who have some experience working with migrants/refugees or on migration issues.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/56/international-migration

- Extended programme
The extended programme allows students the opportunity to study their subject in greater detail, choosing a wider range of modules, and also provides the opportunity to spend one term at the Canterbury campus. The extended programme is ideal for students who require extra credits, or would like to have more time to pursue an internship.

About the Brussels School of International Studies

The Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) is a multidisciplinary postgraduate School of the University of Kent. We bring together the disciplines of politics, international relations, law and economics to provide in-depth analysis of international problems such as conflict, security, development, migration, the political economy and the legal basis of a changing world order.

We are a truly international School: our students are drawn from over 50 countries. The strong international composition of our staff and student body contributes significantly to the academic and social experience at BSIS. Being located in Brussels allows us to expose students to the working of major international organisations, such as the EU and NATO, and to the many international and non-governmental organisations based here. Students also have the opportunity to undertake an internship with one of these organisations.

Course structure

We are committed to offering flexible study options at the School and enable you to tailor your degree to meet your needs by offering start dates in September and January; full- and part-time study; split-site options, and allowing students to combine two fields of study leading to the award of a degree that reflects both disciplines.


The MA in International Migration allows students to choose secondary areas of specialisation from the range of programmes offered at BSIS. Thus, a focused programme of study can be constructed by studying International Migration in the context of International Relations; Conflict and Security; Human Rights Law and other subject areas we cover.

This leads to the award of an MA degree in, for example, 'International Migration with Human Rights Law'.

Standard and extended versions

The LLM is offered in both a standard version (90 ECTS credits) and an extended version (120 ECTS credits) and in each case students may take the programme with or without a secondary specialisation. Those on the extended version will take more modules to gain extra credit.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide you with a research-active learning environment which gives you a good grounding in the study of social science in general and migration in particular

- offer a critical perspective of the interplay between migration and political, economic and social systems and processes

- ensure that you acquire a solid understanding of methodologies for the study of social science in general, and in the application of those understandings to the study of migration in particular

- ensure that you acquire a solid understanding of major theoretical approaches to migration, the historical development of contemporary migration, and the application of theoretical and historical knowledge to the analysis and understanding of contemporary issues and cases in the field

- ensure that you acquire the necessary skills for advanced assessment of contemporary problems in migration and their solutions

- develop your general research skills and personal skills (transferable skills).

Research areas

Our research interests span a broad spectrum of the discipline, with particular strengths in the fields of conflict analysis and resolution, political theory and European politics. The strength of the School’s research culture is reflected in the numerous books and articles published and in the existence of its three core research groups: Conflict, Security and Human Rights; Comparative Politics; and Political and Social Thought. We also host four University-recognised research centres: the Conflict Analysis Research Centre (CARC), the Global Europe Centre (GEC), the Centre for Critical Thought (CCT), and the Centre for Federal Studies (CFS).

All members of staff can supervise theses leading to research degrees. We encourage potential research students to refer to our postgraduate research handbook (pdf) for detailed information.

In 2011, the University successfully applied for ESRC recognition as a provider of doctoral training in political science and international studies (and other areas of the social sciences) as part of a consortium. As a result, we are now part of the South East ESRC Doctoral Training Centre, making us one of the key training outlets in our subject in the UK.


The School of Politics and International Relations has a dedicated Employability, Placements and Internships Officer who works with students to develop work-based placements in a range of organisations. Centrally, the Careers and Employability Service can help you plan for your future by providing one-to-one advice at any stage of your postgraduate studies.

Many students at our Brussels centre who undertake internships are offered contracts in Brussels immediately after graduation. Others have joined their home country’s diplomatic service, entered international organisations, or have chosen to undertake a ‘stage’ at the European Commission, or another EU institution.

Our graduates have gone on to careers in academia, local and national government and public relations.

Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 94% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2013 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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