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    Full time available

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  • Course Duration

    1 year

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    Please see website for details

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

Visit the Criminology MSc page on the KU Leuven website for more details!




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