Criminal Careers


The aim of the course is for the student to acquire knowledge of special interest to be able to understand the development of deviant life courses. Special attention is placed on integrated perspectives that address causes of crime and deviant behavior.

Admission requirements

1. Bachelor’s degree with a major in social- or behavioural science or medicine.
2. English B.


credits 100%


Syllabus for students autumn 2021, autumn 2020, autumn 2019, autumn 2018, autumn 2017, autumn 2016, autumn 2015, autumn 2014, autumn 2013

Course Code:
KA712E revision 1.1
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Date of ratification:
21 August 2015
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Health and Society
Enforcement date:
05 October 2015
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
21 August 2012

Entry requirements

1. Bachelor’s degree with a major in social- or behavioural science or medicine.
2. English B.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is given in the first term of the Masters Program in Criminology and is a course within the main field of study that may be counted toward the Masters Degree in Criminology. The course is also offered as an independent course.


The aim of the course is for the student to acquire knowledge of special interest to be able to understand the development of deviant life courses. Special attention is placed on integrated perspectives that address causes of crime and deviant behavior.


The course addresses developmental paths of criminal careers as well as explanatory models of differential paths of general antisocial behavior and of specific types of crimes.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to

1. analyze factors that influence the development of criminal career patterns and how different deviant behaviors co-vary
2. describe the interaction between causes of crime on invidual, situational and society levels, and delineate how this interaction may vary across the life course,
3. describe the difference between the concepts of risk factors and causal mechanisms, and
4. analyze co-variation and patterns of criminal careers on specific cases and types of crime.

Learning activities

The teaching takes the form of lectures and seminars. Seminars include group assignments as well as individual assignments. The study guide will provide information on which elements that are obligatory.


Learning outcomes 1-3 are assessed through an individual obligatory written exam. Learning outcome 4 is assessed on the basis of oral or written assignments, individually or in groups.

Right to re-examination
A student who fails to achieve a passing grade in the course examination will be given the opportunity to be re-examined twice according to same course content and with the same requirements. In addition, students also have the right to be examined on the same course the next time the course is offered according to the same regulations. If the course has been discontinued or undergone major changes, the student has a right to re-examination on two occasions within one year, based on the syllabus that was in place at the time the student registered for the course. Examination and re-examination take place at the times specified in the course guide.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Andersson, F., Levander, S., Svensson R., & Torstensson Levander, M. (2012). Sex differences in offending trajectories in a Swedish cohort. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health (22): 108-121. 13 s.

DeLisi, M. & Piquero, A. (2011). New frontiers in criminal careers research, 2000-2011: A state-of-the-art review. Journal of Criminal Justice (39): 289-301.

Farrington, D. P. (2005). Introduction to Integrated Developmental and Life-Course.

Theories of Offending. I Farrington, D. P. (Ed), Introduction to Integrated Developmental and Life Course Theories of Offending. Advances in Criminological Theories. (s. 1-11). USA: Transaction Publishers. 11 s.

Hare, R.D. (1999). Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc. 236 p.

Harris, P. M. (2011). The First-Time Adult-Onset Offender: Findings From a Community Corrections Cohort. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 55 (6): 949-981. 33 s.

Laub, J. H., & Sampson, R. J. (2006). Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives. Delinquent Boys to Age 70. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 352 s.

Lussier, P. & Davies, G. (2011). A Person-Oriented Perspective on Sexual Offenders, Offending Trajectories, and Risk of Recidivism: A New Challenge for Policymakers, Risk Assessors, and Actuarial Prediction? Psychology, Public Policy, and Law (17)4:530-561. 31 s.

McGloin, J. M., Sullivan, C. J., Piquero, A.R., Blokland, A. & Nieuwbeerta, P. (2011). Marriage and offending specialization: Expanding the impact of turning points and the process of desistance. European Journal of Criminology (8)5:361-376. 15 s.

Piquero, N. L. & Benson, M. L. (2004). White-collar crime and criminal careers: specifying a trajectory of punctuated situational offending. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 20, 148-165. 18 s.

Piquero, A. R., Daigle, L. E., Gibson, C., Piquero, N. L., & Tibbetts, S. G. (2007). Research Note. Are Life-Course-Persistent Offenders At Risk for Adverse Health Outcomes? Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 44, (2), 185-207. 22 s.

Piquero, A., Farrington, D., & Blumstein, A. (2007). Key Issues in Criminal Career.
Research. New Analyses of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 217 s.

Piquero, A., Jennings, W. G., & Barnes, J.C. (2012). Violence in criminal careers: A review of the literature from a developmental life-course perspective. Aggression and Violent Behavior (17): 171-179. 9 s.

Welsh, B. C., Loeber, R., Stevens, B. R., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., Cohen, M. A., &
Farrington, D. P. (2008). Costs of Juvenile Crime in Urban Areas. A Longitudinal Perspective. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 6, (1) 3-27. 24 s.

Additional articles from scientific journals will also be included, approx. 200 pages.

Course evaluation

The course coordinator/examiner is responsible for ensuring that a summary course evaluation is conducted at the end of the course. The coordinator will relay these results to the students at a prearranged time. Memory notes from the feedback, including proposals for changes to the course, will be documented and made available on the course website, and will also be relayed to the students who begin the course the next time it is given.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Health and Society at the department Criminology.

Further information

Maria O´Driscoll, Student Services Assistant
Phone: 040-66 57968
Marie Väfors Fritz, Course Responsible
Phone: 040-66 57829


08 October 2018 - 09 November 2018 Day-time 100% Malmö Application period for this offer starts 15 March 2018.

07 October 2019 - 08 November 2019 Day-time 100% Malmö

05 October 2020 - 06 November 2020 Day-time 100% Malmö

04 October 2021 - 05 November 2021 Day-time 100% Malmö

02 October 2017 - 03 November 2017 Day-time 100% Malmö Schedule

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 14000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 14000 SEK