Criminology: Victimology


The aim of the course is for the student to acquire knowledge about victimology (the study of crime victims), as a field of study.

Admission requirements

A bachelor’s degree with a major in social- or behaviour sciences or medicine and English 6.


credits 100%


Syllabus for students autumn 2023, autumn 2022, autumn 2021, autumn 2020

Course Code:
KA814E revision 1
Swedish name:
Kriminologi: Viktimologi
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Date of ratification:
12 November 2019
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Health and Society
Enforcement date:
14 November 2020

Entry requirements

A bachelor’s degree with a major in social- or behaviour sciences or medicine and English 6.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is given in the first term of the Master’s Program in Criminology and is a course within the main field of study and can be included in the degree requirements for a Master’s Degree in Criminology. The course is also offered as an independent course.


The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the discipline of victimology (the study of crime victims), an emerging area of specialization in the field of criminology. Furthermore, the course aims to develop the student’s knowledge of theories and methods applied within the field of victimology.


The course addresses victimology as a research area both internationally and in Sweden. Topics such as the history of victimology, theories of victimization, consequences of victimization, trauma and fear of crime will be included in the course content. Central concepts and definitions are discussed as well as explanatory models and methods to study victimization and treatment and care of trauma with a special focus on particularly vulnerable groups. Characterization of different victim groups is discussed as well as ethical considerations when studying victimization.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to
1. apply concepts and explanatory models to victimization and trauma,
2. account for methodological challenges related to the study of victimization,
3. analyze consequences caused by victimization for individuals, including trauma,
4. account for models used in treatment and care of such trauma, and
5. analyze consequences of victimization on a societal level

Learning activities

The teaching takes the form of lectures and seminars based on the themes covered by the course. The student is expected to be acquainted with the course literature before each lecture. To achieve learning outcomes 1 - 5, the student shall discuss and apply concepts and explanatory models of victimization, consequences of traumas for individuals and society, and models to treat such traumas among individuals. To achieve learning outcomes 2, 3 and 5, the student shall also analyze the situation of vulnerable groups and evaluate the methodological challenges related to a victim group in individual written assignments. Seminars are compulsory.


The learnings outcomes are assessed by 5 written papers, each with the respective learning outcomes as a theme. A paper discussing learning outcome 1 is handed during the first week of the course, a paper discussing learning outcome 2 is handed in during the second week of the course, one discussing learning outcome 3 during the third week of the course, one discussing learning outcome 4 of the fourth week of the course, and lastly one discussing learning outcome 5 during the final week of the course.

Focus for the assessment is the students’ ability to apply concepts and explanatory models, account for methodological challenges, analyze consequences of trauma, account for models used in the treatment of trauma, and analyze consequences of victimization on a societal level. The written papers can be handed in individually or in pairs. The students writing in pairs shall also hand in a log in which their individual contributions to the paper is clearly presented.
Any absence in compulsory parts shall, at the discretion of the examiner, be compensated by an individual written assignment.
Students have to possibility to revise smaller errors in formalia of language within a given time frame specified in the schedule. If any other part of the assignment does not reach a pass, or in such cases that the student does not hand in a revised errors of formalia of language on time, the student are required to submit a new paper.

Assessment criteria will be provided upon the course introduction. In order to achieve the grade pass (C-E) the student must achieve the grade E on all assignments. Achievement of the Grade of Distinction (A or B) requires that originality and meta-theoretical understanding characterize the obligatory assignments.

Right to re-take
Students who fail the exam are given the opportunity to do two re-takes with the same course content and with the same requirements. The student also has the right to take the examination in the same course in the subsequent course according to the same rule. Examination and re-takes are carried out at the times specified in the course schedule.

Grading system

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

Course literature and other teaching materials

Babbie E, (2004) Laud Humphreys and Research Ethics. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 24(3):12-19.
Chahal K, (2017) Supporting victims of hate crime: a practitioner guide. Policy Press. 140 p.
Kendall-Tackett K A, Marshall R, Ness K E, (2000) Victimization, healthcare use and health maintenance. Family Violence & Sexual Assault Bulletin, 16, 18-21. 3 p.
Chakraborty N, Garland J, (2015). Hate crime – impact, causes and responses. London ; Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. 208 p.
Christie N, (1986) The ideal victim.In Fattah E A (ed.) From From Crime Policy to Victim Policy, London: Macmillan. 13 p.
Daigle L H (2013) Victimology. The essentials. London ; Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. 343 p.
European Institute for Gender Equality, (2014) Estimating the costs of gender-based violence in the European Union. 123 p.
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, (2016) Ensuring justice for hate crime victims: professional perspectives. 67 p.
Garland J, Hodkinson P, (2014) F**king Freak! What the Hell Do You Think You Look Like?’. Experiences of Targeted Victimization Amon Goths and Developing Notions of Hate Crime. British journal of criminology, 54 (4): 613-631. 29 p.
Groenhuijsen M, (2014) The development of international policy in relation to victims of crime. International Review of Victimology, 20: 31-48. 17 p.
Herman J L, (1994) Trauma and recovery: from domestic abuse to political terror. New York; Pandora. 292 p.
Janoff-Bulman R, (2002) Shattered assumptions: towards a new psychology of trauma. New York; The Free Press. 256 p.
Liamputtong P, (2007) Researching the vulnerable. A guide to sensitive research methods. London: Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. 256 p.

McConnell M, (2008) Fear of crime and victimization. In: Moriarty L J, (2008) Controversies in victimology (2nd edition). Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing. 12 p.
O´Connell M, (2008) Victimology: A Social Science in Waiting? International Review of Victimology, 15 (2): 91-104. 13 p.
Potter H, (2013) Intersectional Criminology: Interrogating Identity and Power in Criminological Research and Theory. Critical Criminology, 21(3): 305-318. 13 p.
Shdaimah C S, Wiechelt SA, (2013) Crime and compassion: Women in prostitution at the intersection of criminality and victimization. International Review of Victimology, 19: 23-35. 12 p.
Shapland J, Hall M, (2007) What do we know about the effects of crime on victims? International Review of Victimology,14: 175-217. 42 p.
Tiby E, (2007) Constructions of Homophobic Hate Crimes; Definitions, Desicions, Data. In: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 8: 114-137. 23 p.
Van Dijk J, (2009) Free the Victim: A Critique of the Western Conception of Victimhood. International Review of Victimology May 16: 1-33. 33 p.
Van Wijk, J, (2013) Who is the ‘little old lady’ of international crimes? Nils Christie’s concept of the ideal victim reinterpreted. International Review of Victimology, 19(2): 159–179. 20 p.
Van Kasteren J, van Dijk J, Mayhew P, (2013) The International Crime Victims Surveys: A retrospective, International Review of Victimology. 20 (1) 49-69. 20 p.
Väfors Fritz M, Khoshnood A, (Eds.) (2019). Crime, Victimization and Vulnerability in Malmö. Lund: Studentlitteratur. 171 p.

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

Course evaluation

The course coordinator is responsible for conducting a summative evaluation in connection with the course's completion. The course coordinator provides the feedback to the students at the beginning of the next course. Notes from the feedback are made available to the course's students, and feedback is given to the students who will start the course in the next course session.

Interim rules

If a course is no longer offered or has undergone major changes, students will be offered two re-take sessions based on the syllabus in force at registration during a period of one year from the date of the implementation of the changes.


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

Further information

Simon Wallengren, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6658370
Åsa Nilsson, Student Administrator
Phone: 040-6657589


13 December 2021 - 14 January 2022 Day-time 100% Malmö Application period for this offer starts 15 March 2021.

12 December 2022 - 13 January 2023 Day-time 100% Malmö

11 December 2023 - 12 January 2024 Day-time 100% Malmö

09 November 2020 - 11 December 2020 Day-time 100% Malmö

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 14000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 14000 SEK