Criminality and Ill-health


Admission requirements

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


credits 100%


Syllabus for students spring 2023, spring 2022, spring 2021

Course Code:
KA821E revision 1
Swedish name:
Kriminalitet och ohälsa
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Date of ratification:
13 November 2020
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Health and Society
Enforcement date:
20 January 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 second term of the Master’s Program in Criminology and is a course within the main field of study that may be counted toward the Master’s Degree in Criminology. The course is also offered as an independent course.


The aim of the course is for the student to acquire knowledge about commonly occurring health problems and about the social factors which lead to and result from criminality.


Contemporary, national as well as international, research and reports on ill-health related to the field of criminology are addressed. Definitions of relevant concepts and their relation to each other are also addressed. Emphasis is placed on how marginalization, vulnerability and mental ill-health are dynamically related to each other from a public health perspective. Consequences of criminality, both for the individual and the society as well as the interaction between mental ill-health and criminality are discussed. Further, the issue of promoting public awareness of the relationship between criminality and ill-health through communication of research results is discussed.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to
1. analyze the interaction between criminality and the physical-, mental- and social dimensions of ill-health,
2. compare national and international research literature within the field of criminology and ill-health,
3. identify and discuss relevant research that adds to a wider understanding of ill-health and antisocial behavior in terms of equality, equity and diversity, and
4. discuss individual and societal precursors as well as the consequences of mental ill-health and criminality.

Learning activities

The educational approach is based on active forms of learning. The teaching takes the form of combined lectures and seminars, group assignments, independent studies, and of student- led literature seminars (i.e. journal clubs). To achieve learning outcomes 1-4, the student shall prepare to and take part in seminar discussions, prepare and lead a seminar in a group assignment and individually write a public outreach paper. Thus, active participation in seminars is compulsory.


Together with an independently written assignment, group discussions and an oral examination constitute the basis for the examination in the course. Learning outcomes 1-2 are assessed through the compulsory student-led seminars whereas Learning outcome 3 is assessed by active participation in group discussions and Learning outcome 4 is assessed in a brief scientific outreach paper. The focus of assessment in the scientific public outreach paper is the student´s ability to communicate and deliver research results regarding criminality and ill-health to the wider public or practitioners effectively. Focus of assessment in the seminars and group discussions is the student´s ability to identify and contrast interactions between and overlap of criminality, antisocial behavior, and ill-health within international and national contexts as well as the ability to discuss the results from an equality perspective. In case of absence from any of the compulsory seminars the student can compensate by writing an assignment based on the literature included in the seminar assignments.

To receive a Passing Grade (C, D or E) it is required that the student have actively participated at the seminars and have passed on the written assignment. Achievement of the Grade of Distinction (A or B) requires that the examined assignments are characterized by originality and meta-theoretical understanding.

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

Cohen M A, Piquero A R, (2009) New Evidence on the Monetary Value of Saving a High Risk Youth, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 25:25-49. 24 p.
Contrada R J, Cather C O’Leary A, (2001) Personality and Health: Dispositions and Processes in Disease Susceptibility and Adaptation to Illness. In. Handbook of personality: theory and research. New York: The Guildford Press, 30 p.
Crocker AG, Martin MS, Leclair MC, Nicholls TL, Seto MC. (2018) Expanding the early and late starter model of criminal justice involvement for forensic mental health clients. Law and Human Behavior, 42(1), 83-93. 10 p.
Dean K., Laursen TM, Pedersen CB, Webb RT, Mortensen PB, Agerbo E, (2018) Risk of being subjected to crime, including violent crime, after onset of mental illness: A danish national registry study using police data. JAMA Psychiatry, 75(7), 689-696. 7 p.
Dernevik M, (2004) Structured clinical assessment and management of risk of violent recidivism in mentally disordered offenders. Dissertation. Solna: Karolinska Institutet. 79 p.
Fazel S, Sjöstedt G, Grann M, Långström M, (2008) Sexual Offending in Women and Psychiatric Disorder: A National Case-Control Study. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (1): 161-167. 6 p.
Fazel S, Doll H, Långström N, (2008/9) Mental disorders among adolescents in juvenile detention and correctional facilities: A systematic review and metaregression analysis of 25 surveys. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2008: 47(9):1010-9. 2009 author reply: 48(3):340; 340-1. 20 s.
Forsell Y, Dalman C, (2004) Psykisk ohälsa hos unga. Epidemiologiska enheten: Centrum för folkhälsa, Rapport 2004:6. Stockholms läns landsting: Norrbacka, Stockholm. 31 p.

Hubicka B, (2009) Characteristics of drunk drivers in Sweden - alcohol problems, detection, crime records, psychosocial characteristics, personality traits and mental health. Doctoral dissertation, Stockholm: Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska institutet, 54 p.
Johnson EI, Easterling BA, (2015) Coping With Confinement: Adolescents’ Experiences With Parental Incarceration. Journal of Adolescent Research, 30(2). 244-267. 24 p.
Nilsson I, Wadeskog A, (2008) Focus on the individual "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure". Skandia Insurance Company Ltd. 30 p.
Pajer K, Stouthamber-Loeber M, Gardner W, Loeber R, (2006) Women with antisocial behaviour: long-term health disability and help-seeking for emotional problems, Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 16:29-42. 13 p.
Piquero A R, Daigle L E, Gibson C, Piquero N L, Tibbetts S G, (2007) Are Life-Course-Persistent Offenders at Risk for Adverse Health Outcomes? Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 44(2): 185-207. 22 p.
Stafford M, Chandola T, Marmot M, (2007) Association Between Fear of Crime and Mental Health and Physical Functioning, American Journal of Public Health, 97(11): 2076-2081. 5 p.
Steptoe A, O’Donnell K, Marmot M, Wardle J, (2008) Positive affect and psychosocial processes related to health, British Journal of Psychology, 99, 211-227. 16 p.
Weisburd D, Cave B, Nelson M, White C, Haviland A, Ready J, Sikkema K, (2018) Mean streets and mental health: Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder at crime hot spots. American Journal of Community Psychology, 61(3-4), 285-295. 10 p.
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 p.
Wylie LE, Rufino KA, (2018) The impact of victimization and mental health symptoms on recidivism for early system-involved juvenile offenders. Law and Human Behavior, 42(6), 558-569. 11 p.
Väfors Fritz M, Khoshnood A, (Eds.) (2019) Crime, Victimization and Vulnerability in Malmö. Lund: Studentlitteratur.171 s.

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 are 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

Marie Väfors Fritz, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6657829
Åsa Nilsson, Student Administrator
Phone: 040-6657589


18 January 2021 - 19 February 2021 Day-time 100% Malmö Application code: mau-15450

National application round

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 14000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 14000 SEK

Open for late application


17 January 2022 - 18 February 2022 Day-time 100% Malmö

16 January 2023 - 17 February 2023 Day-time 100% Malmö