Criminology: Criminological Theory


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:
KA823E revision 1
Swedish name:
Kriminologi: Kriminologisk teori
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Date of ratification:
27 August 2019
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Health and Society
Enforcement date:
30 March 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 or fourth 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 of criminological theory and to develop their understanding of these theories by applying this knowledge to research areas central to criminology.


The student chooses an in-depth subject to study with focus on theory construction, empirical support and practical applicability. In the course theoretical perspectives of criminological relevance will be analyzed and contrasted regarding definitions and operationalization, causality and interaction, and level of explanation. Additionally, associations between theory and practical use of the theories will be addressed.

Learning outcomes

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

1. analyze and compare at least two theoretical perspectives based on the concepts structure, causal order, interaction and level of explanation,
2. describe the empirical support for the theoretical perspectives that you chose to compare,
3. analyze the scientific material for the empirical support, and
4. explain how the theoretical perspectives can be practically applied

Learning activities

The teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars, log book, and tutoring in groups (addressing learning outcomes 1-4). Participation in seminars is compulsory.


Learning outcomes 1-4 are assessed by
1. literature seminar assignments (learning outcomes 1-4),
2. a group assignment, including a poster presentation (learning outcomes 1-4)
3. an individually written paper (learning outcomes 1-4)

Focus of assessment of the different examination tasks is the student’s ability to present knowledge about criminological theory.Individual performance in the group assignment is assessed by students completing a log book that describes each students individual contributions. Absence from seminars can be made up by attending an additional seminar to be arranged by the course organizer.

To receive a Passing Grade (C, D or E) it is required that the student have passed on all the obligatory assignments. Achievement of the Grade of Distinction (A or B) requires that originality and meta-theoretical understanding characterize the compulsory 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

Bosworth M, Hoyle C, (2011) What is Criminology? Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 551.
Brisman A, Carrabine E, South N, (2018) The Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts. London: Routledge. p. 574.

Cullen FT, Wright JP, Blevins KR, (2017) Taking stock: The status of criminological theory, Advances in Criminological Theory, vol. 15. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers. p. 477.
Downes D, Rock P, (2016) Understanding deviance: a guide to the sociology of crime and rule-breaking, Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 424.
Liebling A, Maruna S, McAra L, (2017) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, Sixth edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 1030.
McAra L, McVie S, (2012) 'Negotiated Order: The Groundwork for a Theory of Offending Pathways'. Criminology and Criminal Justice 12: 347-75. p. 28.
Ward T, Green P, (2016) 'Law, the State and the Dialectics of State Crime’ (2016) in Critical Criminology 24(2): 217–230. p. 13.
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 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

Carlo Pinnetti, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6658696
Maria O Driscoll, Student Administrator
Phone: 040-6657968


29 March 2021 - 04 June 2021 Day-time 100% Malmö Application code: mau-15454

National application round

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 20000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 20000 SEK

Open for late application


28 March 2022 - 03 June 2022 Day-time 100% Malmö

27 March 2023 - 02 June 2023 Day-time 100% Malmö