6 ECTS credits
150 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 4021178DNR for all students in the 1st semester at a (D) Master - preliminary level.

1st semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Faculty of Law and Criminology
Educational team
Elisabeth Enhus
Lucas De Melo Melgaço (course titular)
Activities and contact hours

14 contact hours Lecture
28 contact hours Seminar, Exercises or Practicals
300 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

This course discusses current themes, concepts and theories in criminology. It analyzes the complexities of defining, explaining, measuring and reacting to crime in a conversation with practitioners and scholars from different fields within criminology. What are the origins of crime? What makes a criminal? Poverty? Inequality? Mental disease? How to measure crime? How to research it? What groups and actions are criminalized? What are the main characteristics of offenders and victims in different types of crime? How to tackle crime? How to prevent it? How to punish? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in this course.  The course combine different teaching strategies including the preparation and presentation of seminars by students, the analysis of multimedia material, like movies and documentaries, combined with key readings on the topic and, most importantly, the encounters with practitioners and scholars in the field of criminology and on related areas  who will be invited to share their experiences.  

Course material
Digital course material (Required) : reader, The online platform
Additional info

A reader will be provided in class or via the online platform. 

Learning Outcomes

General Competencies

Knowledge and insight

  • The graduate has knowledge of the main issues and difficulties faced by practitioners of different fields within criminology;
  • The graduate has knowledge of and understands the international debates on the social definition of crime;
  • The graduate is able to make a critical analysis of behaviors that in certain contexts are defined as crime;
  • The graduate has knowledge about and understands the development of crime statistics and measurements;
  • The graduate can interpret crime statistics and measurements in a critical way;
  • The graduate has knowledge about and understands different criminological explanations for crime and victimization;
  • The graduate can critically explain and analyse the relationship between the different explanations for crime and victimization and the criminal policy pursued.


  • The graduate understands the role of crime in society, the way it is measured and is capable of approaching this in a scientific way;
  • The graduate has developed a logical and structured way of thinking;
  • The graduate can communicate orally in a synthetic and structured way her own science-based insights;
  • The graduate can gather literature associated with a given criminological topic in a meaningful and scientific way;
  • The graduate can analyze criminological theories and use and apply them to a specific criminological phenomenon;
  • The graduate can express ideas in a clear, comprehensive and meticulous language.


  • The graduate has an interested, inquisitive and independent attitude and follow the international and national developments related to debates on crime and its approach;
  • The graduate has a great interest in and sensitivity to the social impact of defining, measuring and explaining crime and victimization.
  • The graduate deals with the emotional aspects of the studied phenomena;
  • The graduate is open minded and free of prejudice.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 60% of the final mark.
PRAC Teamwork determines 40% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Oral Exam with a relative weight of 60 which comprises 60% of the final mark.

Within the PRAC Teamwork category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Presentation group paper with a relative weight of 40 which comprises 40% of the final mark.

Additional info regarding evaluation

Students will be assessed on the basis of group task (40%) activity and a final oral exam (60%) with written preparation. For the oral exam students will be allowed to bring and consult a summary of classes and texts prepared by themselves. For the group task students will prepare one seminar based on both the mandatory and supplementary text for one of the course's sessions. Students are expected to deliver their slides and a written explanation of the intervention they plan to make in class.

Allowed unsatisfactory mark
The supplementary Teaching and Examination Regulations of your faculty stipulate whether an allowed unsatisfactory mark for this programme unit is permitted.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of Urban Studies: Standard track