3 ECTS credits
90 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 4022005FER for all students in the 2nd semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.

2nd 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 Melga├žo (course titular)
Activities and contact hours

18 contact hours Lecture
72 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

The Crime and the City module consists of two different parts: “Crime and the City 1” (3ECTS) compulsory for students of the Master in Criminology and students of the Master in Urban Studies (module Urban Criminology). The second part, ‘Crime and the City 2” (6ECTS), is compulsory for students of the Master in Urban Studies (those who chose the module Urban Criminology) and elective for students of the Master in Criminology.

The overall purpose of these two courses, Crime and the City 1 and 2 (3 ECTS and 6 ECTS, respectively), is to give students insights in the dynamics of the city and in the way space matters to criminology. Space influences citizens’ lives, practices, experiences and emotions, at the same time that it is created and recreated on a daily basis by its dwellers, commuters, users, and visitors. These processes will be studied in their relationship with crime, fear, disorder and urban conflicts. These issues are analysed taking into account the broader processes of globalisation, social polarisation and cultural fragmentation. At a theoretical level, the courses aim to confront, criticize and complement mainstream criminological thinking with insights from urban studies literature.

The central theme of Crime and the City 1 is fear. This concept will be critically discussed, decomposed in its different meanings and connections to the city. Different aspects of fear will be treated: 1) the relationship between fear and space; 2) fear of the other (mainly gender and ethnicity); 3) the relationships between situational crime prevention and fear; 4) city walk in Brussels focusing on how fear shapes the city 5) the politics of fear, the relationships between fear and securitization; and 6)  labelling, representation, stigmatization of neighbourhoods. The course will mainly discuss the case of Brussels but will also compare it with international examples coming from Latin America (particularly Brazil), Palestine and Israel. The mandatory and supplementary texts referred to in this syllabus are available at the Canvas site of this course.

The course requires active participation in the preparation of the group assignment and in the reading of the texts assigned. The language of instruction is English and the study material will mainly consist of sources in this same language.

Additional info

Evening students

9 contact hours – 81 hours of self-study


Lessons, assessment and other contact moments may take place face to face and/or online, depending on the measures imposed by the government regarding Covid-19 as well as the availability of the classrooms.

Learning Outcomes

Algemene competenties

Knowledge and insight

  • Graduates have knowledge about and understanding of the city and the role of fear of crime and can debate current issues related to these topics;
  • Graduates can understand, judge and compare research on fear of crime and the city in different international contexts;
  • Graduates are able to identify how the urban is organized/constructed in a way that is related to fear, securitization, violence and crime;
  • Graduates are able to identify and critically discuss the main issues on fear of crime in the city of Brussels and are also able to compare them with other international cases;
  • Graduates have a more profound insight into the dynamics around fear of crime and fear of the other in an urban context.


  • Graduates can independently include, process and discuss the complex reality of urban life in their analyses;
  • Graduates can in groups describe and analyse policies regarding city and fear of crime based on theoretical insights about the urban;
  • Graduates can handle various sources of information (photo, film, etc.) in a creative manner to document fear in the city;
  • Graduates are able to think critically and discuss fear of crime and its social response in an urban context.


  • Graduates have a critical and integral attitude, which demonstrates intellectual curiosity and intellectual honesty and a mind-set of lifelong learning;
  • Graduates have a scientific interdisciplinary attitude with openness for different problem definitions and research methods;
  • Graduates have a great interest in social, geographical and criminological subjects and an ethical-scientific attitude towards the course and their colleagues;
  • Graduates deal with the emotional aspects of the studied phenomena;
  • Graduates are open minded and free of prejudice.


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

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

  • Written 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:

  • PRAC Teamwork with a relative weight of 40 which comprises 40% of the final mark.

Additional info regarding evaluation

The overall score of this compulsory master course ‘Crime and the City 1’ is determined by:

1. Written Exam (60%).

2. WEC assignment (Groupt task 40%) 

Each student should take part in the two forms of assessment (written exam and group task) in order to be approved. Students who failed the course but obtained a mark of at least 10 on 20 in one of the evaluations are dispensed for these assessments in the next time they follow the course.

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 Criminology: Standaard traject (only offered in Dutch)
Master of Urban Studies: Standard track
Master of Teaching in Social Sciences: criminologische wetenschappen (90 ECTS, Etterbeek) (only offered in Dutch)