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Honoursmodule: Crime Science



Bennett Kleinberg

Entry requirements 

For 2nd or 3rd year honours students only. 

Recommended prior knowledge


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this module, the student can:

  • explain the key theories and approaches of Crime Science.
  • differentiate the (classical) sociological-criminological approach from modern Crime Science.
  • apply the Crime Science mind-set to real-life crime and security problems.
  • critically reflect upon crime prevention and security policymaking.
  • formulate a response strategy to security and crime problems.
  • analyse long-standing as well as pressing future issues in crime prevention and detection.


Crime and security problems are increasingly studied as complex phenomena. Technological advances accelerate the evolution and are changing the landscape of crime. To address current crime and security challenges (e.g. terrorism, cybercrime, cryptocurrency fraud, organised crime), a shift from classical offender-focused and sociological approaches to a problem-solving framework is on its way. The cross-disciplinary Crime Science studies specific types of crimes - rather than criminality - and emphasises the problem-solving research approach. The aim is to apply the scientific method to understand, prevent and disrupt specific crimes. Crime Science focuses on solving real-life crime and security problems instead of just describing them.

A principal element of this module are lectures on the foundation of Crime Science and case studies by leading researchers and practitioners. Guest speakers include world-leading academics from the UK, as well as intelligence analysts and policymakers. The topics covered include terrorism prevention, lone-actor violence, organised crime network infiltration, cybercrime (e.g., botnets and their monetisation by criminals), cryptocurrency fraud, and high-tech crime prevention. There will be room for discussion with guest speakers, and students will have the opportunity to interact with the speakers.

A core part of this module is the Crime Challenge assignment. In this assignment, you will develop and design your own crime and compete with fellow students who develop a disruption/prevention strategy to your crime. All students will design a crime and create a mitigation strategy for another crime. The results will be presented at the end of the module and handed in as a brief written report.

Class contents

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Presentation / Symposium
  • Feedback moment


There are two assessments:

  • Class test at the end of the module (with open and MC questions about the lectures): 30% of the final grade.
  • Crime Challenge: 70% of the final grade

Min/max participants



Check Datanose for the exact information.

Study material

Literature (academic articles, white papers, newspaper articles, opinion pieces, etc.) will be made available at the beginning of the module.


Registration is possible for 2nd year (of higher) students participating in an Honours programme from 7 December 2018 10.00 till 11 December 2018 23.00 through the online registration form that will appear on Honoursmodules IIS.

Placement will be at random. If there are still spots open after the application deadline, students will still be able to register.

For questions: please contact 


This module is inherently cross-disciplinary: students from diverse academic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to register for this module. This module will be of particular interest to those students who are interested in crime and security problems and come from diverse disciplines (including the social and behavioural Sciences, the natural sciences, computational sciences, and the humanities).

Students who have an interest in crime and security problems, but are uncertain how their background fits with this module, are strongly encouraged to register for this module. If you have any questions or doubts regarding this matter, please contact the module instructor. Crime Science is by definition cross-disciplinary and relies on input from diverse disciplines.

Facts & Figures
Mode Honours programme
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Conditions for admission
Starts in April