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Crime Science (EN)

Crime and security problems are increasingly studied as complex phenomena. The landscape of crime has changed: terrorism, cybercrime, cryptocurrency fraud, organised crime networks and artificial intelligence in crime are major contemporary crime and security challenges.

To address these issues, a shift from classical offender-focused and sociological approaches to a problem-solving framework is needed. The cross-disciplinary area of crime science studies specific crimes - rather than criminality - and emphasises a problem-solving, empirical 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.

This course consists of lectures on the foundations 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, cryptocurrency fraud, threat assessment and the role of artificial intelligence in crime.

A core part of this course is the Crime Challenge assignment, where you will develop and design a crime and compete with fellow students who develop a hands-on disruption/prevention strategy for your crime.


Mr. Bennett Kleinberg

Learning objectives

By the end of this course, students are able to:

  • Explain the key theories and approaches of Crime Science.
  • Differentiate the classic sociological-criminological approach from modern Crime Science.
  • Apply the Crime Science mindset 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.

Teaching format

  • Lecture
  • Poster presentation
  • Work independently on project/ thesis
  • Guidance / feedback moment


There are two assessments:

  • Exam at the end of the course (with open and multiple-choice questions about the lectures): 30% of the final grade.
  • Crime Challenge: 70% of the final grade.

Entry requirements

Open to second-year and third-year Bachelor’s students.

Study material

Academic articles, white papers, newspaper articles, opinion pieces, etc. will be made available at the beginning of the course.

Time table

You can find the timetable on Datanose.

Recommended prior knowledge

This course is inherently cross-disciplinary: we welcome students from diverse academic backgrounds to register. This course 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) or from a professional background in the area of crime prevention.

Crime Science is by definition cross-disciplinary and relies on input from diverse disciplines. If you have an interest in crime and security problems but are uncertain how your academic background fits with this course, please contact Mr. Bennett Kleinberg.

Number of participants



UvA students can register from 7 June 2021 (look for code 5512CRSC6Y in SIS) until one week prior to the start of the course. If you have any trouble while registering, please contact us at Keuzeonderwijs-iis@uva.nl

Other interested parties, such as contract students or students from other institutions, can register from 7 June 2021 until one week prior to the start of the course by completing the registration form.

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 prevention measures, basically, only UvA students and ‘bijvak’ students (students from another university or higher education institution) can attend this course on-campus and if possible, contract students can also attend the course on campus. 
Because it is uncertain whether this would be possible, contract students therefore still pay the lower fee for this course, which can be found on the website.


Check the website.

SDGs in education

The IIS strives to reflect current societal issues and challenges in our elective courses, honours modules and degree programmes, and attempts to integrate the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in this course. For more information about these goals, please visit the SDGs website

Facts & Figures
Mode Short-term,
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Conditions for admission Open
Starts in September