Stockholm university logo, link to start page


Do you have an interest in crime and punishment? Do you have a dream of someday working with analyzing and mapping crime, society’s responses to crime or victimisation? At our department you gain extensive knowledge about social problems, control mechanisms, crime policy and other social phenomena related to crime.

Subject description

Criminology is the study of crime and punishment. Studying criminology will provide a broad understanding of crime and other social phenomena related to crime. We study the structure and extent of crime, and variations in crime over time and between different segments of the population. Criminology seeks knowledge in explanations of criminal and non-criminal behavior at the level of the individual, the group and society at large.

A main field in course work at our department is crime policy, which includes a focus on the processes leading to criminalisation or decriminalisation, as well as other responses to crime: crime prevention, the work of the police, and the treatment of offenders. How and why do we punish people? And how can we understand the usage of incarceration or recurrent punitive trends? 

Our courses also provide insights into the operation of the justice system, which includes the work of the prosecution service, the police, the courts and the prison and probation service. Course work also includes a focus on other institutions and organisations whose work touches on questions relating to crime prevention, legal rights and equality before the law, and the privacy and integrity of the individual. Another field of interest in our course work is victimology, i.e. the study of crime victimisation - victimisation processes, the causes of victimisation and measures to prevent victimisation. Course work is formulated in a way intended to encourage independent and critical reflection.

Career opportunities

Knowledge in Criminology is very useful for those intending to work in a broad range of occupations including journalism, the education sector or social planning.

With a major in Criminology, you could work with the study and analysis of crime, exposure to crime and the response to crime within the police, the prison and probation service or in some other field of public administration.

Courses and programmes


A bachelor’s degree in Criminology can only be obtained through individual courses listed under Educations within the subject.

A master’s degree in Criminology can only be obtained through enrolment in the master program listed under Educations within the subject.

More information about degrees at Stockholm University