Distinctive education

The MA in Global Criminology is an English-taught programme that consists of small-scale, interactive, and intensive courses. During the course of your studies, you will learn a wide range of qualitative research methods, including ethnography, open interviews, visual methods, and online techniques. A minimum of 60 ECTS points is necessary to complete the MA programme. Utrecht University’s MA in Global Criminology differs in many respects from comparable programmes offered by other Dutch universities. The latter are often taught in Dutch, admit large groups of students, focus on single issues, or are dominated by mainstream approaches and quantitative research methods. In contrast, our Master’s programme offers you:

  • a small-scale programme (of max. 25 students per track) with intensive personal contact between staff and students; 
  • a broader scope than that of single-issue master’s programmes (e.g. on international crimes or conflict studies); 
  • a critical view on global crime issues and dominant criminological approaches; 
  • a strong focus on the cultural dimensions of crime;
  • international staff with strong expertise in organised crime, crimes of the powerful, green and cultural criminology, security and qualitative research methods; 
  • training in various research methods with a strong emphasis on qualitative research techniques, including ethnography, interviews, and visual and online methods; 
  • a focus on the specific role of the Netherlands in the fields of drugs (and drug policies), human rights (international courts and tribunals), and illicit trade; 
  • a wide range of opportunities to conduct research or to participate in internships abroad; 
  • staff that maintain a large network of international contacts, particularly in Latin America and South and Eastern Europe; and
  • excursions, study trips, and expert guest lecturers with a strong international orientation.
Utrecht Janskerkhof

A leading university

Established in 1636, the Utrecht University School of Law is not only the oldest law school in the Netherlands, it is also one of the very best. Today, our beautiful and historical faculty buildings provide a supportive and inspiring work environment to around 500 lecturers and almost 4,000 students. Many of our alumni have gone on to hold prestigious positions with companies and institutions around the world.

​Based on the internationally recognised Shanghai Ranking, Utrecht is ranked the best research university in the Netherlands in 2019. Utrecht University has been the best ranking Dutch university since the first ARWU ranking published in 2003. This year, Utrecht University is ranked 13th in Europe and 49th worldwide. According to the World University Rankings 2019 by subject law, Utrecht University School of Law occupies the 33rd place.

Moreover, Utrecht University works closely together with over 80 leading international universities and is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The LERU is an association of 22 leading, like-minded European research institutes, collaborating to influence European policy regarding research, education and innovation. Nearly four centuries after the School of Law first opened its doors, we are very proud that we are still able to maintain our strong reputation as a centre of excellence.

The perfect location

Utrecht is more than just a well-established classical university: it is a vibrant town where Dutch history, a cosmopolitan population, and an active student network meet. Every year, students from all over the world come to Utrecht and have the experience of a lifetime. Why not join them!

I have been teaching Criminology in the Netherlands for the last 20 years, and I find the MA at Utrecht the most critical, innovative and internationally oriented of its kind.

What about tomorrow?

Law touches everything. It is in constant motion, changing even as it sets off changes in the world. Every day, lawyers and criminologists are focused on discovering answers to completely new questions; working with others, they are building tomorrow’s society, today. With its venerable 380-year history, the School of Law has chosen to take the question ‘What about tomorrow?’ to guide its teaching and research activities. Utrecht University School of Law intends to keep playing an active and significant role through innovative, multi-dimensional legal research that contributes to the ongoing solution of topical societal issues. Through challenging teaching programmes it trains its students to become excellent lawyers and criminologists who can take the lead in creating just societal changes.

My lecturers continuously challenged me, all year long.
Bobby McFaul