Criminology, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • English (schedule IELTS)
The Master of Criminology programme at KU Leuven is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of crime, public response to crime and, specifically, criminal justice in Europe and beyond.


The programme is characterised by a strong link between education and research, an explicitly international orientation, and a comparative approach, with special attention to the cross-border character of criminality. 

General subjects include criminological theories and models of law enforcement, psychology, law and criminal justice, youth criminology and juvenile justice, and research methods. The programme also offers cutting-edge courses on international police and judicial cooperation, political crimes and transitional justice, restorative justice, terrorism, and organised and corporate crime – research fields in which our Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC) professors are internationally renowned experts.

LINC is the most recent institutional incarnation (2007) of the criminological tradition in Leuven, which began with the establishment of the School for Criminology in 1929. Excellence in criminology continues today, combining solid research with a deep commitment to society structured within ten research lines. LINC is composed of 11 professors and more than 70 assistants and fellows involved in criminological research and education. 



  • the criminological program provides an appealing specialized, European and internationally oriented and research-based study of crime and the way of dealing with it as well as the study of the processes of (de)criminalization
  • to optimize methodological skills and attitudes in order to make autonomous constructive and high standing contributions to the field as well as further research possible
  • an international and comparative approach has been highlighted in the Master program, bearing in mind however the characteristic Belgian situation
Career perspectives

The programme is intended to prepare students for research and professional employment in national and international policy and operational agencies in the fields of criminal justice and victim assistance.

Graduates find employment in the domains of:

  • safety, police, justice
  • youth care
  • execution of sentences and penal measures
  • forensic mental healthcare
  • private security and safety
The Criminology programme is offered at KU Leuven.

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Methodology Seminar: Quantitative Research Methods
  • Methodology Seminar: Qualitative Research Methods
  • Methodology Seminar: Comparative Law and Criminology


    Prospective students should possess:

    • a critical-reflective attitude towards law (as a normative behavioural regulating framework), community and crime;
    • genuine interest in (inter)personal and social interactions;
    • theoretical knowledge of applied psychology, sociology and anthropology within the field of crime and the treatment of crime;
    • extensive knowledge of basic research methodology.

    Detailed Programme Facts

    • Programme intensity Full-time
      • Full-time duration 12 months
    • Credits
      60 ECTS
    • Languages
      • English
    • Delivery mode
      On Campus

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    English Language Requirements

    You only need to take one of these language tests:

    • Minimum required score:


      The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

      Schedule IELTS
    • Minimum required score:


      The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

    • Minimum required score:


      The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

    Academic Requirements

    On the basis of the following degrees, or similar degrees, obtained in the Flemish Community:
    • Bachelor in de criminologische wetenschappen (Leuven)
    • Bachelor in de rechten (Leuven) (Optie criminologische wetenschappen)
    • Bachelor of Criminology

    Tuition Fee

    • International Applies to you

      906 EUR/year
      Tuition Fee
      Based on the original amount of 906 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
    • EU/EEA Applies to you

      906 EUR/year
      Tuition Fee
      Based on the original amount of 906 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
    We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

    Living costs for Leuven

    • 810 - 1280 EUR/month
      Living Costs

    The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


    Scholarship and funding opportunities



    • Central bilateral agreements - Grants for Phd students and staff
    • FWO Research Funding
    • DBOF - PhD Scholarships
    • F+ - Fellowships for incoming postdocs
    • AXA Research Fund

    NON - EU


    • Coimbra group Scholarships programme for young researchers and professors from Latin America
    • Coimbra Group Hospitality Scheme (Ukraine and Balkans)
    • Coimbra Group scholarships Programme for Young Researchers from European Neighbouring Countries
    • Coimbra Group scholarships Programme for Young African researchers
    • Erasmus Mundus Partnerships
    • FWO Research Funding

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