Master in International Crimes and Criminology (MSc)

The unique Master’s program in International Crimes and Criminology teaches a small group of approximately 25 students the necessary intellectual skills to take this approach and trains them how to apply the knowledge and expertise to real-world situations.

The program in a nutshell

International Crimes and Criminology is a one-year, full-time program. It is taught fully in English. The program deals with international crimes in a broad framework. The focus is on the role of individuals, groups, states and the international community. You will gain insight into the psychology of perpetrators, get acquainted with criminological theories on organizational processes and discuss political issues in the international arena. Subjects like torture, rape, and genocide are discussed during class. This can be emotionally demanding, but our ultimate aim is to take a scientific approach to these topics in order to draft measures which might help prevent these types of crimes in the future.

You learn to analyze what makes people torture (etiology), are trained how to measure and investigate these crimes (prevalence) and challenged to critically reflect on modes of transitional justice (reaction). You do so by discussing important concepts of international criminal law and applying criminological, sociological and psychological theories to international crimes.

The program trains students to become both academics and professionals. After finishing the program, you will be able to objectively assess empirical data and critically comment on theoretical notions on the one hand, and draft policies, develop preventive strategies and do field work on the other.

Career prospects

On completing the program, you will be able to objectively assess empirical data and critically comment on theoretical notions. On the practical side, you will be able to draft policy documents, develop preventive strategies and carry out fieldwork.
Successful graduates of the program are equipped to embark on careers in a variety of organizations such as:

  • international criminal courts and tribunals;
  • human rights organizations;
  • refugee organizations;
  • government departments;
  • universities or other research institutes;
  • intergovernmental organizations.

Admission requirements

  • Applicants must have at least a Bachelor's degree in Criminology, Law, Social Sciences or Political Science.
  • Applicants who do not meet the above-mentioned requirement(s) are also encouraged to apply, provided that they have a sound academic background and a demonstrated interest in and knowledge of international crimes.
  • Language proficiency requirements: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia. For Dutch students or students already residing in the Netherlands, it’s possible to take the institutional TOEFL test that the VU Amsterdam offers.

Your previous education is compared to and valued through the UK Naric comparison system and, if necessary, through the Nuffic comparison and validation programs. Especially students from non-EU countries should factor in the possibility that a relevant Bachelor’s degree could not be sufficient to enter into this MSc. program and their application could result in a rejection. The Faculty of Law does not offer any pre-Master programs.

Program taught in:

See 80 more programs offered by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam »

Last updated October 26, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 year
2,083 EUR
for EEA students. €14.600 for non-EU/non-EEA students.
Request Info
deadline for international students
By locations
By date
Start Date
End Date
Application deadline
Request Info
deadline for international students
Application deadline
Request Info
deadline for international students
End Date