International Master of Science in Advanced Research in Criminology: Border Crossing, Security and Social Justice

The International Master of Science in Advanced Research in Criminology (IMARC) is an international two-year programme with a focus on border crossing, security and social justice and involves three different universities in Europe. IMARC aims to address the need for internationally oriented and interdisciplinary trained researchers that can offer original insights and analyses as well as innovative, effective and ethical solutions to advance policy, practice and academic research.
Increasing flows of people, goods and information raise new questions about how governments and societies respond to perceived and actual threats of crime. Current developments in Europe and beyond challenge not only our understanding of crime and crime control, but also the balance between demands for security and social justice. IMARC trains students to develop fresh and critical views on terrorism, human trafficking, cybercrime, corporate and organized crime, external and internal border control, EU criminal justice, policing and crime prevention, migration policies, human rights, social exclusion and urban safety.
The programme gives students the opportunity to study a broad range of substantive criminological issues, whilst simultaneously providing a robust theoretical foundation within which students can develop deeper analytical and critical thinking. As a research-intensive master’s programme there is also a strong emphasis on providing students with training in a variety of research approaches and methodologies and an extended dissertation.
A consortium of three European universities – Erasmus University Rotterdam, Ghent University and the University of Kent – established this two-year joint master’s programme and brings together learning, research and practice through collaboration with already well-established partners such as governments, NGO’s, corporate actors and other universities. IMARC’s cooperation with both private and public organisations boosts the innovation of IMARC and the employability of our students. IMARC provides asset of transversal skills related to lifelong learning and employment opportunities.


The joint programme of the IMARC runs over two years full time, and is divided into four equally weighted semesters totalling 120 ECTS. Each semester comprises 30 ECTS (in the case of the UKent track semester two includes 35 credits). The first semester at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam focuses on central themes in international criminology. Students will take four modules: two modules introducing students to relevant themes in Global Criminology, which includes its historical and economic dimension, and two modules developing methodological skills specifically relevant to undertaking research in international contexts.
Both from a theoretical and from a practical perspective IMARC covers a range of themes, including theory and methodology, geopolitics, cities and urban transformations, inclusion and exclusion, migration, human smuggling and trafficking, culture and hybrid identities, radicalisation and extremism, European Union law and policy on justice and Home Affairs, and regulation and control.
Students choose a thematic track in the second semester and take taught modules and participate in a mandatory Common Session in Critical Criminology, which is a twice-yearly conference for students and staff.
In the third semester students will write four research papers in which they approach their research topic from each of the thematical angles of the second semester tracks. Students will continue their supervised research, for example through fieldwork, or a research internship (at network partner institutions), or desk-based data collection.
In semester four students write their master’s dissertation under supervision of the university at which they followed one of these tracks:

  • Global flows of people, local dilemma’s and glocal answers
  • European Union criminal policy and justice in context
  • Border crossing – theory, culture, power, and the global

> Master’s dissertation

The master’s dissertation is a requirement for every candidate to obtain a master’s degree. The master’s dissertation is an original piece of research work. It aims to develop and strengthen the research capacity skills of the students. The student selects a topic and is given guidance by a promoter or supervisor. The research shall draw on and deepen subject area of the thematic track, build on the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the programme and show that the student is capable of original, independent research.


The programme will enable students to work not only as a researcher in academic, public, third sector and commercial organisations but also as a consultant, data analyst, compliance officer, policy adviser or policy maker, advocate or manager.