The Master in Criminology and Criminal Justice System has been taught for 26 years and is currently, since the academic year 2010-11, an official and interuniversity master's program. (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat de Girona i Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). 

Classes are face-to-face.

It is required to be able to read academic articles in English


The Master in Criminology and Criminal Justice System is intended for students to acquire an advanced specialist training exercise aimed at academic and empiric research work.

At the end of the program, students...

  • Should have advanced knowledge of criminology, penology and victimology
  • Should have advanced knowledge of criminal performance prison sentence and alternative criminal measures
  • Be able to apply their knowledge of criminological theories to formulate research hypotheses and conduct rigorous empirical research in the area of sentencing.
  • Be able to draw conclusions consistent with the empirical study and propose solutions to the problems discussed in criminal law sensitive to the social implications.
  • Be able to communicate clearly know and synthetic hypotheses, methodology, results and practical implications of the research, as a specialized as a non-specialist audience.
  • Will develop research skills that will enable them to try new areas of study autonomously.


Specific Skills

  • Show knowledge of advanced criminological reasearch on Criminology
  • Show knowledge of advanced criminological research on Penology
  • Designing a research project consistent in Criminology or Penology
  • Correctly use techniques empirical analysis development of a research project
  • Write a scientific paper suitable for publication in a journal, in both Spanish and English
  • Run a team research that integrates different perspectives of analysis

General Skills

  • Teamwork
  • Demonstrate the ability to work independently
  • Properly manage time to improve performance
  • Planning the tasks according to available resources
  • Offer structured final reports of research in wich they appear clearly with ReCeCo objectives, methodology, results, and conclusions
  • Consistently draw practical implications of empirical research analyzing the costs and properly possibilities of success
  • Draft a thesis, which includes an autonomous working hypothesis, sources, methodology, and implications research
  • Appropriately transmitted as part of a conference or seminar scientific ideas, and empirical work carried out in both a specialized publica as a non-specialist audience in Spanish and English


This master program consists of 60 ECTS. It can be pursued in one or two years:

  • Full-time: the 7 compulsory subjects, 2 electives (one per term) and the TFM
  • Part-time: in the 1st year, students must enrol to the 7 compulsory subjects and in the 2nd year, two electives plus the TFM 

Classes are face-to-face.



Compulsory topics

  • Topic 1: Penology. Theories of justification of punishment. Penitentiary system. Alternative punishments to prison. Juvenile penal system. Public opinion and punishment. European trends in the regulation of alternative punishments and prison punishments. Contemporary research on alternative punishments and prison punishments.

  • Topic 2: Criminology. Theories of Criminology. Contemporary research to test criminological theories. Training programs. Reinsertion programs. Victimology.

  • Topic 3: Methods. Methods of investigation in penology: quantitative and qualitative. Introduction to scientific work. Plan for thesis.

  • Topic 4Research Initiation: Final Thesis. Design of an integral project. Carrying out a research project in the field of criminology and penology.

Elective topics

  • Topic 5Crime. Organized crime. Economic and business delinquency. Common crime. Juvenile crime. New forms of crime: delinquency and new technologies. Temporary evolution of crime; data analysis.

  • Topic 6Criminal Justice System. Police. Criminal proceedings and precautionary measures. Prison and penitentiary law. Women and criminal system. Immigration and criminal system.