Comparative Criminal Justice MSc

This programme explores contemporary criminal justice developments and challenges from legal and criminological perspectives. Students will learn to apply a comparative perspective to analyse the criminal justice process regarding its ability to deal with crimes that take place both within and beyond national borders.

Transnational crimes like human trafficking and terrorism increasingly demands coordinated criminal justice responses on a European or international level, which has created a demand for graduates who understand these relevant processes and its actors. This programme also devotes attention to the involvement of non-state actors and agencies outside the criminal justice system in crime control and the implications for legitimacy and accountability.

Why choose Comparative Criminal Justice in Leiden?

  • The programme distinguishes itself by its international comparative perspective, analysing criminal justice systems, legislation and policies in common law and civil law countries.
  • It is unique in its combination of legal and criminological perspectives and its cross-national scope.
  • International group of students with different backgrounds, including criminology, social sciences, law and international studies.
  • Teaching takes place in small groups and is interactive in nature, with a great diversity in class formats and assignments.

Career perspectives

Career prospects students may consider when choosing this Master’s programme include:

  • Law (-related) professions
  • Criminal justice organisations
  • Research and teaching
  • Roles related to policy-making and policy-advising

Miranda Boone
Professor of Criminology

Only when you learn about other criminal justice systems, you can start to understand your own.

Overview courses

Semester I 

Lawmaking, politics and society (5 EC)

Comparative Criminal
Justice Research Methods (10 EC)

Human Rights and
European Criminal Law
in context (10 EC)

Research proposal
(5 EC)

Semester II 

Public and Private Policing
(5 EC)

Prosecution and Diversion
(5 EC)

Courts and Sentencing
(5 EC)

Punishment and
Prison (5 EC)

(10 EC)


Master of Science








1 year 

Mode of study: