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Look at conflict-related crime from every angle

International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology

International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology is a one-year, full-time programme taught entirely in English. You’ll learn to analyse why people commit crimes in times of conflict (etiology), how to measure and investigate these crimes (prevalence), and what modes of Transitional Justice exist (reaction).

In this programme you’ll have active discussions about international criminal law, and you’ll get the chance to apply criminological, sociological and psychological theories and methods to real-world case studies. Those might include the genocide in Rwanda and the civil war in former Yugoslavia; conflict and terrorism in Syria, Libya and Iraq and transitional justice processes in Colombia, South Africa, Angola and Afghanistan.

The ultimate aim of the programme is to understand why and in what contexts criminal acts take place, and what the suitable responses should be. The courses use many different disciplines to approach conflict-related crimes – including insights from criminology, sociology, psychology, international criminal law and political science. But this isn’t just an academic programme – it’s training for your professional career. You’ll have the tools to look at the evidence objectively, get hands-on experience in the field, challenge criminological theories, draft up policies to fight crime, and develop strategies to prevent future crimes. Plus, you’ll get to visit all the important legal institutions in The Hague, while international experts regularly teach guest lectures and provide research seminars.

Teaching staff of the International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology programme conduct research at the Centre for International Criminal Justice (CICJ). As a Master’s student, you will be the first to hear about the outcomes of the research carried out, since the results will be incorporated in your lectures. If your grades are particularly high, you might be invited to take part in the research projects run by CICJ and the selective International Law Clinic course.

Throughout the year, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in guest lectures, excursions, documentary nights and study trips. These activities are organised either by teaching staff or by students who participate in the social committee. For more information, and to get an impression of past activities, visit our Facebook page!

The start date of this programme is September 1st.


The programme consists of three compulsory core courses in the first semester, and a choice of several elective courses in the second semester. You’ll conclude the programme with an interdisciplinary Master’s thesis focused on conflict-related crimes.

Here are just three examples of courses on offer:

- Atrocity Actors: Perpetrators, Bystanders and Victims – Who are the people involved in atrocities? Why do perpetrators commit crimes like rape, torture and genocide? Why do so few people actively intervene? What are the consequences for victims?
- International Criminal Courts and Tribunals – Learn more about the International Criminal Tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Of course, to understand the inner workings of the International Criminal Court, you’ll need to take field trips to The Hague – the legal capital of the world is just a 30-minute train ride away. Guest lectures from criminology experts complete the package.
- Corporations, Conflict and Crimes – Understand why businesses are involved in gross human rights violations and international crimes. Use insights, knowledge and theories from history, social psychology, organisational sciences, business ethics and political science to complement your criminological approach.

You’ll also have the opportunity to join the “Transitional justice in reality” field trip to Bosnia. See our Facebook group for details!

See the study guide for more information about mandatory and elective courses.


  • Master's Thesis International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology
  • Conflict and Crimes
  • International Criminal Courts and Tribunals
  • Research Methodology on Conflict and International Crimes

Please consult the Study Guide for more information


We regularly recruit interns to help with our academic research in CICJ projects such as “When Justice is Done”, “Escaping Justice”, and “Criminal Careers of Dutch War Criminals”. Interns assist in gathering data – for example, through file analysis, discourse analysis or interviews. You’ll then analyse this information and may even have the opportunity to publish in academic journals. We have many professional contacts in the field, and regularly help students to get internships at relevant institutions in or near The Hague. Past students have interned at many institutions, including:

  • International Criminal Court
  • International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia
  • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
  • United Nations
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Amnesty International
  • Team International Crimes, Netherlands Police
  • Royal Marechaussee
  • Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement
  • Netherlands Institute of International Relations, “Clingendael”

Research Talent Track

Are you looking for an extra academic challenge, next to this one-year Master's programme? Are you interested in research? The Research Talent Track might be a good fit for you as well. It’s a selective programme aimed at motivated and talented masterstudents who want to further develop their analytical research skills. You will learn and experience how to do scientific research. This will help you in deciding whether you want to pursue a career in the academic world, and/or will improve your opportunities on the labour market outside academia. 

More information 

Summer School on International Criminal Justice

Is a whole year too long? Many of the questions addressed in the Master’s programme are also covered in the two-week Summer School on International Criminal Justice in Amsterdam. Fields of interest include criminology, law, psychology, social sciences and conflict studies.

Change your future with the International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology programme

Change your future with the International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology programme

After graduating from the International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology Master’s programme, you could take an analyst position for national and international public-interest organisations working in law enforcement, immigration, refugee matters or foreign policy, for example. Alumni have also found work as analysts for private companies like insurers, and as consultants. Alternatively, you’d be well suited to research positions at universities, research centres and think tanks, and to policy advisor positions at ministries, NGOs or law enforcement. If your interests lie in the cultural sector, you could become a journalist or documentary maker.

In addition, many of our alumni combine the often more generic expertise they obtained in their Bachelor’s programme with the specific expertise from this Master’s. This allows students with a Bachelor’s in communications studies, for example, to find work more easily as a communications officer in the field of international justice. If you have a background in journalism, for instance, you could strengthen your expertise and focus on conflict and crime-related issues.

Explore your future prospects
young boy walking with a gun