Study programme

Why study IMARC

Increasing flows of people, goods and information: one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Great migrations often come with problems of crime and injustice, like radicalisation, human trafficking and violations of human rights. For decades Europe has reacted in a defensive way. Nowadays we realize the need for new visions and joint international responses. Understanding crime and crime control, and finding a balance between demands for security and social justice will be the start of possible solutions.

As an IMARC student

You develop fresh and critical views on the essential criminological issues. IMARC brings together learning, research and practice through collaboration with partners such as governments, NGO’s, corporate actors and other universities. You are trained in a variety of research approaches and methodologies. You participate in international conferences and intercultural and interdisciplinary exchange. As a graduate you will have a lot of expertise in the field of border crossing, security and social justice.

IMARC is an interdisciplinary full-time programme that prepares you for the current demands in the field of border crossing, security and social justice. IMARC addresses these issues from a European and global perspective.

For the first time, experts in the field of international criminology are working together in one joint international educational programme.

Your future with IMARC

What is your ambition? Would you like to be a policy maker at the EU? Or do you prefer to do academic research on border security? Maybe become a policy maker at an NGO or an human rights organisation. With a valuable multiple IMARC degree you will have numerous options to build a great career. As an interdisciplinary expert and a skilful researcher, you will contribute to answers to the current social and political challenges of crimes and crime control.


IMARC is a joint programme of two European universities: Erasmus University Rotterdam and Ghent University. The programme is designed to respond critically, scientifically and in a policy-oriented manner to social questions that have dramatically changed the agendas of crime, harm and control.

First semester

The programme starts at Erasmus University Rotterdam, where you take several basic theoretical and methodological courses in criminology, focusing on international criminology in general and border crossing, security and social justice in particular.  A strong methodological foundation will be developed for research projects by completing a suite of methods modules.

Second semester

In the second semester, you choose a specialisation track at one of the two universities:

Global flows, local dilemmas and glocal answers (Erasmus University Rotterdam): How are global developments interrelated with local problems? What ‘glocal’ answers are needed from research, policy and practice? Key themes are how global flows of people, goods and business transactions relate to law enforcement and governmental control, urban issues, radicalization, and organized and corporate crime.

European Union criminal policy and justice in context (Ghent University): How does the EU respond to the various challenges of criminal activities? The modules focus on theoretical foundations of EU policy as well as practical application to crime and control.

Third semester

In the third semester you will have the choice between a research-based internship or fieldwork for your thesis (if you wish, at another (associate) university). You will start or continue your supervised research, for example through fieldwork, or a research internship (at one of our network partner institutions), or desk-based data collection. It is possible to move to another (associate) university or location in the third semester for an internship or to do fieldwork for your thesis. If you follow the EUR track, moving to UGhent is mandatory under the mobility rules (two universities during the programme). 

Research abroad
The added value of the IMARC programme is that you are able to do longer and more elaborate research. You may undertake your research abroad or in the country where you are attending the semester and you can choose among IMARC’s network partners or propose other (new) network partners for your research. You will also take the following four research modules that develop the argument of your thesis from different perspectives.

Fourth semester

In the fourth semester you will write your master’s thesis, at the university of your track. The fourth semester is completely devoted to writing your master’s thesis and is the final part of the programme. The master’s thesis is a central and required part of the IMARC programme.

Year 1 EC
Semester 1: basic courses at the EUR
Globalisation, digitalisation and crime
Corporate & white collar crime
Analysing criminal policies in a global perspective
Advanced research methods
Year 1 EC
Semester 2: Specialisation track
EUR track: Global flows, local dilemmas and glocal answers
Cross-border organised crime
Terrorism. extremism and control
Urban issues, culture and crime
Doing research in IMARC
One course includes Common Study Session preparation
UGhent track: European Union criminal policy and justice in context
Advanced European criminal policy
Advanced European and international asylum and migration law and policy
Critical criminology and the criminal justice system (includes Common Study Session preparation)
One elective course from list:
- Sexual offending, prostitution and human trafficking
- Financial and economic crime
- Cybercrime, technology and surveillance
- Spatiotemporal criminology
Year 2 EC
Semester 3: Preparing and doing research
Research module I: Where the local meets the global
Research module II: European Union criminal policy and justice in context
Research module III: Global discourse and narratives of crime
Research module IV: Power relations and abuses of power
Year 2 EC
Semester 4: Writing the master’s thesis
Final master’s thesis: continuation of the fieldwork and data collection, master’s thesis writing, presentation at the Closing Session.

Career perspectives

Career perspectives

The specialists who leave the program know how to approach international issues and research questions from different perspectives. They can work in a variety of sectors at different levels in analytical roles, policy making roles, research roles or PhD positions. The geopolitical changes show that there are more and more organisations involved in combating or preventing migration, security, crime and social justice. Potential employers are inter- or non-governmental organisations; national and European public services; consultancy firms, research and knowledge institutions/academic institutions, banks and insurance companies and consultancy firms. Below gives an overview of our alumni  in their current career after IMARC (d.d. January 2024):

Alumni and their current employment

Country of employment

Social Worker – Batshaw Youth and Family Centre Foundation


Beleidsmedewerker Natuur – Provincie Limburg


Benefits Research Executive – Ben (global flexible benefits platform) – London


Consultant at EY Forensic & Integrity Services


Cyber threat intelligence analyst – Accenture


Cyber threat Intelligence Analyst – MN8 Energy


Financial Economic Crime\ Analyst Private Clients – Rabobank


HR advisor TOPdesk


Intervention specialist NVWA-IOD (Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority -intelligence and investigation unit)


Jr. researcher at Lokale Zaken (Governance and Safety)


Jr. researcher at Verinorm (research and advice, social security and integrity)


Jr. Analyst at Home Affairs and Social Policy @ RAND Europe / Trainee European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights


Jr. Analyst – Enforcement, Malta Financial Services Authority


Justice & Security Trainee in the JDM Unit – European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights


KYC Analyst – ING Hubs Slovakia


Lawyer and researcher


Management trainee Dutch prison (Arnhem)


Open-source researcher. Crisis and Conflict at Human Rights Watch


PhD Candidate on AI surveillance and human rights – EUR


PhD Candidate Criminology- Leiden University


PhD Candidate on Human Trafficking in the Port of Rotterdam- EUR


PhD candidate at ETH Zürich / Investigator for CURATE Project


PhD Candidate in Institutions and Politics @UniCatt – Milan


PhD Candidate in Urban Criminology – VUB


PhD Candidate research women and domestic work on the platform economy – EUR


PhD Candidate in Criminology and Child Law 8 – Leiden University


PhD Candidate at the European University Institute


Policy officer/assistant to the Liaison Magistrate for the United Kingdom


Project leader at the Ministry of Home affairs Belgium – DG Safety and Prevention


Project member Exodus (post-detention coaching)


Researcher – Ghent University


Researcher at Wildlife Justice Commission – Law enforcement and legal experts fighting transnational organised wildlife crime.


Sanctions Analyst / Complex Legal Corporate Structures Rabobank


Second master’s degree in gender studies


Security Risk Manager – ASLM


Policy officer WMO Social care (prevention homeless) – Municipality Oestgeest


Access to the field

Through IMARC you can also utilise possibilities provided by associate partners, which are: University Hassan (Morocco), University of Hamburg (Germany), Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary), Koç University (Turkey) and University of Bologna (Italy). In addition, connections with organisations in the field, among which governmental bodies, NGO’s and organisations offer opportunities for research, internships and impact. IMARC also enhances the role of informal and peer-to-peer learning, especially through twice-yearly student conferences (Common Sessions) as part of the Common Study Programme in Critical Criminology (CSP).

This programme involves fifteen universities from twelve countries. Twice a year in Spring and Autumn, postgraduates (Master’s and doctoral), academic staff and associated professionals from participating universities and their non-academic partners meet at one of the university centres for a conference style ‘Common Session’. The CSP offers IMARC students an opportunity to engage freely with peers and academic staff in a range of structured and informal conference style settings. Though the fifteen university partners are centres of formal higher education, the Common Study Programme itself is a transnational and trans-institutional setting in which non-formal postgraduate learning takes place in the timetabled activity of the Common Session conference (see also A key educational element is the experience of short-term mobility, which is physical (geographical) as well as interdisciplinary and intercultural.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. The graduate can demonstrate knowledge and understanding that is founded upon and extends and/or enhances that typically associated with the Bachelor level, and that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in developing and/or applying ideas, often within a research context.
    Independently describing, analysing, evaluating and critically reflecting on legal, social and historical aspects of criminological problems in their national and international contexts.
  2. Comparing and connecting, both nationally and internationally, basic disciplines of criminology: sociology, law and political science.
  3. Having knowledge on current discussions and issues regarding crime and deviance phenomena.

The graduate can apply their knowledge and understanding, and problem-solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study.

  1. Independently analysing, critically evaluating and writing academic texts in the field of criminology, and applying paradigms while indicating and creatively using their boundaries.
  2. Independently applying knowledge about agents, policy processes and decision-making processes within the criminological field in addressing crime and deviance phenomena.
  3. Independently comparing and evaluating interdisciplinary problems in the field of criminology, specifically in relation to security, migration and global issues, in their historical, national, European and international contexts.
  4. Independently designing and carrying out empirical academic research, specifically in an international or interdisciplinary setting.
  5. Independently and within a certain timeframe formulating solutions and policies for new and complex criminological problems, both nationally and internationally.
  6. Ability to collaborate with relevant academic and non-academic parties in formulating solutions for interdisciplinary criminological questions.
  7. Independently working within relevant sectors and with relevant actors, among which academic institutions, governmental bodies, security actors, NGO’s and commercial organizations.
  8. Ability to act as a broker to connect sectors with each other.

The graduate can integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and formulate judgements with incomplete or limited information, but that include reflecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgements.

  1. Independently constructing a critical vision of the societal role and responsibility of a criminologist, both nationally and internationally.
  2. Ability to integrate in research and policy advice aspects of developments in history and insights from related disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, political science, public administration, cultural studies, and law.
  3. Ability to reflect on ethical, theoretical and methodological choices in designing and carrying out research.
  4. Independently including ethical and normative perspectives in the evaluation and interpretation of research-outcomes, policy and practice.
  5. Respecting the integrity and deontological norms of the profession and integrating them in one’s scientific/professional work.
  6. Respecting cultural differences and integrating diversity, pluralism and tolerance in one’s scientific/professional work.

The graduate can communicate their conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously.

  1. Independently presenting criminological research, solutions and policy recommendations in English to specialist and non-specialist audiences, both in writing and orally.

The graduate has the learning skills to allow them to continue to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous.

  1. Independently engaging in research and being open minded to reflect and respond to new developments and current discussions in criminology and the work field of borders, security and social justice.
  2. Ability to start a study on a PhD level.
  3. Having an attitude to lifelong learning.
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