nl en

Safe City Lecture Series


Admission requirements

This course is available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme and to a limited amount of external students.


The Safe City lecture series is an introduction to crime, safety and policing in urban contexts in a long term perspective. The course consists of 12 lectures, and focuses on the following questions:

  • How are crime and safety defined in a long term perspective?

  • Can patterns of crime be identified in a long term perspective?

  • How can we explain patterns of urban crime?

  • How have crime and safety issues been handled by (urban) authorities?

  • How can we study urban crime and the effects of policing on urban crime?

In the first lecture students are introduced to the field of urban criminology. After the introduction the course is divided into two parts:

  • 1) In the first six lecturers students will be introduced to the main theories in criminology.

  • 2) In the following lectures, students will learn how to apply these theories onto historical and contemporary case-studies. Students will get an understanding of the relation between and the urban context and crime, and the theories that have been used explain the concentration of crime in certain places and times.

Course objectives

General learning outcomes

See tab Additional information for the overview of the programme's general learning outcomes. In the assessment methods below is outlined which general learning outcome will be tested through which method.

Course objectives, pertaining to this course

The students are able to:

  • 1) Identify key questions and topics regarding crime and safety as formulated in the lectures and literature. These questions relate to: definitions of crime, trends and developments in urban crime, urban policing in a long term perspective, urban criminology, the relation between urban context and crime, and theories developed by criminologists to explain the concentration of crime across time and space.

  • 2) Summarize and reproduce the most important questions and topics on crime and safety, trends and developments, and policing of urban crime in a long term perspective, as formulated in the lectures and literature.

  • 3) Classify and recognize key concepts in urban criminology, as formulated in the course literature.

  • 4) Apply the definitions and theories in urban criminology on both historical and contemporary case studies.

  • 5) Plan and schedule their study: organise and use relatively large amounts of information and data.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Assessment method


  • Group presentation (4-5 students per group, depending on the total number of students; last week of the semester). Students will choose their own case study (city, time period, research question) and apply one or more theories to try to explain criminality and safety issues in their city of choice.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 4-5, 9, 11, 13, 15, 22
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-5

  • Final exam (January)
    A written examination with open questions, based on the literature and lectures.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 4-5, 9, 11, 13, 15, 22
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-5


Partial grade Weighing
Group presentation 40
Final Exam 60

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of the assessment components.

  • The weighted average of the midterm exam grade and the final exam grade needs to be 5.50 or higher.


If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or one of the exam grades is lower than 5.50, there is a possibility of retaking the written examination material, replacing the previous exam grade(s).

Faculty regulations concerning participation in resits are listed in article 4.1 of the Faculty Course and Examination Regulations.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Textbook: Wilcox P., Francis T. Cullen, and Ben Feldmeyer, Communities and Crime: An Enduring American Challenge, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2018.

Further references for key readings from book chapters and articles will be provided by the lecturers through Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr M. Pluskota (coordinator of the lecture series)

Dr. J. Brands