45198 - Applied Criminology

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Criminology for Investigation and Security (cod. 8491)

Learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to provide the theoretical tools useful to reflect on, prepare and manage criminological projects.

Course contents

During the course, we will examine major area of crime via the application of criminological theories and the analysis of statistical trends. Therefore, the information will be presented beginning with the theoretical point of view, and moving into specific crimes ans cases for study.

Particular attention will be given to prisons with an overview on difficulties and problems characterising the imprisonment.

Relationships betwewn victims and offenders highlight the difficulties of the law to encourage the reparation of the harm done, both at the personal and social level. For this reason, during the lessons, we will examin some aspects of the restorative justice process because it maximizes the input and participation of some social parties - but especially primary victims as well as offenders - in the search for restoration, healing, responsibility and prevention.

Then, we will focus on some crimes, in particular homicide, domestic and gender-based violence, in order to provide useful tools for studying problems related to the spread of crime, victimization processes and social control.


Classes will be held in the second semester (from February to May 2024).


Mandatory documents:

1) Balloni A., Bisi R., Sette R., Criminologia applicata, Wolters Kluwer-Cedam, Milano, 2019, only the following chapters: 11,14, 15, 16, 21, and 24.

2) Friedman B., "White Unit and Prisoner-Officers Alliances", Contexts, vol. 21, n. 3, pp. 28-33 (available at: virtuale.unibo.it)

3) Palermo G., Conflitto e crimine tra punizione e giustizia riparativa. Il d. Lgs. 10 ottobre 2022, n. 150, Wolters Kluwer-Cedam, Milano, 2023.

Choose one among the following books:

1. Balloni A., Bisi R., Monti C., Soda caustica, allume di rocca e pece greca. Il caso Cianciulli, Minerva, Bologna, 2010.

2. Balloni A., Guida G., Racconti criminali. Omicidi e vittime in famiglia, Bonomo, Bologna, 2017. E-book is available at: www.bonomoeditore.com

3. Sette R., Detenuti e prigioni. Sofferenze amplificate e dinamiche di rapporti interpersonali, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2017.

4. Sette R., Tuzza S., Promuovere ambienti educativi sicuri. Prevenire gli abusi negli ambienti ecclesiali, Editrice Ave, Roma, 2021

5. Zurli G.G., Fregoso E., Maritza. I misteriosi delitti della chiromante, Diabasis, Parma, 2023, only the following parts: prologue, capters 1 and 5, criminological part.

6. Sette R., Sicurella S., Parole in libertà: hate speech online attraverso l'Europa. Una lettura socio-criminologica, PMEdizioni, Varazze, 2024.


For regular attendees the bibliography for the exam preparation will be recommended by the teacher during lessons.


Mandatory bibliography for Erasmus Students (who prefer reading in English) :

  • Prisons and Prisoners in Europe, 2022: Key Findings of the SPACE I survey, available at: virtuale.unibo.it

  • Probation and Prisons in Europe, 2022: Key Findings of the SPACE report, available at: virtuale.unibo.it

  • Sette R., "Evolving Legal Landscape in the Field of Domestic Abuse in Italy", Urban Crime, n. 4, 2023, available at: virtuale.unibo.it

  • European Institute for Gender Equality, Intimate Partner Violence and witness intervention: what are the deciding factors?, 2020, available at: virtuale.unibo.it
  • GENHA Group, Report on the state-of-the-art on anti-gender hate speech, 2020, available at: virtuale.unibo.it
  • UNODOC, Global Studies on Homicide, Booklet 3, 2019, available at: https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/gsh/Booklet_3.pdf


The course is based on the integrated digital teaching model (DDI) and for this reason all students (regular attendees, not regular attendess, international) should benefit from all the documents published on the platform virtuale.unibo.it

Teaching methods

Course methodology: lectures and participatory activities.


Despite the fact that it is not compulsory, course attendance is highly recommended.

Assessment methods

The assessment of the degree of preparation will vary according to the attendance or non-attendance of lessons.

The aim of the final exam is to verify the achievement of the following goals:

1) acquire the skills needed to understand, design, prepare and manage projects in the field of criminology and victimology;

2) to be able to use tools to analyze, evaluate and prepare operative models to prevent and fight against crime.


The final exam will consist of a written text composed of open questions. Answers should be written in a separate sheet, given by the teacher, with the appropriate number of rows to fill in. Grades are expressed in thirtieths. In other words, students had to obtain at least 18 out of 30 in order to pass the exam.


Answers will be evaluated through a combination of the three following factors: 1) coherence of the answer to the question; 2) accuracy, argumentative correctness, and terminological appropriateness; 3) quality of explanation and, where appropriate, the use of examples.

The student’s ability to find information in the literature and other educational materials, in order to ascertain whether the learning objectives have been met, will be highly evaluated. The student’s attainment of a complete view of the topics covered in the course, along with their critical analysis, a demonstration of having an adequate expressive mastery and a specific language, will be evaluated with high marks (from 27 to 30/30). Less well articulated knowledge mostly from memory, the ability to understand, analyze, and summarize, a language not always appropriate, will be evaluated with lower marks (from 22 to 26/30). If the study of the topics covered in the course is basic but is accompanied by educational gaps and inappropriate language, the marks will not be more than passing grades (from 18 to 21/30). Educational gaps, inappropriate language, lack of capacity to find information in the literature and other educational materials will lead to negative marks (less tahn 18/30).


To take the examination students must enroll in the AlmaEsami with the deadlines required. Students who are unable to enroll within the due date must inform the secretarial office promptly. The teacher will decide if they can take the exam or not.


For students without attendance records there will be one written exam composed by three open questions regarding issues addressed in the books (see section Readings/Bibliography). For each question there are 10 points assigned max. Exam duration: 70mins.

For students with good attendance records, assessment will be the following:

1) there will be one written exam at the end of online lessons (24points assigned max);

2) the assessment of the degree of preparation will also be made through the activities done during classes (6 point assigned max).


Erasmus and overseas students can use Italian, English or French for the written examination.

Teaching tools

Policy on the Use of Technology in the Classroom. Technology is useful, only when aimed to improve performance in the classroom. Therefore all hand held devices (cell phones, cameras, etc.) should be turned off and packed away during class sessions. Computers/tablets in the classroom are a tool for work and should be used for note-taking only. If computers/tablets are used for texting, e-mail, or Internet connection (without the explicit permission of the professor), the professor may stop the use of a computer/tablet in that class. Students who would like to use voice recorders for class lectures are kindly invited to ask for the explicit permission of the professor in order to do so.

PC and videoprojector. Web resources.

The course is based on the integrated digital teaching model (DDI) and for this reason all students (regular attendees, not regular attendess, international) should benefit from all the documents published on the platform virtuale.unibo.it

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Raffaella Sette


Quality education Gender equality Peace, justice and strong institutions

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.