45198 - Applied Criminology

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Gender equality Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2019/2020

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.

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 2020).


Mandatory textbook:

Balloni A., Bisi R., Sette R., Criminologia applicata, Wolters Kluwer-Cedam, Milano, 2019.

Then, choose one between the following books:

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

2. Cimino L., Delitto d'impeto e test di Rorschach. Analisi psicometrica e scenari psico(pato)logici, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2018.

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


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

  • European Committee on Crime Problems, White paper on prison overcrowding, 2016, disponibile al link: https://rm.coe.int/16806f9a8a
  • Sette R., "Prison, recidivism, and alternative measures to detention in Italy over the past ten years", Rivista di Criminologia, Vittimologia e Sicurezza, n. 1, 2018, available at: http://www.vittimologia.it/rivista/articolo_sette_2018-01.pdf
  • Mucchielli L., "Demographic and Social Characteristics of Murderers and their Victims", Population, n. 2, 2004, available at: https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_POPU_402_0203--demographic-and-social-characteristics-o.htm
  • UNODOC, Global Studies on Homicide, Booklet 3, 2019, available at: https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/gsh/Booklet_3.pdf

Teaching methods

Lectures, exercises, videos, and class group / individual presentation.


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

Given that an active involvement of students is required during lessons, course attendance (certified on the basis of a minimum 70% of presence) is necessary in order to take the exam for regular attendees.

Assessment methods

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 compose of open questions. Grades are expressed in thirtieths.


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. 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. 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. Educational gaps, inappropriate language, lack of capacity to find information in the literature and other educational materials will lead to negative marks.


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 four open questions regarding issues addressed in the books (see section Readings/Bibliography). For each question there are 7.5 points assigned max. Exam duration: 2hrs.

For students with good attendance records (attending at least 70% of the lectures), there will be one written exam at the end of the lectures composed by two open questions chosen by the student among a selection (made by the teacher) of chapters of the mandatory textbook and among the subjects covered during lectures. For each questions there are 15 points assigned max. Exam duration: 1hr30mins. 

For students with good attendance records, the assessment of the degree of preparation will also be made through training exercises/workshops, group works, written tests, and participation in classroom discussions on topics analysed during lessons (2 points 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.

During lectures, the professor will use Power Point presentations that will be published on the website: https://iol.unibo.it

These documents do not substitute the compulsory reading materials, but they are supplementary and
constitute a study guide to help gain a better understanding of the course contents.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Raffaella Sette