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FAI3302 Environmental Criminology: Theory for Planners 7.5 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus FAI3302 (Spring 2021–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course is divided in four parts. The first part introduces some basic concepts in criminology and the role of environment to crime as well as how crime has been studied and currently analysed (focus on types of data/information). The second part review both some macro and micro theories that relate to crime and society, such as anomie, aggression, rational choice, strain and subculture theory. The third part is devoted entirely to the "core of environmental criminology", namely,  social disorganization theory, routine activity theory, defensible space theory and situational action theory. Finally, the last part of the course briefly review theories of crime prevention, with focus on situational crime prevention.

Head teacher meets students 4 times following the list of contents described above.

Classes will include informal lectures (15-30 minutes provided by one student, except the first day of class) and followed by discussion by the whole group. Lectures will be based on course readings). Discussions will help students learn to think critically about the theories and their application.

One assignment per meeting is a basic condition to achieve the learning objectives of the course. Instructions for the first meeting is provided in advance by the Head teacher.

This course is conducted as a seminar around discussing common readings related to environmental criminology. Since the course is organised around reading, reflection, and discussion, class attendance and preparedness constitute a primary course requirement.

Intended learning outcomes

The objective of this course is to make planners aware of (1) the origins of the field of environmental criminology and (2) the current theories devoted to the role of environment in crime causation. Criminology is concerned with understanding the causes of crime, and  in this course, urban planners examine some of the most influential explanations for criminal behaviour and the environmental settings they occur. Focus is given to the relationship between crime and physical and social environment, the ecological context of crime, the dynamics of space and time in relation to the city’s criminogenic conditions, as well as the application of the principles of environmental criminology to the prevention of crime.

Upon successful completion of this course students will:

  1. Understand the major environmental criminological explanations of crime.
  2. Identify the nature of a variety of criminal activities and the role of environment on their causation.
  3. Be able to utilize criminological theory to explain crime to their own research area.
  4. Be able to effectively communicate about criminological theory.
  5. Be able to critically assess environmental criminology theories to explanations of crime and crime prevention

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Eligibility to third cycle studies.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • LIT1 - Literature assignment, 5.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM1 - Seminars, 2.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Regular class attendance and timely completion of reading assignments are essential.

To be approved in the course the student has to have 100% presence and perform the following learning activities:

  1. Submit the course assignments.
  2. Present a short lecture.
  3. Write a final essay of about 7000 words based on the application of environmental criminology theory to the students' research subject area/object of study. Students need to include relevant material discussed in class and in readings as well as other sources.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FAI3302

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Vania Ceccato (

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at ABE/Urban and Regional Studies