Since its foundation in 1974 by Professor Dr. Hans-Dieter Schwind, the Department of Criminology, Criminal Policy and Police Science has established a notable reputation as one of the leading educational and research institution in the fields of criminology and police science in Germany. The early focus on a more practical oriented approach in close cooperation with police and governmental institutions led to a variety of research projects on a national and international level. In 2002 Professor Dr. Thomas Feltes took over the role as the head of the Department of Criminology at the Faculty of Law of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB). As a co-opted member of the Faculty of Social Sciences he leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers and student assistants of the disciplines of criminology, economics, law, pedagogy, political and other social sciences.
Teaching contributions include lecturers, seminars and consortiums in criminology, juvenile justice and penal law. In particular, the pioneering involvement in e-learning methods has not only been well received by students in criminology (“Kriminologie I,”) who have to commute every day within the metropolitan area of the Ruhr, but also laid ground for the extra-occupational Blended-Learning Master´s program in Criminology and Police Science (www.makrim.de), targeting police officers, social workers, lawyers, psychologists, psychiatrists and others who work in the field of criminology and criminal justice around Germany. The idea was based on conceptual thought and needs assessment, which demonstrated a lack and great need for such a study program in Germany. In April 2005 the accreditation was finalized and the first students enrolled in that same year. Although courses were first run as full-attendance classes, in 2008 the Blended-Learning approach was introduced and became a successful and highly demanded study approach ever since. Now more than 200 applicants compete for the 60 available spots each year.
Addressing the increasing demand, in particular from abroad, first initiatives started in 2010 for the introduction of an international Blended-Learning Master´s program in Criminal Justice, Governance and Police Science with an emphasis on international security and justice perspectives, raising awareness and facilitating a broader foundation for better decision-making with regards to the following topics: peace-making and peace-keeping efforts in post-conflict and transitional countries; establishing rule of law, human rights standards and sustainable security; capacity building in the law enforcement and criminal justice sector; development personal skills of professionals working within the corresponding field of security and justice; supporting NGOs and civil society in their functions to monitor and evaluate democratic police work and criminal justice based on human rights standards. The Master's curriculum has been developed together with the Research Group on "Governing and Policing Security" (GaPS) in Ghent and the accreditation of the program was finalized in April 2012 (see the accreditation certificate). As part of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) supported "Integrated International Double Degree Programme", the program has been partly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in its preparatory (2010-2011) and regular phase (2012-2014).
With an existing network and close ties to practitioners and institutions related to (international) security, law enforcement and justice, the Department of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Police Science, togehter with its cooperation partner GaPS, is determined to maintain and advance educational quality, further strengthen its international ties and meet new challenges.