Criminal Justice and Security – Ph.D.

“Criminal Justice and Security Studies” is a four-year 3rd cycle Bologna doctoral study programme in the field of criminal justice and security.

Having successfully defended their doctoral thesis and fulfilled the conditions stipulated in Article 157 of the Statute of the University of Maribor, candidates are awarded the Doctor of Science (Dr.Sc.) title.

The goal of the doctoral study programme is to provide experts in the field of criminal justice and security with extensive knowledge in and a broad perspective of social sciences, as well as a high level of understanding of social phenomena, trends related to the implementation of control activities, the functioning of institutions responsible for performing formal social control (the police, prosecution, courts, prisons, intelligence services), informal social control (factors related to socialisation, family, education system, associations, civil society), and institutionalised informal control (particularly detective agencies and private security companies). During their Ph.D. studies, students broaden their knowledge in the field of understanding social, psychological, philosophical, economic, behavioural, historical and political aspects of criminality, deviance and the criminal-justice system; conducting research in the aetiology, prevention, and control of criminality and deviance, including an adequate response to such phenomena; studying criminal law and criminal proceedings; studying, understanding and improving the work of the police, prosecution, the judiciary and institutions responsible for the enforcement of penal sanctions.

Study programme

The study programme comprises four academic years, whereby students are required to complete eight compulsory subjects each year and prepare a diploma thesis in the fourth year. Subjects are delivered and completed within a single semester. The entire programme is designed so as to allow for the knowledge and skills to be complemented and upgraded. The first two years are frequented by all students and encompass basic knowledge and skills in the field of law, methodological and managerial aspects of criminal justice and security, which represent the basis for acquiring specific in-depth knowledge and skills from elective subjects chosen by students in the years of their studies. The year is dedicated to specific content in the field of criminal justice and security and the acquisition of an in-depth insight into contents taught in the first two years. The entire vertical process of knowledge acquisition is composed in a way that enables students to become experts, who are able to understand work-related processes in the field of security and policing, research security phenomena in this field and use the results of analyses in their work.

Competencies of graduates

In addition to passing on knowledge, the main goal of the programme is to develop graduates' competencies for working independently, taking a critical stance and an analytical, creative and innovative approach to problem-solving in the field of security. By studying theoretical and methodological concepts, graduates of the “Criminal Justice and Security Studies” academic study programme acquire specialist knowledge and competencies necessary for the transfer and application of theoretical knowledge in practice, for solving professional and work-related issues, particularly by seeking new sources of knowledge and using methods in order to understand, manage and govern demanding processes in the field of providing security. In doing so, graduates take into account the acquired knowledge and findings related to the necessary critical stance and responsibility of experts. The Faculty meets the needs of students, employees, future employers and the society at large by establishing ties between research activities, teaching and studying. By conducting the educational process and research activities in the framework of the programme, the field of criminal justice and security is also developing into a specific interdisciplinary social science.

In the course of their studies, students of the Ph.D. study programme acquire in-depth knowledge and skills in broader fields of expertise, competencies necessary to search for new sources of knowledge in professional and scientific fields, apply scientific research methods to a broader spectrum of issues and, in emerging or changed circumstances, take responsibility for the management of the most demanding operating systems, as well as to develop critical thinking, social and communication skills required to manage team work.

General competencies stem from the universal basic knowledge in a certain subject or programme and make up the graduate’s general profile. During the educational process, the development towards competency does not only refer to knowledge, but also to the attitude expressed towards the application of such knowledge, which is an element that could be attributed to the formative component, but remains inseparable from the educational component. General competencies acquired by the graduates include:

  • ability to analyse, synthesise, and anticipate solutions and their consequences in the fields encompassed by criminal justice and security;
  • autonomy in scientific research work and a critical attitude towards security-related issues;;
  • communication skills, particularly those necessary to communicate in the national and international scientific spheres;
  • understanding contemporary security and crime-related issues through the prism of classic and modern concepts, and the ability to contextualise such issues;
  • ability to apply systemic concepts in the understanding and definition of problems;
  • understanding social, psychological, philosophical, economic, historical, legal, and political aspects of crime and deviance, as well as activities undertaken by law enforcement bodies and other state authorities performing social control.

Based on these competencies, graduates are able to perform their work-related activities efficiently, making good use the available material and other resources, i.e., their creativity, their colleagues’ potentials (intellectual capital), funds, equipment, premises, and time.

Employment of graduates of FCJS

Graduates of the “Criminal Justice and Security Studies” doctoral study programme at the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security are experts who possess theoretical and empirical knowledge for conducting security-related research, the governance of security organisations, the management of demanding processes in the field of security, as well as the management and implementation of complex professional tasks in the field of criminal justice and security. They are able to undertake the most demanding operations related to the analysis, planning, design, development, and management of security processes both in national institutions and non-governmental organisations, as well as in the private sector.

Doctors of Criminal Justice and Security can obtain employment in different fields, i.e., in research and academic institutions, non-governmental organisations dealing with security analyses and the provision of security to individuals, government agencies, local (self-) government bodies, municipal warden services, security advisory committees, and in the security structures of the future regional administration of the Republic of Slovenia, as well as in the private sector (in companies dealing with protection of property and intellectual property, as experts providing information security, in private security companies and detective agencies, in the field of insurance, etc.).