KRIM4960 – Green Criminology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

This course addresses various forms of environmental crimes and harms as well as various forms of animal abuse, both those which are legal and those which are illegal, through examples of empirical research. Harms are i.e. those produced by, pollution, deforestation and illegal logging, wildlife trafficking and biopiracy. The course critically examines criminalization processes; the mechanisms which cause some of these harms to be legal while others are criminalized. The course further addresses the mechanisms which cause environmental crimes, such as consumerism and capitalism.

Concerns within the field are how crime is conceptualized, law enforcement and punishment, or lack of punishment, in relation to such harms, how they should be understood and how they should be addressed. 

The course crosses disciplinary boundaries and emphasizes a variety of approaches to these issues, although with a criminological starting point. These approaches include perspectives which, for example, are lent from philosophy, such as moral rights and perspectives of justice.

Lectures will present and discuss the current status of research related to the given theme. Every lecture aims at presenting the forefront of research, and the course includes lectures from well-known scholars in the field. 

Learning outcome

The students will learn how and why green criminology has become an important and fast expanding field in critical criminology, and about the topics and perspectives which are relevant in the field; for example it expands the understanding of what criminology is and what it should be by applying perspectives of justice, rather than limiting the focus to acts which are criminalized.  The course provides insight into how environmental harms affect both human and nonhuman species.


At the end of the course, students are expected to know:

  • How environmental crimes and harms affect human and nonhuman species, and examples of such harms.
  • What green criminology is and encompasses in relation to conventional criminology, and how it diverges from conventional criminology.
  • Central discussions and positions in contemporary research on green criminology.
  • Different theoretical perspectives in green criminology.


At the end of the course, students are expected to:

  • Be able to account for and apply central theoretical themes and empirical examples addressed during the course
  • Be able to identify why some environmental harms are criminalized while others are condoned.
  • Be able to discuss and provide independent analysis of various environmental crimes and their causes and effects, as well as of criminalization processes of the same harms.


At the end of the course, students have

  • Enhanced their respect and understanding for social scientific critical thinking and inquiry
  • Learned what it entails to interpret, analyze and discuss scholarly texts from various green criminology perspectives.
  • Developed their capability to critically reflect on the meaning of crime and harm in relation to how societies,  policies and the judicial system address environmental harms and animal abuse


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with KRIM2960 – Green Criminology


Lectures and seminars.

Students are expected to participate in the group student assignment for the seminars.


Students are graded on the basis of a 4-day take-home exam.

Size: Maximum 3600 words (roughly 9 pages). Front page, contents page (optional) and bibliography are not included. If footnotes are used in the text (at the bottom of each page), they are included in the 3600 word limit. Papers that exceed the 3600 word limit will be disallowed.

Any exam at the University of Oslo are being checked for both correct word count and incidents of cheating.


Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The language of examination is English. It is also possible to submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish or Danish

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Marking criteria 

This  guide is used by examiners for grading this course.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course

Spring 2023
Spring 2023
Teaching language