Amsterdam, Netherlands

Cybercrime: The Human Factor

when 28 July 2018 - 11 August 2018
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 1000

As society has gone digital, so has crime. Not only have new offences appeared, like hacking and attacks designed to take down websites or networks, but IT has begun to play an increasingly important role in some traditional forms of crime. Examples include internet fraud and cyberstalking.

Digitization has consequences for the entire spectrum of crime and raises all sorts of questions. For example, are we dealing with the same old offenders simply moving their activities online? Or has a new type of criminal emerged, with their own characteristics and motives? What personal and contextual characteristics increase or decrease the risk of falling victim to cybercrime? And which actors are best placed to protect potential victims: the police, commercial cybersecurity companies, internet service providers, hosting services?

This course tackles such questions by looking at cybercrime from the human perspective. Topics covered include criminological theories in the information era, victim and offender profiles, cybercriminal networks and, of course, fighting this form of crime. However, the exact nature of the issues addressed is largely up to you as a participant: at an interactive session in the first week, you formulate relevant research questions and then collect and analyse data with a view to presenting your findings at the end of the course.

This course is organized jointly with the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR), home to a world-leading research group on the human factor in cybercrime.

Course leader

Dr Rutger Leukfeldt

Target group

Students and professionals in the field of criminology, psychology, sociology and other social sciences with an interest in cybercrime, and students of technical sciences who are interested in the human factor in cybercrime. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to students and professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.

Course aim

At the end of this course, you:
•Are familiar with different forms of cybercrime.
•Can apply traditional criminological theories to cybercrime.
•Better understand the risk factors related to cybercrime victimization.
•Will know the similarities and differences between cybercriminals and traditional criminals.
•Are familiar with the use of online meeting places on the dark web by cybercriminals, including the effect of networks on criminal capabilities, issues around trust in an anonymous environment and so on.
•Are familiar with the pros and cons of public-private partnerships in the fight against cybercrime.
•Will understand the role of new “capable guardians” (other than the police) in protecting internet users.

Credits info

3 EC
Contact Hours: 50
If you want to earn more credits you can take courses in our other sessions to create a 4 or 6 week programme.

Fee info

EUR 1000: The tuition fee includes:
• Airport pick-up service
• Welcome goodie bag
• Orientation programme
• Course excursions
• On-site support
• Emergency assistance
• Transcript of records after completion of the course

An early bird discount of €150 is available for students who apply and pay before 15 March, and students from VU Amsterdam as well as from exchange partner universities will receive a €250 discount. You apply for the discount simply by indicating that you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam or at a partner university in the online application.

There are also discounts for students who attend multiple sessions, combine 2 courses and receive a €200 discount and combine 3 to receive a €300 discount. All courses include excursions. We will also organize trips and excursions as part of our social programme, which is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The social programme is not included in the tuition fee.

Furnished accommodation is available. Various housing options will be offered.


The VU Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition and housing fees of one course. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.

Register for this course
on course website