Criminal Law

40.04.01In english and russian

Level of education Master

Type of instruction Full-time

Duration 2 years

Main academic courses
  • Qualification of Crimes Against Life
  • Qualification of Crimes Against Property
  • International Criminal Law
  • Theoretical Principles of Classification of Crimes
  • Fundamentals of Criminal Policy in the Russian Federation
  • General Issues in the Theory of Crime
  • Issues in Criminal Responsibility and Punishment of Minors
  • Theoretical Issues of Criminal Identity in Criminal Law
  • Criminal Law of Foreign Countries: General Part
  • Criminal and Legal Issues of Official Malfeasance
Our advantages
  • The academic programme is designed to train specialists with in-depth theoretical knowledge and practical skills for working in: courts; prosecutor’s offices; public defender’s offices; and preliminary investigation bodies.
  • During the training, students receive in-depth knowledge of: criminal law; criminology; and comparative law.
  • The academic staff that provides the teaching of main courses has a high level of qualifications and considerable experience in practical activities. The lecturers have a substantial experience in teaching at higher education institutions and organisations that provide further training for lawyers. They are also involved as experts by: legislative authorities; the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation; the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation; and other government agencies and non-governmental organisations.
  • The academic staff uses cutting-edge teaching methods such as: information technology; case studies; role-playing; and business games. The training is focused on the analysis of: investigative and judicial practice; and complicated issues in law enforcement.
  • The training in the master’s programme is based on interaction with law enforcement agencies. They propose and approve topics for master’s students’ research projects; take part in the final certification; provide assistance in building the teaching methodological base; and provide present-day investigative, prosecutorial, and judicial internships.
International relations

During the training, master’s students have an opportunity to use extensive international relations of St Petersburg University.

Among University’s partners are:

  • Universität Hamburg (Germany)
  • Freie Universität Berlin (Germany)
  • Vilnius University (Lithuania)
  • Charles University (the Czech Republic)
  • The University of Belgrade (Serbia)
  • The Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus
  • Peking University (China)
  • Hanoi Law University (Vietnam)

There is an agreement with the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China on student exchange programmes. Master’s students can also do internships in foreign universities as part of interstate agreements of the Russian Federation.

Master’s students traditionally take part in a joint project of St Petersburg University and the University of Passau (Germany). The project provides for an annual exchange of students, during which they: make presentations at the University of Passau; visit courts, prosecutor's offices, and penitentiary facilities in various cities of Germany; and get acquainted with the legal system of Germany.

Main areas of research
  • Constitutional principles of criminal law
  • General theory of the development and application of criminal law
  • Criminal liability and punishment of certain categories of entities
  • Challenges of sentencing
  • Counteraction to certain types of crime
  • Complicated issues in crime qualification
  • Comparative law
  • Criminal policy
Career opportunities

The graduates can work in the field of criminal justice, applying the acquired knowledge and skills in practice, acting as prosecutors and defenders in criminal cases, advising and representing the interests of parties to a criminal proceeding.

The graduates can work:

  • at courts of the Russian Federation
  • at public prosecution agencies of the Russian Federation
  • at the departments of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation
  • at the departments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • at the departments of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation
  • as teachers at law schools
  • as lawyers
  • as legal advisers at government agencies and local self-government bodies
  • as lawyers at commercial and other organisations