The Common Study Programme in Critical Criminology started in 1984. The Programme was initially developed to provide a common instructional framework in Criminal Justice and Criminology among several European Universities. Since that time the Programme has steadily developed into the premiere scholarly forum for the study of critical criminology. The Programme has grown over the years and now (2020) there are fifteen participating Universities in Europe and the United States.

Universities participating in the Common Study Programme host semi-annual conferences, termed ‘Common Sessions’, on a revolving schedule. The Common Sessions provide both the Faculty and Student participants an opportunity to exchange ideas and deliver papers on many of the topics and concerns that fall under the umbrella term—Critical Criminology.

The programme is student oriented (with students delivering many of the conference papers) and is intended to provide a forum for the discussion of the brand of criminology often subsumed under the aegis of ‘critical criminology’.  While many of the members identify as critical, cultural, radical, post-modern, and Marxist criminologists they generally share a broad interest in expanding the notion of crime and by extension criminology to include (social) harm beyond the narrow parameters laid out in the State’s definition of crime and harm.  This wide remit is intentional so as to allow and encourage the free flow of both scholarship and persons between member schools.

The Common Study Programme has grown significantly in the past 35 years under the careful stewardship by a number of individuals.