Professional Doctorate in Security Risk Management
Become a researching professional in your field
Why take this course?
The Professional Doctorate in Security Risk Management (D.SyRM) is a structured, four-year, part-time programme targeted towards security professionals in the UK and overseas. It comprises a taught element delivered through a small number of workshops in Portsmouth for the first two years and then two years of supervised research leading to a thesis.
The aim of the course is to provide a framework for security professionals to reflect on and contribute to practice in their area of work. Its emphasis is on developing researching professionals (which is distinct from the more traditional PhD route which aims to develop professional researchers).
Is it for me?
Students on the programme welcome the opportunity to enhance their professional standing in their areas of expertise while developing important new knowledge in those areas. They are drawn from a variety of backgrounds including:
- Corporate security
- Commercial security
- International security
- Security training sector
- Business continuity and crisis management
What opportunities might it lead to?
The overall aim of the course is to develop security professionals whose work informs, and is informed by, original research in the field. Current research topics include:
- Managing complex crises
- Securing the oil and gas sector
- Security of tax havens
How do I apply?
Please contact the Course Leader, Dr Alison Wakefield, tel. +44 (0)23 9284 3942 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal discussion about whether this is the right course for you.
The cohort environment and workshop structure not only provides support and encouragement but stimulates thought through collaborative working with both academics and practitioners. I have thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the course and whilst it has been challenging, it has been invaluable to my own personal and professional development.
Sarah Lewis, DCrimJ Professional Doctorate in Criminal Justice student 2013
- 4-7 years part-time. Start: October.
- A Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Applicants must be professionally engaged in a security related area. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: part time: £4,100 p/a*
2016/17 entry: part time: £6,000 p/a*
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 6037
- Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
Structure & Teaching
A central feature of this programme is that you will be studying with the same cohort of people over the whole four years. The interaction that this provides will give you the opportunity to work, learn and develop together. This avoids the sense of isolation that some PhD students experience.
It is accepted that for many professionals it will not be possible to attend all of the workshops so we also use an online learning environment to make best use of technology to keep in touch.
A professional doctorate at the University of Portsmouth is achieved in two distinct stages with the second stage being divided into two parts.
This stage comprises 180 M level credits which is the direct entry level to Stage 2
This stage comprises Parts 1 and 2.
Part 1 (years 1 and 2)
This is the taught component of the course and lasts for two years. During this part you will earn 120 D level credits in assignment work. The four taught units are delivered in two-day blocks, each assessed through a coursework assignment of 6,000 words. Each student is assigned a personal tutor to support them through this part of the course.
- Professional development and review
- Advanced research techniques in security risk management
- Publication and dissemination in security risk management
- Security risk management project proposal
Part 2 (years 3 and 4)
This part comprises the professional research and development, leading to a thesis of 40,000 to 50,000 words. This will earn 240 D level credits and is mainly independent study and research, combined with supervision meetings and opportunities to meet with your peers to review and gain critical comment on your progress.
Teaching and Assessment
The doctoral programme aims to develop your research ability in the broad area of security risk management to an advanced level and promote evidence-based practice development. The development of the quality and value of your practice and research will be enhanced through:
- Seminars and workshops on critical research and security-related issues specifically focused on the development needs of security professionals
- Support from staff and peers to support you in reaching the necessary (doctoral) standard
- Supervision from a team with a very wide range of development and research interests and many years of professional experience
- Access to University of Portsmouth library facilities including a large number of e-books, journals and databases accessed electronically
- Access to additional, targeted training courses delivered through our Graduate School to meet any specific learning needs related to your individual research
- The use of an online learning environment enabling you to keep in easy touch with your peers and the course team
- Development of wider national and international perspectives through networking with your peer group
- Building ongoing productive links between security organisations
- Raising the profile, credibility and influence of your profession in both academic and practice contexts
How are you assessed?
Ultimately you will be assessed on the strength of your thesis.
Facilities & Features
The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies was founded in 1992 and has since grown to comprise 50 academic staff and more than 1,800 students. Now an internationally-renowned focal point for the study of crime and criminal justice processes, it draws together expertise in criminological analysis, applied psychology, police governance and management, victimology, penology, risk and security.
Our extensive experience and close professional relationships with the police service and criminal justice agencies ensure that our courses reflect the changing needs of the profession. You may benefit from these links by hearing guest speakers, listening to leading-edge research and being helped to find professional work placements.
Our distinctive approach to supported distance learning, robust procedures for the accreditation of prior learning and modular award framework not only help facilitate access to higher education but also offer flexible and transferable platforms for life-long learning.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Careers & Opportunities
Your professional needs and interests shape the research you undertake on this course. You may, therefore, use your increased knowledge and awareness of your profession to support your career aims at the same time.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
Please contact Course Leader Alison Wakefield to discuss your application.
Postgraduate Information Days
Our Postgraduate Information Days for 2016 entry have now finished.
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If you are unable to visit us, why not contact the admissions team for your course of interest via our course pages.
If you have any further enquiries about postgraduate study at Portsmouth, including advice on the Postgraduate Loan for 2016 entry plus scholarships and bursaries available visit our postgraduate pages.
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Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.