Forensics student puts crime evidence in bag

Postgraduate research in criminology

Ready to start your research career? Explore our postgraduate research degrees in criminology

If you want to take your existing knowledge in Criminology into postgraduate research, Portsmouth is the perfect place to do it. The nature of crime and the ways in which we prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute it are evolving. When you study for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll play your part in delivering vital research that tackles major issues of crime and punishment.

Our research covers subjects including cybercrime, counter fraud, policing, penology forensics, forensic interviewing, security and risk management, missing persons, criminal psychology and victimology. Our School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ) is a leading centre for research in criminology, criminal justice and related fields. And we've received research funding from major organisations, such as the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST).

As a postgraduate researcher, you can take advantage of excellent research facilities and our links with the South East Regional Crime Unit, the National Crime Agency, the National Cybersecurity Centre, the Home Office, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, and City of London Police.

Research degrees

Find out about our PhD, MPhil, Professional Doctorate and PhD by Publication opportunities in Criminology below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.

Criminology PhDs and MPhils

Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Criminology, or submit your own research idea. 

PhD and MPhil projects

Funded

There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.

Self-funded projects

There are currently no pre-approved self-funded projects available in this subject area. If you'd like to submit your own PhD proposal, please read the information below.

Submit your own idea

If you already have a research idea, find a supervisor whose research interests match yours by searching our Find a PhD Supervisor page. Once you've identified someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea.

PhD by Publication

A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.

Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6–12 months after registering with us.

For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.

Duration, fees and funding 

What do my tuition fees cover?

If you're self-funding your PhD, you'll pay tuition fees to the University to cover course and university costs.

Your tuition fees cover:

  • The cost of your postgraduate research programme* at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, and examinations
  • Bespoke training, professional development courses, networking, and research support through The Graduate School
  • Research seminars and workshops (university-wide and faculty-specific)
  • A contribution to funding to attend a conference or development activity in your research field
  • Tailor-made weekly and monthly events, including weekly, themed experienced researcher-led talks and workshops
  • Helping you become part of our thriving research community, including Research and Innovation services where 77% of our research is world leading and internationally excellent in REF 2021
  • Your graduation ceremony
  • Viva examination and administration costs
  • The facilities and equipment you need to complete your studies, such as computer rooms, access to laptops, the Library, and laboratories
  • Access to resources including electronic journals, alternative guide to funding, and thousands of hours of educational videos on LinkedIn Learning
  • University support services including academic, financial, careers and wellbeing support and personal tutors
  • Membership of the Students' Union (giving you the right to vote in elections, join clubs and societies, and get free independent advice)
  • Access to software such as Microsoft Office, SPSS and Adobe Creative Suite (this includes Photoshop, InDesign, and Adobe Premiere Pro)

*Please note that some research programmes may come with additional bench fees.

How long will my research degree take?

  • MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
  • PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
  • PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time

How much will my research degree cost?

2022/2023 fees (applicable for October 2022, February and April 2023 start)

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

EU students

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full-time: £17,000 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £8,500 (may be subject to annual increase)

PhD by Publication 

  • External candidates: £4,596
  • Members of staff: £1,760 

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2022/23 please visit this page

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Funding support

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan (UK/EU students only).

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan (UK/EU students only).

For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a PhD, or MPhil include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Exemptions apply to those applicants who have studied in the UK, and to applicants with a degree whose medium of instruction is English.

Support and facilities

When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

As a postgraduate criminology researcher, you can use our facilities and equipment including our Forensic Innovation Centre, our Mock Courtroom, and our 3D capture and imaging technologies.

What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?

Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.

Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

 

Apply

Apply for a research degree in Criminology by completing our online form. 

February (2023 start)

April (2023 start)

October (2023 start)

Current research

Explore the work we're doing across the 7 areas of research expertise in Criminology.

Cybercrime and Cybersecurity

We're exploring the growing threat and impact cybercrime at all levels of society, investigating the methods and motives of the people who commit it, and finding new ways to deal with them.

Read more

Forensic interviewing

We're exploring new and better ways to gather quality, reliable information from crime scenes and witnesses' minds – and helping develop protocols and practices that ensure this human data is protected and interpreted correctly.

Read more

Missing Persons

In our Centre for the Study of Missing Persons, we're identifying patterns of behaviour that precede a person going missing and working to change the policies and practices that determine how such cases are handled.

Read more

Economic Crime

We’re looking at economic crime, assessing the methods used to combat it, and developing new ways to protect individuals and organisations from fraud, corruption, money laundering and intellectual property crime.

Read more

Policing

In the wake of a prolonged period of budget cuts, our work deals with the most-pressing issues facing the police service – from how police officers learn, to the individual factors that can influence an investigation.

Read more

Probation, Prison and Penology

We're working to understand the role of punishment, and how it links with processes of justice and rehabilitation – and helping shape how criminal justice practitioners work, by linking theory to practice.

Read more

Forensic science

We're taking a closer look at how science can help identify, eliminate, reconstruct and inform the ways in which crime is investigated – including through fingerprinting and DNA recovery.

Read more