Criminology postgraduate research degrees
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, and criminal psychology. Our Institute of Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS) 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.
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
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.
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, you can look for a supervisor whose research interests match yours using our Pure Research Portal. Once you've found someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea.
If you're a working professional interested in pursuing work-based research in the field of Criminology, find out more about our Doctorate in Criminal Justice Studies (DCrimJ).
PhD by Publication
A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree that's based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.
Peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and any other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed are all eligible. 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
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?
PhD and MPhil
- Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
- Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
- International full-time students: £13,200 p/a*
- International part-time students: £6,600 p/a*
PhD by Publication
External candidates: £4,260 p/a
Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,550 p/a
*All fees are subject to annual increase
MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.
For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.
The entry requirements for a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate 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.
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 your postgraduate research degree is complete, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification tells 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.
Explore the work we're doing across the 7 areas of research expertise in Criminology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.