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Whitworth Hall, The University of Manchester
PhD Criminology
Enjoy the challenge of independent research with a focus on crime and criminal justice.

PhD Criminology / Overview

Year of entry: 2018

Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy
3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
Entry requirements

Applicants must have minimum qualifications of a good upper second class honours degree with minimum grade average of 65% (or overseas equivalent) in Law  or a relevant discipline, and a Masters degree at Merit level in Law or relevant discipline with minimum grade average of 65% in taught modules and a minimum mark of 65% in the dissertation/research element, plus prior research methods training at postgraduate level.  

Students whose first language is not English are required to hold either an overall IELTS IBT score of 7.0, with a minimum writing score of 7.0, or an overall TOEFL IBT score of 100-106 with a minimum writing score of 24. The certification must have been awarded within two years prior to entry.   

The documents that applicants are required to submit to constitute a full application are outlined on our postgraduate research application page .

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants

100-150 applications are received each year for postgraduate research study by the School, with 20-30 new MPhil/PhD students registering in each academic year.

How to apply

Apply online

Research students may commence their studies in September or January (with September being the main admissions date).

The deadline to apply for January 2018 entry is the 30 November 2017.

The deadline to apply for September 2018 entry is the 15 August 2018.

However, we strongly advise that you apply as soon as possible in order to be guaranteed a place on the course.

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Programme description

The Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice has an international reputation for doctoral and post-doctoral research and hosts around 30 PhD candidates each year. The programme is ideal for those looking to undertake state of the art doctoral research investigating a diverse array of social and criminological issues. The Centre specialises in research clustered around five key themes : Drugs: Markets, policies and consumption; Violence and the aftermath of violence; Fraud, white collar and organised crime; Social exclusion, insecurity and policing; and, Justice innovation and law reform. The Centre welcomes applications that fit with the particular specialisms of our research staff. For example, we currently have grants in the areas of desistance, fraud, drugs, cryptomarkets, modern slavery, corruption, organised crime, policing and punishment, amongst others.

In addition, the Centre has expertise in a range of methodologies including biographical and narrative approaches to interviewing, ethnography, psychosocial case analysis, network analysis, deliberative methods, qualitative and quantitative longitudinal research, survey design and applied statistical analysis, programme evaluation, historical and policy analysis. Candidates will therefore have access to cutting edge approaches to researching criminological issues.

Potential applicants should contact members of the Centre before submitting a formal application. We encourage you to identify which members of the Centre best match your research interests, and to contact potential supervisors with well thought out ideas about the research you would like to undertake. The profiles of our criminology staff can be found here .

The PhD in Criminology enables candidates to pursue research excellence in an environment that supports intellectual and personal development. Our School is committed to ensure PhD students flourish while in Manchester. Our research students are provided with extensive research support and training by the School and by the Faculty of Humanities. Research students are provided with two academic supervisors as well as an adviser to provide pastoral support.

The School is proud to be a member of the North West Economic and Social Research Council doctoral training partnership and approved by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to award funded studentships, both of which provide extensive training across the region. The School is also a member of the N8 Policing Research Partnership. We are also able to host Commonwealth and Fullbright Scholarships, as well as annually advertised School funded studentships in addition to industry and public sector funded PhDs.

Open days

The next Postgraduate Research Open Day will take place on Wednesday 25th October 2017 and is a good chance to meet with academic staff, have a look around the University and find out more about PhD study at the University of Manchester. Follow the link to register for the event.

We will also be at the Law Fair at Manchester Central on Wednesday 14th November.

Watch the presentations from a previous Open Day on the University website .


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2018, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £18,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £9,000


Self-funded graduates of the Manchester Law School, who have applied within 3 years of graduation, will receive a loyalty discount of 20% on their annual tuition fees when they register for the programme.  

Various  funding opportunities  are available to students applying for the three year PhD degree course. In addition to submitting the relevant scholarship application(s), applicants must submit the PhD application (deadlines apply). Please visit the School of Law website for terms and conditions, or email

Contact details

Academic department
School of Law
Contact name
Miss Samantha Sandilands
+ 44 (0)161 306 1279
+ 44 (0)161 275 4724
Academic department overview
See: About Us .

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

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You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website.