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PhD Criminology / Programme details

Year of entry: 2020

Programme description

Potential applicants should contact the School of Social Sciences before submitting a formal application. We encourage you to identify which members of the academic team that 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 School has specialists 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 School 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, there is extensive 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. You will therefore have access to cutting edge approaches to researching criminological issues.


  • Engage in state of the art doctoral research investigating a diverse array of social and criminological issues.
  • Work closely with research centres which specialise in research clustered around five key themes: drugs, violence, fraud, social exclusion and justice innovation.

Special features

The University of Manchester School of Social Sciences is a proud 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.

Teaching and learning

Distinguished academic researchers working at the forefront of their disciplines lead our research programmes, ensuring your qualification comes with a reputation that will open doors across the world. Our research activities and postgraduate research programmes are also informed by close partnerships with organisations from many different sectors.

Coursework and assessment

For the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) you must successfully complete a period of supervised research and training, the results of which show convincing evidence of your capacity to pursue research and scholarship, and to make an original contribution and substantial addition to knowledge.  You must prepare a substantial thesis, usually of not more than 80,000 words and also satisfy the examiners in an oral examination on the subject of the thesis. The subject is chosen by the candidate, but must be approved by the School's Research Committee. 

Scholarships and bursaries

The School is offering a number of awards for students applying for master's study. To find out more please visit our master's funding opportunity search page .


The University of Manchester Library is the third-largest university library in the UK, only Oxford and Cambridge (both non-deposit libraries) are larger.

Manchester's vast resources include over four million books and journals, and the largest collection of electronic databases in the UK. This means the materials you need for your research are immediately available to you.

You will benefit greatly from our ongoing investment in the best research facilities, as well as a dynamic research culture that encourages innovative, cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: