Research course

Research Opportunities - Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies

Liverpool John Moores University · Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies

Entry requirements

Applicants for MPhil or MPhil/PhD should normally hold, or be expecting to obtain, a first or upper second-class Bachelor’s honours degree in a relevant subject; those applying for PhD direct must hold a Master’s degree with a research dissertation in a relevant subject, and have had research training directly related to the PhD project. Some Faculties may require applicants who do not hold a relevant Master’s degree to complete an MRes programme before going on to register for PhD direct. Applicants are advised to check this with the relevant Faculty before applying. Applicants holding qualifications other than those above will be considered on their merits. Appropriate research and previous experience will be taken into account. International students must also hold an IELTS qualification of at least 6.5 or equivalent. For research programmes in the Screen School, Humanities and Social Sciences and in Law the requirement is for a minimum score of 7.0 in the written component. Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, ‘International’ students wishing to come to the UK to study may only do so on a full-time basis. However, if you are interested in doing a part-time research degree programme under some circumstances you may be able to do this from your own country and come to LJMU for short periods of approximately 6 weeks each year. International students wishing to apply for research degree programmes in this Faculty do not require ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance. All research degree registrations are subject to approval by the Faculty and University’s Research Degrees Committee.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

At a glance:

  • Minimum period of study 1 year full time, with a maximum of 6 years if completed part time
  • Faculty conducting internationally-acclaimed and nationally important research
  • Research scholarships available - eligibility criteria apply
  • Expert supervision and researcher training
  • Excellent facilities plus industry connections

Supervision Arrangements and Progression Monitoring

All registered research students are allocated an appropriately experienced supervision team of either 2 or 3 supervisors who work as a team with the student. One of these supervisors is appointed as Director of Studies with responsibility to supervise the student on a regular and frequent basis.

Progression monitoring is undertaken both formally and informally by the supervision team on an ongoing basis.

Each Faculty has procedures in place to monitor the progress of their research students. On an annual basis the University Research Degrees Committee will ask Faculties to monitor progress of all eligible postgraduate research students and provide a summative report to the Research Degrees Committee.

Registration Periods and Programme Routes

MPhil and PhD awards are offered on either a full-time or part-time basis. The minimum and maximum registration periods for each programme route are as follows:

  • Full Time: minimum 12 months, maximum 24 months
  • Part Time: minimum 24 months, maximum 48 months

PhD (via progression from MPhil registration and including the period of MPhil registration)

  • Full Time: minimum 33 months, maximum 48 months
  • Part Time: minimum 45 months, maximum 84 months

PhD (direct route not via MPhil)

  • Full Time: minimum 24 months, maximum 36 months
  • Part Time: minimum 36 months, maximum 72 months

The programme route you are enrolled upon will depend upon your qualifications and experience. The majority of LJMU students initially register for MPhil/PhD and go on to complete their PhD via successful progression from MPhil.

Training Opportunities

The University offers a comprehensive Research Student Induction programme, together with a varied programme of generic skills training opportunities. Attendance at Research Student Induction is a compulsory condition of research degree registration. Examples of other current generic skills training opportunities are as follows:

  • Advanced Presentation Skills
  • Applying for Ethical Approval
  • How to be an Effective Researcher
  • Poster Presentation/Design
  • Postgraduate Employability Skills
  • Project Management
  • Writing Skills inc Creative Planning for Writing your Thesis
  • Surviving the Viva
  • Speed Reading

In addition to this individual Faculties offer subject-specific research training depending on individual students’ needs.

Information for postgraduate research students can also be found on the Graduate School web site.

School of Humanities and Social Science

  • English Literature and Cultural History including 17th, 19th and 20th Century British Literature and Cultural History; Women’s Writing; Critical and Feminist Theory; National Literatures (Irish & Scottish); Postcolonial Literatures; Prison Writing and Working-Class Writing; 19th and 20th Century American Studies; 21st Century Literature and Culture.
  • History including history of the British Empire in the 19th Century (especially India and Southeast Asia); Business history; 18th and 19th century Irish history; history of Co-operation; 19th and 20th century history of the British Economy; US Politics and post-1945 history, Presidential policymaking and American foreigh policy; the history of sexuality, gender and LGBT communities in 19th and 20th century Britain.
  • Criminology including policy responses to young people in trouble; child welfare; penal systems; illegal and problematic drug use; corporate crime; night-time economies in the city; social policy and social exclusion; masculinity; criminological theory; environmental geography; medical criminology; qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Sociology including race, higher education and employment; work-life balance and women’s health; childbirth - caesarean birth in particular; informed choice in health services; sustainable development; gender; participatory and visual research methods; racism and the state; biopolitics and the contested politics of space in the neoliberal city; disability and illness; identities, audiences and fandom; ageing and the life course; sport and social movements
  • Crime, Criminalisation and Social Harm including issues of crime and criminalisation; the production and organisational responses to social harm; the social production and effects of social exclusion; injustice and social justice; critical considerations of ‘rights’; critical interrogations of criminal justice and broader state responses to crime and social harm on local, national and international levels; gender/sexual violence and Human Rights
  • Media, Culture Communication including popular culture; print culture; identity and representation; youth culture; cultures of consumption; media policy; digitial cultures, ethnography
  • Policing Studies including police governance and accountability; police diversity; police education and training; police cultures; police reform; multi-agency working; police privatisation and private securities; technology and policing; community engagement; mental health and policing

Liverpool Business School

  • Human Resource Management; Human Resources Development & Leadership; Performance Management
  • Social Enteprise; Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Operations Management including Project Management; Quality Management
  • E-Business; Information Management; Knowledge Management
  • Marketing; Digital Marketing
  • Strategic Management
  • Public Sector Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Sustainability
  • Educational Research
  • Intercultural Communications

Liverpool School of Art and Design

  • History of Art
  • Exhibition Studies
  • Curatorial Practice and Theory
  • Architecture (especially Urbanism and Place Making)
  • Fine Art Practice and Theory (especially Sonic Arts, Installation, Socially Engaged Practices, Printmaking and New Technologies)
  • Art and Design Pedagogy
  • Graphic Design and Illustration (especially Digital Typography and Graphic Authorship)

Liverpool Screen School

  • Drama including Popular Theatre; Multicultural Theatre; Television Drama; Performance, Applications of Drama and Playwriting
  • Media production; covering TV production and TV video documentary
  • Creative writing
  • Film studies covering theory of film, film production technique, and cinema
  • Popular Music Studies and Ethnomusicology
  • Journalism: practice based research in print, broadcast or online journalism; journalism studies including history, future developments, journalism technology, journalism ethics, freedom of expression, journalism training and education and various forms of specialist journalism

School of Law

Research is conducted in two different fields: Law and Criminal Justice.

  • Research in Law includes the following areas: criminal law; legal history; corporate governance; banking and finance; global finance law; obligations; media law; comparative private/public law; EU law; international law; commercial law; sports law; German public law; Italian public law; medical ethics; bioethics; legal theory; human rights; terrorism; police powers; transnational crime; gender studies; family law; law and religion.
  • Criminal Justice research activity covers two core themes; firstly, work concerned with the organisation and delivery of criminal justice institutions and secondly, research that examines the broader social context of the social and cultural impact of criminal justice.
  • The first theme includes the history, organisation and governance of the National Probation Service; the impact and delivery of community penalties/sentences; innovation and creativity in developing models of criminal justice; the use and effectiveness of community justice approaches; drug interventions in criminal justice and the subsequent management of drug misusing populations; multi-agency and partnership work within youth justice; reviewing and informing sentencing policy; the political dimensions to criminal justice policy creation.
  • The second theme includes the nature, complexities and challenges of criminal justice engagement with its publics; the symbolic and cultural significance of real and imagined exchanges with the criminal justice system in negotiations of belonging and identity; critically examining fictional and factual media representations of criminal justice; the application of criminological theory in practice; the connections between research and the criminal justice policy making process.

Information for international students

LJMU will be awarding a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University in September. Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.

Fees and funding

Faculty Admissions Hub
Tel: +44(0) 151 231 5175

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
24 months


part time
48 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
0151 231 5090