Research course

Social Policy and Criminology

Open University · Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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Entry requirements

The normal minimum entrance requirement is an upper second class honours degree or masters degree.

Months of entry


Course content

The Social Policy and Criminology discipline at the OU is recognised nationally and internationally for its distinctive interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research. We have nurtured a vibrant research culture, broadly drawing on critical constructivist and interdisciplinary approaches to Social Policy and Criminology. This culture is sustained through our commitment to producing outstanding scholarship and research.

Our publications and research projects are of national and international significance. Our research catalyses and informs public dialogue and policy change on many issues in Social Policy and Criminology in the UK and internationally.

Our department has an international reputation for methodological innovation, with particular strengths in qualitative mixed-methods research, visual methods, biographical and life-story research, discourse analysis, historical methods and ethnography.

Many members of the discipline are actively involved in the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC), Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD) and Openspace. Research students are warmly encouraged to join these centres and to take an active part in our supportive and collegial research culture.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Graduate School