Research course


The University of Manchester · Centre for Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies

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.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

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.

Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English are required to hold a minimum overall score of 7 in the IELTS test with 7 in writing and no subsection below 6.5, or an equivalent score in the IBT- TOEFL, PEARSON, or Cambridge CAE.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

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

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Further details of qualification

MPhil's and PhD's supervised international experts in their fields.

Course contact details

School of Law
+44 (0)161 306 1279