Research course

Criminal Justice

University of Central Lancashire · School of Law and Policing

Entry requirements

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Months of entry


Course content

The Professional Doctorate in Criminal Justice provides an alternative award for the traditional Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The D.Prof is a unique programme designed for professionals working in the Criminal Justice sector who are interested in furthering their development as expert practitioners.

You’ll develop a critical awareness of topics at the forefront of criminal justice and the contexts and theories that influence practice in these areas.

This bespoke qualification can be tailored to professional requirements, increasing the potential for personal development and career progression.

The course has two points of entry - Stage One involves undertaking an MSc in Criminal Justice.

Stage Two involves undertaking the Professional Doctorate Thesis, and a level 8 module.

The course is either 4 years full time (1 year MSc + 3 years Professional Doctorate Thesis) or 8 years part time (2 years MSc + 6 years Professional Doctorate Thesis). If students are admitted directly at Stage 2 this will be reduced to 3 years full time or 6 years part time.

Why study with us

  • Online resources provide the flexibility to study when and where it suits you, within a guided and structured framework.
  • The course is taught by lecturers with frontline experience in criminal justice organisations and those who are research active in this area.

What you'll do

  • You’ll benefit from established professional links with Lancashire Constabulary and other law enforcement agencies, regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • The Professional Doctorate course is delivered by a diverse range of experienced research/practitioner active staff from within the School.
  • You’ll develop a professional approach to research practice in criminal justice by analysing and critiquing the philosophical dimensions of research methodology and the use of current research techniques.

Learning and assessment

As this course is exclusively online, the programme will make extensive use of Blackboard (eLearn), which promotes access to a variety of resources and materials designed to meet the learning needs of distance learning students.

Extensive resources are available to support your studies (ie SPSS) provided by the University’s Library and IT staff. You’ll have access to a huge range of electronic resources including e-journals and databases, eBooks, images and texts.

The Professional Doctorate course is delivered by a diverse range of experienced research/practitioner active staff from within the School. You can access information (eg about staff research interest and publications) via online staff profiles (available through the appropriate School web pages). In addition, specialist staff such as those from the University Learning Information Service’s may contribute to modules, where their particular expertise will enhance your learning experience.

Further information

The Professional Doctorate is designed to augment students in developing their careers through the following routes:

  • To develop a career as an independent researcher
  • To undertake research projects in a particular research setting that you may work in already (or propose to work in), or be associated to in some capacity
  • To engage with other professionals in various criminal justice fields
  • To enhance your career prospects as a researching professional with the ability to contribute to new practice through the generation of original knowledge
  • To enter into a career within academia.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • DProf
    part time
    72-96 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
+44 (0)1772 892400