Research course


University of Glasgow · College of Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Entry to our PhD programme generally requires a good 2.1 in a first degree or a merit or distinction in a Masters degree. It helps to have qualifications in criminology or a closely related subject (like law, psychology, social work or sociology) but this is not essential.

Months of entry


Course content

A vibrant research community in criminology supports students to become excellent researchers who are theoretically informed and actively engaged in the public debate about crime and justice.

Our staff are involved in many research projects and networks in Scotland, the UK, internationally. As well as guaranteeing support from postgraduate researcher supervisors at the cutting edge of the discipline, this creates opportunities for students to gain access to organisations ranging, for example, from the local police or prisons to the United Nations.

Glasgow is a founding partner and administrative base of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research which spans four Scottish universities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and Strathclyde). For staff and postgraduate researchers, SCCJR opens up access to a wide range of activities and development opportunities.

Areas of research interest which could offer opportunities for research supervision include:

  • Young people, crime and youth justice (especially youth violence and gangs)
  • Gender, crime and justice (especially young female offenders, gendered violence)
  • Security studies, including policing and regulation
  • Sentencing and the penal system, particularly imprisonment, parole and probation
  • Desistance from crime, rehabilitation and reintegration
  • Media, culture and representation of crime and punishment
  • Projects employing cultural criminology, critical criminology or feminist perspectives
  • Illicit markets, including the contemporary global trade in looted cultural objects

Our research degrees offer unique opportunities:

  • Collaborating with and access to those working in and making justice policy in Scotland, Europe and beyond
  • Training in research methods and skills, not just in established quantitative and qualitative methods, but also in mixed methods research and in more recent or emerging approaches such as creative, visual and digital methods.
  • Developing new theoretical, conceptual and interdisciplinary approaches to studying crime and justice.

We host and support numerous training and professional development activities for students, many of them student-led, often in collaboration with our partners in SCCJR – the Universities of Edinburgh, Stirling and Strathclyde. We also offer a diverse programme of regular seminars and informal working lunches features leading scholars in the field as well as regular student contributions.

Information for international students

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 7.0 with no sub-test under 6.5.
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MRes
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details