Research course

Criminal Justice Studies

University of Portsmouth · Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

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Entry requirements

An honours degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed subject specialism. Please check the course details online for information about subject specialisms that can be supported. All applicants are subject to face-to-face or telephone interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry

February, October

Course content

If you want to take your existing knowledge in Criminology into postgraduate research, Portsmouth is the perfect place to do it. The nature of crime and the ways in which we prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute it are evolving. When you study for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll play your part in delivering vital research that tackles major issues of crime and punishment.
Our research covers subjects including cybercrime, counter fraud, policing, penology forensics, forensic interviewing, security and risk management, missing persons, and criminal psychology. Our Institute of Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS) is a leading centre for research in criminology, criminal justice and related fields. And we've received research funding from major organisations, such as the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST).
As a postgraduate researcher, you can take advantage of excellent research facilities and our links with the South East Regional Crime Unit, the National Crime Agency, the National Cybersecurity Centre, the Home Office, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, and City of London Police.

Current research

Our research covers the following key topics
    • Cybercrime
    • Cyberterrorism and cyber warfare
    • Cybersecurity
    • Online subcultures and deviance
    • Digital investigations
    • Online politics
    • Information security management
    • Socio-technical perspectives on information systems security
    • Socio-technical perspectives on contemporary issues of digital technologies
    • Cyberlaw and human rights
Our research covers the following key topics
    • Forensic interviewing
    • Interviewing vulnerable groups
    • interviewing victims of sexual crime
    • Use of interpreters within the interviewing context
    • Intelligence gathering tools
    • Use of body worn video
    • Investigation
    • Transference of research into the field – impact
    • Miscarriages of justice
    • Critical incidents
    • Health and well-being – trauma
Our research covers the following key topics
    • Missing people from care
    • Dementia and missing
    • Unaccompanied minors and missing
    • Child abduction
    • Search and rescue
    • Mental health and missing
    • Publicity appeals in cases of missing people
Our research covers the following key topics
    • Counter fraud
    • Counter corruption
    • Economic crime
    • Victims of fraud and cyber-crime
    • Cost of fraud
    • Security and privacy
    • Food fraud
    • Economic and industrial espionage
Our research covers the following key areas
    • Policing
    • Police interviewing
    • Police investigations
    • Police culture
    • Hate crime
    • Diversity in policing


Our research covers the following key topics
    • Penology and prisons
    • Community justice
    • Victimology
    • Multi-agency working
    • Rehabilitation studies
    • Substance misuse
    • Mental health
    • Women and the criminal justice system
    • Race and the criminal justice system
    • Forgiveness
    • Complexity theory
    • Restorative justice
Our research focuses on the following key topics
    • Fingerprints
    • Digital forensics
    • Fire investigation
    • Wildlife crime
    • Firearms
    • DNA recovery
    • Forensic entomology
    • Human factors and decision-making
    • 3D scene and evidence capture (augmented and virtual reality)
What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?
Once your postgraduate research degree is complete, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification tells potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    part time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566