Research course

Professional Doctorate in Criminal Justice

University of Portsmouth · School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Entry requirements

A master's degree in a relevant subject, preferably of Merit level. It is essential that applicants are professionally engaged in one of the many areas of criminal justice. Applicants should be working at a senior level and/or have strong relevant criminal justice experience. All applicants will be invited to attend a 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


Course content


Our Professional Doctorate in Criminal Justice (DCrimJ) is a structured 4-year programme. The first two years are focused on workshop-based teaching in Portsmouth, while the latter two years are focused on supervised research, leading to a thesis.

Established in 2007, this course offers a framework for criminal justice professionals to reflect on and contribute to practice in their area of work. And unlike the more traditional PhD route – which aims to develop professional researchers – the Professional Doctorate in Criminal Justice develop researching professionals.

Students are drawn from a variety of backgrounds in criminal justice – including policing, counter fraud, the private security industry, the voluntary sector, youth justice, prisons, probation, the legal profession, and forensic mental health.

The aim of the course is to develop criminal justice professionals whose work informs and is informed by original research in the field. Previous graduates have followed research projects into profession-related subjects such as:

  • Reform and the Garda in the Republic of Ireland
  • The National Intelligence Model and reduced risk in the public sector
  • Gender within specialist police departments
Structure and teaching

You'll be studying with the same cohort of people over the whole four years – and the interaction this provides will give you the opportunity to work, learn and develop together.

The taught element of the Professional Doctorate in Criminal Justice consists of 8 campus-based workshops in the first year (taught over 4 sessions) and 6 campus-based workshops (taught over 3 sessions) in the second year of the programme. Students are required to plan accordingly and attend all of the workshops in the taught phase of the programme.

For students who require a Visa to enter the UK then it must be noted that ID checks will take place at the start of the academic year on campus with the University UK Visa and Immigration Team as part of the normal student registration process.

Further information about our Research Areas and funded opportunities can be found at

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • DCrimJ
    part time
    48 - 84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566