2020 applicants
Postgraduate Research Course

PhD Criminology

PhD Criminology

Overview

The details
Criminology
October 2020
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus
Sociology

Criminology programmes are hosted within our Department of Sociology. We offer supervision that covers a wide range of topics and we take a global approach to the subject, with particular expertise in diverse regional settings. You will work with a supervisor whose role is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff and where appropriate with staff from other departments.

The Criminology group is the largest in the Department, with 11 full time members of staff who have particular research strengths in:

  • crime and the media
  • drug use and markets
  • women, crime and criminal justice
  • green criminology and crimes against the environment
  • organised crime
  • prisons and rehabilitation
  • sexual labour, regulation and human rights
  • histories of crime, punishment and victimisation
  • security
  • surveillance
  • terrorism and counter-terrorism

Reflecting this, the Department is home to the Centre for Criminology, as well as three other research centres: the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation (CRESI), the Migration Research Centre, and the Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship (CISC). The Centre for Criminology runs seminars throughout the year, both by itself and in collaboration with others such as the Human Rights Centre. It also works with others on local, regional and national conferences and events.

Why we're great.
  • Top 20 for criminology (TGUG 2019)
  • Our staff have worked with bodies including the Home Office, Amnesty International and the United Nations
  • Ranked among the top 40 Sociology departments in the QS World University Rankings (2018)
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan. Members of the team are:

  • Professor Eamonn Carrabine
  • Professor Pam Cox
  • Dr Alexandra Cox
  • Dr Isabel Crowhurst
  • Dr Anna Di Ronco
  • Professor Pete Fussey
  • Dr Johanna Römer
  • Dr Anna Sergi
  • Professor Nigel South
  • Dr Darren Thiel
  • Professor Jackie Turton

Specialist facilities

At Essex, our library holdings in criminology and sociology are very strong – criminology and the sociology of deviance have been taught here by academics such as Stanley Cohen and Ken Plummer since the early 1970s.

Within our Department of Sociology, we have an ever-increasing range of open-access computing facilities available for your use and, to further assist you with your research, we have bibliographic and qualitative analysis packages available on some of these machines.

We have our own Student Resource Centre which provides a range of support for all our sociology students, including help with study skills.

Your future

Many of our postgraduates go on to successful academic careers, both in the UK and overseas. Others have established careers in non-governmental organisations, local authorities, specialist think tanks, government departments, charities, media production, and market research.

Our University is strong across the social sciences so, by studying with us, you gain the opportunity to work with and be taught by world-class scholars. We have strong interdisciplinary links which mean your studies can be informed by a variety of perspectives.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

You will need a good Masters degree, or equivalent, in Criminology, Sociology or a related subject. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.

If you don’t have Masters, our four-year integrated PhD, allows you to spend your first year studying at Masters level in order to develop the necessary knowledge and skills and to start your independent research in year two. This option is not available to all programmes, please contact us for more information.

You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component score below 6.0, or equivalent.

Structure

Example structure

A research degree doesn't have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.

Formative Debates in Criminology

How do we challenge our conventional understanding of crime? And what can we do about this? Examine the history of criminology and learn about the contemporary debates. Study topics like criminalisation, social deviance, and surveillance and punishment. Look ahead with analysis of new work by leading authors in the field.

View Formative Debates in Criminology on our Module Directory

Current Controversies in Criminology

How do we understand crime in our increasingly globalised world? And what about forms of control and criminal justice policy? Critically examine criminological thought on globalisation, migration, policy convergence, punishment, and crimes against the state.

View Current Controversies in Criminology on our Module Directory

Sociological Research Design

How do you design social research for projects? Examine the research process, from forming initial research questions through to writing up your findings. Develop your own research ideas via the approaches discussed, building a critical perspective on empirical research that will help you with future research goals.

View Sociological Research Design on our Module Directory

Introduction to Quantitative Analysis

How do you critically analyse quantitative data? What are the appropriate statistical techniques for your research questions? And how do you interpret your results? Learn to conduct investigations relevant to your own research, as well as be a critical user of other research.

View Introduction to Quantitative Analysis on our Module Directory

Digital Economy

Do hackers have ethics? Who owns digital media? Is surveillance justified? Explore the history of the digital media economy, looking at hacking, digital media piracy and peer-to-peer networks. Build your understanding of the social, economic and cultural role that digital media now plays in developed Western societies.

View Digital Economy on our Module Directory

Interviewing and Qualitative Data Analysis

What are the different approaches to qualitative data analysis? And when should qualitative interviews be used? Learn about the qualitative research process, including design, selection of interview subjects and analysis, so that you are equipped to tackle your own qualitative research in the future.

View Interviewing and Qualitative Data Analysis on our Module Directory

Dynamics of Home and Work

How are work and home life organised differently across the globe? Does gender add to this? Can we challenge our traditional understandings of work and home? As work helps to define your identity, explore the nature of both formal and informal work, using case studies from around the world.

View Dynamics of Home and Work on our Module Directory

Critical Perspectives on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

Is one man’s terrorist another’s freedom fighter? Go beyond that debate to really challenge your understanding of terrorism. Learn how to define and analyse terrorism. Examine themes on dimensions of terrorism, including political, animal rights and religious extremism. Explore counter terrorism, covering topics like surveillance, policing and the law.As part of this module you have the opportunity to visit the Counter Terrorism Headquarter in London for our annual optional field trip. You will be required to pay any associated travel costs if you choose to attend.

View Critical Perspectives on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism on our Module Directory

PhD Colloquium 2: Conducting and Communicating Your Research
Topics in Contemporary Social Theory

What is the significance of 'the de-centring of the subject'? What problems does the materiality of the body pose for sociology? Do claims for objectivity now make any sense at all? Gain an understanding of the significant debates in contemporary social theory, while learning to think analytically about theoretical questions.

View Topics in Contemporary Social Theory on our Module Directory

Colonialism, Cultural Diversity and Human Rights

How has colonialism created human rights problems, now and in the past? And what part did mandates for free markets, industrialism and state sovereignty play? Study thinkers like Cesaire, Fanon, Arendt, Agamben and Taussig. Discuss specific international situations like Palestine, forced removal of Aboriginal children and the war on terror.

View Colonialism, Cultural Diversity and Human Rights on our Module Directory

Advanced Quantitative Analysis: Models for Cause and Effect

How do you interpret studies using panel data? What are the various approaches to panel data analysis? And can you analyse the same data using different methods? Gain the knowledge and confidence to manipulate panel data sets, while developing practical skills in selecting and conducting panel data analysis.

View Advanced Quantitative Analysis: Models for Cause and Effect on our Module Directory

Survey Measurement and Question Design

Wish to design questionnaires? Build your theoretical knowledge and the practical tools to develop and write survey questions, and to construct questionnaires. Apply your understanding to the development of your questionnaire and implementation materials. Receive feedback on your questionnaire design.

View Survey Measurement and Question Design on our Module Directory

Assessment

Within our Department of Sociology, the PhD is a structured three-year programme of advanced study and research. We also offer an M. Phil, which is a two year programme. If you wish to undertake a PhD but are not sufficiently qualified, you may be offered our MA/MSc and PhD (four-year programme), where progression to your PhD is conditional on successful completion of your MA/MSc.

We therefore offer two routes to a PhD. If you have a strong background in sociology, and/or related areas a well-formulated research proposal, you may be admitted directly to do supervised research and complete your PhD. Alternatively, we offer an Integrated PhD, where you follow one of our pathways in your first year, which provides you with Masters-level training, then undertake three years of PhD research.

Dissertation

Your thesis should be no longer than 80,000 words. We expect our PhD students to complete their PhD within four years of entering, so you will be regularly monitored through supervisory and other meetings to ensure that you complete your PhD on time.

You will meet your supervisor regularly and twice a year, you will have a Supervisory Board meeting, which provides a formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your immediate and future plans.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£5,103

International fee

£15,460

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, graduate employability, student support and more
  • talk to our Fees and Funding team about scholarship opportunities
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.

We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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