Postgraduate Research Course

PhD Criminology

PhD Criminology

Overview

The details
Criminology
October 2021
Full-time
5 years
Colchester Campus
Sociology

Our four-year integrated PhD Criminology follows the MA Criminology programme for year 1 before beginning the PhD study programme within the department in year 2. By opting for our four-year Integrated course, you will benefit from guidance and training to develop the research mind set needed for your PhD studies.

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 (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021)
  • Our staff have worked with bodies including the Home Office, Amnesty International and the United Nations
  • Ranked 9th in the UK for Sociology in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021
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

A 2:2 degree, or international equivalent, in a social science or Humanities subject or, another discipline which must include at least two humanities or social science modules which can include the research project/dissertation).

.

Applications from students with a degree below a 2:2 or equivalent or a non-social sciences degree will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.

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.

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, then we will require you to have IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.

Structure

Course structure

The first year of the PhD (Integrated) programme follows the structure of the MA Criminology programme.

Progression to the second year of the programme requires a merit (60% or higher) across the MA modules and the dissertation.

Starting the second year, the programme follows the structure of the three-year programme for the PhD Criminology degree.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Sociology - Research
(0 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Formative Debates in Criminology
(20 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

SC800-7-FY or SC803-7-FY or SC804-7-FY
(0 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Current Controversies in Criminology
(20 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Sociological Research Design
(20 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

SC520-7-SP or SC504-7-AU
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

Spring term Criminology or Sociology option
(40 CREDITS)

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/UK fee

£5,360

International fee

£16,230

EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

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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