MPhil and PhD Opportunities

Law and Criminology

Postgraduate Research in Law and Criminology.

Star Overview

Research overview

Research encompasses a wide range of theoretical, methodological and doctrinal approaches in law and the Criminal Justice System. Research strengths converge in several areas, including business law, discrimination law and legal education, with productive interdisciplinary collaborations such as with criminal justice and economics.

The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS) is a multi-disciplinary department with an extensive range of research activity, pure and applied. A number of our staff are leading figures in their fields of scholarship. Our researchers work to enhance and develop knowledge and understanding in the broad field of criminal justice and criminological studies, including research into criminology and criminal justice studies, counter fraud, community justice, police, forensics and investigation, security and risk management, and criminal psychology. Research within the field of Law and Criminology may also be closely linked to research within the department of Psychology.

Research centres

Corporate Governance Research Group
We seek to inform public policy in the national context (at home and abroad), to affect corporate behaviour, and to explore how governance styles can impact upon the wider economic and socio-economic agenda.

The Centre for Counter Fraud Studies (CCFS)
The Centre was founded in 2009 to accommodate the growing interest in counter fraud that has occurred within the Institute over the last ten years, providing a clear focus for research, knowledge transfer and educational provision to the counter fraud community.

Centre for European Studies and International Research (CEISR)
CEISR is a major interdisciplinary centre for research on Europe, its diasporas and its relations with the wider world. CEISR was established in 1997 and is now the largest centre of its kind in the UK. It brings together over 70 researchers from across the University including linguists, historians, sociologists, political scientists, criminologists, security experts, anthropologists and specialists in area studies.

Centre for Forensic Interviewing
The Centre provides teaching to students of criminology-related subjects in conjunction with research opportunities for those wishing to examine any topic within the field of interviewing and investigation, alongside training and knowledge transfer initiatives for professionals working in investigative interviewing.

Centre for the Study of Missing Persons
The Centre, founded to accommodate the growing interest in the field of missing persons, provides a clear focus for research, knowledge transfer and educational provision to academics, professionals in this community and relatives of missing people.


How to apply 

To apply for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll need a good first degree from an internationally-recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. We'll also consider outstanding applicants with exceptional equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

We're currently rebuilding our website, so to explore the 3 different routes you can take into a postgrad research degree at Portsmouth, visit our new 'How to Apply' pages.

Key Facts


MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
By Publication: 1 year part-time
Start date: October/February


Please contact the department for details of entry requirements. Law requires English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5. Other subject areas require English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

MPhil/PhD Fees*

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan


Institute of Criminal Justice:

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
International full-time students: £13,200 p/a*
International part-time students: £6,600 p/a*

School of Law:

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
International full-time students: £14,000 p/a*
International part-time students: £7,000 p/a*

* Fees are subject to annual increase.


By Publication Fees*


Members of staff: £1,550 p/a*
External candidates: £4,260 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions

Contact (School of Law) (Institute of Criminal Justice)


Portsmouth Law School, Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

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Light bulb Research Areas


Research areas encompass a wide range of theoretical, methodological and doctrinal approaches in law including:

  • Clinical legal education
  • Constitutional law
  • Corporate governance
  • Discrimination law
  • Employment law
  • European law
  • Family law
  • Policing, Crime and Investigation,
  • Risk, Security and Counter Fraud
  • Youth, Crime and Social Justice

Criminology - Policing Crime and Investigating

The Policing, Crime and Investigation Cluster is a multi-disciplinary umbrella for research on policing, probation, crime scene methods, and criminal and forensic investigation. As well as staff from ICJS, the Cluster includes staff from the School of Law, the Portsmouth Business School (forensic accounting) and the Department of Psychology. Research areas include:

  • Investigative interviewing and evidence
  • Masculinities and offending behaviour
  • Miscarriages of justice
  • Police accountability, governance and police reform
  • Police management and police leadership
  • Public protection and MAPPA
  • Professional culture in inter-professional contexts
  • Development of forensic and crime scene investigation

Criminology - Risk, Security and Counter Fraud

We are working and supervising in research areas such as:

  • Societal and organisational risk
  • Delivery of security from public and private sector perspectives
  • The challenge of fraud and its effective control

Criminology - Youth Crime and Social Justice

Our research focuses on young people and families in trouble as well as the youth justice system. Research areas include:

  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Child abuse, safeguarding and children in care
  • Comparative research on young people in trouble
  • Crime prevention and interventions with young people in trouble
  • Crime prevention and safer schools
  • Researching youth and social justice – methodological issues
  • Restorative Justice & Social Justice

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Flexible Learning

You will benefit from web, email or phone access to many of our facilities and services. Our student website will be your one-stop shop for all news, information and links to other services, and 24/7 online access to the University Library’s vast electronic book, journal and database collections will help you find the right resources for your research.


We have invested heavily in open access computer suites across campus. Great working spaces with high-spec PCs (multimedia and CAD), Macs and printing facilities. There is also more specialised software and equipment available such as large format printing and audio-visual equipment. Should you need any assistance, there are specialist technicians on hand to support you in using the facilities.


Graduate School

From the moment you join us, you will be supported by the University's Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team. You will be invited to a two-day induction, helping you to get the most from our facilities and be part of our thriving research community. You can also extend your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career Planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the comprehensive support we provide in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service - Purple Door - can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. 

The Graduate School Development Programme offers a series of dedicated workshops on career planning, specifically for research degree students. You will also have access to consultations with careers advisers or online support. This service is available for five years after graduation.


Doctoral graduates are highly-skilled researchers that make an impact in a range of sectors. They benefit from high employment rates and, on average, earn more than holders of undergraduate and Masters degrees. A doctorate demonstrates to employers that you are intelligent, capable and motivated, and that you have advanced technical and research skills.

In addition to supervision from experts in the field, you will be supported to become an internationally employable doctoral graduate. You will also develop skills that are desirable to employers including critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

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