The School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences has a vibrant and multi-disciplinary research environment, which is home to a wide range of research projects that tackle important questions in the social sciences. We have an excellent international reputation for producing high quality research which has global impact. Our work is centred around three key themes: persistent and emerging socio-economic challenges, policy and practice in divided societies, and national global social justice.
If you are interested in joining our School as a PhD candidate, you can be confident that you’ll be joining a community of committed researchers, who offer dedicated and tailored supervision. You will be fully integrated into the research environment within the school and join a lively research student community.
The School has three pathways for applicants: we assess applications for self-funded study all year round; we invite applicants to apply to the University’s annual competition for doctoral scholarships; and we participate in the Northern Ireland and North-East Doctoral Training Partnership of the Economic and Social Research Council.
For more information on each of these pathways, and how to prepare an application, including how to draft a research proposal, please visit our School’s webpage that describes the variety of PhD Opportunities.
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Criminology is an evolving field dealing with an extensive range of sensitive issues. From traditional forms of deviance and offending, through to contemporary issues such as cybercrime, criminology continues to be highly relevant to the harms faced in society. As indicated by the list of themes below, the criminology team at Ulster University is diverse in terms of teaching and research interests, which range from the more formal aspects of the criminal justice process, policing and prisons for example, through to community responses to deviance and offending. Our research extends from a focus on individual offences and victims on a local level, through to corporate and state crimes on a national and global scale.
At Ulster University our research into crime and punishment is distinguished by its critical approach to the administration of justice, coupled with an emphasis on the application of criminological theories to the lived realities for individuals, communities and broader society.
The Criminology and Criminal Justice team draw upon a broad range of research expertise and experience of supervising diverse projects across the justice, security and civil society spectrum.
Key research themes and potential supervisors include:
Prisons and Punishment
Desistance from Offending
Victims and Survivors of Violence and Offending
Children’s Rights and Youth Justice
Gender, Crime and Justice
Policing, Human Rights and Accountability in a National and Transnational context
State Violence, Crime, Resistance and Human Rights
Terrorism/Political Violence, Security and Intelligence Handling
Cybercrime and/or Cyber Security
Human Trafficking/Modern Slavery
Drugs and Drug Policy - Consumption, Markets and Regulation
Environmental Crime, Harm and Justice
Transnational Corporate Crime and Corruption
Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study. We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.
In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.
English language requirements
In order to be admitted to research study at Ulster, you will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency as part of your application.
Get full details on the requirements for both home and overseas applicants can be found on our English language requirements page.
Careers and opportunities
PhD graduates are recognised by employers to hold valuable transferrable skills, as the nature of the degree trains candidates in creativity, critical inquiry, problem solving, negotiation skills, professionalism and confidence.
The most recent Ulster survey of PhD graduates found that 92% had secured employment within the first year since graduation (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2015), and while two thirds end up in the Higher Education or Research sectors, the range of skills acquired equips the remainder for employment in a wide range of contexts.
Fees and funding
Details of tuition fees can be found under the fees schedule for the academic year of entry.
To work out for which fees you would be eligible and to find out more information about potential sources of funding, please view the Fees and Funding pages on the Doctoral College website.
We are delighted that you are considering Ulster University for your research studies.
Get full details on the application process and further guidance on how to apply, and what you will need to upload as part of your application.
Once you have identified supervisors, discussed a research proposal and are ready to make an application, please apply using the online application system.
Ulster University welcomes applications from all sections of the community and from persons with disabilities. It is University policy to assess all applications using academic criteria and on the basis of equality of opportunity and you should be assured that reasonable adjustments will be made should you require them.