Postgraduate research

Sociology, social policy and criminology

two lines of do not cross police tape

Join our researchers working on social policy in digital economies, migration,  work and organisations, families and communities, environmental problems and behaviours, criminology, prisons and cybercrime.


Social Policy ranks in the top 5 in the country for outputs and our research environment was rated 100% world leading in the latest REF.

You’ll join a vibrant research community. We carry our research that is methodologically innovative and at the cutting edge of contemporary social theory. Our academics contribute to policy in fields such as population change, work and organisations, social cohesion and welfare. We are proud of our links with government departments, agencies and organisations around the world.  

You’ll be supported by at least 2 academics who'll guide your research. You'll develop your professional skills, including writing, bibliographic, library, computing and presentation skills. There may also be an opportunity to develop your teaching skills through tutoring on the undergraduate programmes. 

You'll be encouraged to develop your networks and create impact with your research by attending external conferences, seminars and workshops. 

Main areas of research

Our research interests are wide-ranging and we offer PhD supervision across many areas of sociology, social policy, social psychology, anthropology and criminology. Research themes include:

  • contemporary policing
  • crime and social cohesion
  • environmental change and sustainability
  • families and communities
  • international and comparative social policy
  • living standards and welfare
  • methodological innovation
  • postsocialism
  • prisons and punishment
  • religion, ethnicities and belonging
  • research methods
  • web science
  • wildlife crime
  • work and organisations
  • work futures, global business and entrepreneurship
  • youth justice
  • youth transitions

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