Skip to content
Postgraduate research

Criminology and Policing* MSc by Research

University of Gloucestershire

What is Criminology and Policing MSc by Research?

Join our supportive and expert community of researchers as a student on our MSc by Research or PhD programme. We produce innovative research offering insights and solutions for society’s most pressing challenges.

We welcome proposals for research degrees on a wide range of topics relating to criminology or  policing. Our team’s particular research strengths lie in:

  • Restorative justice and restorative practice
  • Domestic abuse, stalking and coercive control
  • Sexual and gender-based violence
  • Homicide
  • Crimes of the powerful and state criminality
  • Penology
  • Sports criminology
  • Green criminology and wildlife crime
  • Blue criminology and contemporary maritime piracy
  • Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity
  • Post-conflict societies and transitional justice
  • Alternative and community justice
  • Policing practice and policy
  • Youth crime and justice
  • Police professionalisation

Study style

Students can study either full time or part time alongside employment or family commitments. In recognition of the fact that no two research projects – or research students – are the same, we offer a flexible approach to supporting you. You will have access to hot-desk office space and library and ICT support. MSc students will typically take two research methods training modules, which are also available to PhD students.

Contributing original knowledge to your chosen specialism in criminology and policing, you will develop your own research project under the guidance of an expert team of our academic supervisors. You will develop a 30,000-word thesis on the MSc by Research programme, or an 80,000-word thesis on the PhD programme. You may also have the opportunity, subject to progress, upgrade from the MSc by Research programme to the PhD programme if you wish to develop your MSc project into a PhD.

You will be supported to develop an extensive range of research skills and professional aptitudes to ensure you graduate as an expert independent professional researcher. This training is delivered through an exciting research design and methods programme and a range of bespoke workshops – connecting you to researchers and research students across the university. You will be invited to participate in our Academic School’s research seminar series and to attend events and training arranged by our Early Careers Researcher network. Dedicated office space is provided for postgraduate researchers at our Francis Close Hall campus in Cheltenham.

*This course is 'subject to validation' which means it is in the final stages of approval. Courses are normally approved, but if it is not then we will contact applicants and those who register interest to help you find a suitable alternative.

Entry requirements

    • At least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.

    • A master’s degree or equivalent in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic.

    • We actively encourage applications from students from a range of diverse backgrounds who demonstrate appropriate research experience and achievement.

    • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other component) or equivalent.

    • Please provide a copy of your research proposal. This should be 1,000 words (excluding references and appendices) following the structure outlined in this research proposal guide.

      Please note; we’re unable to process applications without a proposal for the School’s consideration. Not supplying one will delay the processing of applications.

      When funded projects arise, they will be advertised on the University webspages but we are also very happy to talk to potential students about self-funded or government loan-funded research and developing a project; please contact Dr Matt Wood mjwood@glos.ac.uk in the first instance.

Fees and costs

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Course code Fee (UK)
Fee per year
Fee (international)
Fee per year
October 2024 £5,100 £12,775
February 2025 £5,100 £12,775
October 2025 TBC TBC
February 2026 TBC TBC

Ready to apply?

Can't see your research area listed?

With research submitted in each of our research areas judged to be internationally excellent according to the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF2021), our research supervisors have a broad range of specialisms across a diverse range of subjects.

Get in touch to find out how we can support your research interests by emailing admissions@glos.ac.uk.

Joun our research community

You’ll be part of our Academic School’s research seminar series, enabling you to learn about the range of cutting-edge research taking place at the university, and network with the wider academic community. You’ll also have the opportunity to share your own research as part of the seminar series– great for developing your research dissemination skills and receiving feedback from a range of academic expert – and to join our Early Career Researcher network.

Become an expert researcher

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods develops your skills as a professional researcher and supports the development of your project.

Share your research at academic conferences

The School of Business will support you to present your research at academic conferences. These opportunities ensure that you stay abreast of the latest developments in your field and can develop your external research networks.

Dr Jon Hobson, Associate Professor of Social Sciences

“Studying for a PhD provides a great opportunity to become an expert in an area you find interesting and important. Being at the cutting edge of understanding in your discipline and dedicating a portion of your time to generating new knowledge and new understanding is a fantastic challenge. We enjoy supporting research students on their journey, working with them to understand their topics and often involving them in our research and conference presentations. Where we can, we also like to offer students the chance to teach, particularly if a career in academia is something they would like to pursue.”

Dr Anamika Twyman-Ghoshal, Senior Lecturer in Criminology

“My research looks at the intersection of power, systemic injustice, social harm, and deviance in a globalised world. This has included examining state and corporate harms, green and blue criminology (environmental harm, maritime piracy, terrorism), decolonising criminology, and restorative justice. My current projects include studying the deviant causes of Earth System damage (which includes climate change), environmental justice and maritime piracy, state co-offending, and decolonising criminological knowledge production using an anti-racist foundation. In addition, I am collaborating on various restorative justice projects and developing a restorative justice technology platform.”

Professor Jane Monckton Smith, Professor of Public Protection

“My research is focused on interpersonal violence and especially how we can prevent homicide, and I have developed a new theoretical framework for tracking homicide risk in cases of domestic abuse and stalking that has influenced police forces and decision-makers nationally and internationally. I also work with professionals in reviewing homicides, including chairing statutory Domestic Homicide Reviews, providing investigative support on current and cold homicide cases, training professionals in risk and threat assessment, and providing risk assessment in current cases of coercive control and stalking.”

Dr Susie Atherton, Senior Lecturer in Criminology

“My work primarily focuses on alternative justice and critically examining systems of punishment; following on from my PhD examining the role of community in criminal justice policy. I am currently supervising students working on policing in transitional states and the use of the presumption against short sentences in Scotland as a means to reduce their use. I am currently evaluating a project called ‘Custody in the Community’ working with Gloucestershire Police, the Nelson Trust, YMCA and others on the use of accommodation retrofitted with surveillance technology to support the rehabilitation of women leaving prison, with complex needs.”