The School welcomes enquiries relating to the fields of psychology, criminology and sociology. Areas of research in which staff are currently active include occupational health among criminal justice professionals, forensic psychology, penal regimes and penal policy, more broadly, terrorism and policing. In line with the University's national research assessment strategy, and our success in the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008, research students interested in the following areas are particularly welcome: community safety, penal policy and human rights, policy evaluation, policing policy, prison regime, representations of crime in the media, and young people, social exclusion and the criminal justice system (CJS).
The School of Social Sciences offers supervision if you wish to pursue research programmes for the award of a PhD degree. You may undertake your research either full-time or part-time. If you are accepted for a PhD programme you will be assigned to a Director of Studies. At least one second supervisor will also be appointed.
As a research student in social sciences you will join a thriving research community and be part of one of the University’s research centres of excellence:
- The Centre for Applied Criminology, led by Dr Elizabeth Yardley
- The Centre for Applied Psychology, led by Dr Silvio Aldrovandi
- The Centre for Critical Social Research, led by Dr Kehinde Andrews
These centres and their members are always creating exciting postgraduate research projects, which you can find out more about here.
You will be encouraged to publish in collaboration with your supervisors and to take part in research conferences.
Liam Brolan, PhD in Criminology
"Criminology just fascinates me. The sheer breadth of topics you can study in criminology is phenomenal. The staff here are brilliant. David Wilson is a well-respected, high-profile criminologist and I’m learning from the best, so I’m very lucky."
Applicants are required to hold a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree, in a discipline related to social sciences, to be considered for a PhD. Some PhD opportunities, such as those funded by a particular research council, may additionally require a Masters level degree.
In addition, international applicants must satisfy the University's proficiency in English Language requirements, for example, IELTS Grade 6.0 in all bands or 6.5 average; TOEFL at least 575.
How to Apply
To apply, please complete the most appropriate online application form from the list below.
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.
Fees and Finance
Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
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Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
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Most of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses start in September/October, at the beginning of the academic year. However, some courses also have January/February or April start options. Short courses take place throughout the year.
Many of our courses can be studied on a Full-Time (FT) or Part-Time (PT) basis.
We also offer a Sandwich (SW) option for some courses – this usually involves two periods of Full Time study separated by a 'sandwich' placement spent working in an occupation related your course.
Distance Learning (DL) courses can be studied remotely, usually using online learning tools.
Fees quoted are only for the academic year or start date stated. Fees may change in future years.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK. Our reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Postgraduate Open Event
Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be held on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 3pm and 8pm.
Our postgraduate open event offers you the chance to:
- Meet with lecturers and other prospective students to discuss study options
- Meet and chat with our current students
- Obtain advice on fees and funding opportunities.
93 per cent of our graduates find work or further study within six months (DLHE). Explore your potential at our open evening.
Who is it for?
Whether you are coming to the end of your undergraduate studies, or have been in your job for a while and want to progress in your career or change direction, a postgraduate qualification gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market.
Our graduates are already shaping the world in a variety of high-profile roles – and you could be next. Read some of our inspiring case studies.
For more information, visit our Open Days page or call our Course Enquiries Team on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Book your place now
Wednesday 26 April 2017
University Approach to Employability
Birmingham City University is committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.
Read our Employability Statement to find out more.
The PhD award is a well established and valued professional qualification within the sector and will enhance career prospects. For those wanting to follow a career in teaching and researching in higher Education, a PhD is highly desirable.
The School welcomes enquiries relating to the fields of psychology, criminology, housing and sociology. Areas of research in which staff are currently active include occupational health amongst criminal justice professionals, forensic psychology, penal regimes and penal policy, more broadly terrorism and policing. Recent research initiatives have included an evaluation of “real work” in prisons, the psychological impact of music projects on offenders, the policing of riots, and how convicted paedophiles use the internet.
All students are required to undertake a course leading to a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Research Practice during their first year of study.
You can find out more about which specific research proposals are currently on offer below.
A day in the life of a PhD student
If you're considering doing a PhD there's probably a lot of questions going through your mind: how am I going to pay for it? Should I quit my job? Will I cope with the workload? But most importantly, what is it really like? Karen Patel, a full time PhD student, shares her experiences of juggling life, a part time job and her studies. Read more in Karen's blog.
Progress of PhD students is subject to formal written annual review. There is frequent informal monitoring of progress by the director of research and the director of studies. For PhD students, final assessment is by submission of a thesis and by a formal viva.
Prospective students from the UK
- Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
- If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
- Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from outside the UK
- Please use the International Enquiry Form.
- Alternatively, call us +44 (0)121 331 5389.
For an overview of our postgraduate courses and a range of other information please download our Postgraduate Prospectus (10Mb).
Please contact the Research Administrator CACfirstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to discuss your research ideas, please contact the Director of Research on CACemail@example.com