The DPhil entails researching and writing a thesis of between 75,000 and 100,000 words over a period of three or at the most four years. The thesis must make a significant and substantial contribution to the field. Students are never admitted to the DPhil programme directly. They are transferred to DPhil status following a ‘qualifying test’ taken at the end of their first year as a probationer research student, or following the MPhil in Criminology and Criminal Justice. DPhil students work under the guidance of at least one supervisor who will be an acknowledged authority on their chosen topic. To see what subjects current DPhil students are working on, please see here.

Thinking about doing a part-time DPhil in Criminology? Find out more.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

The ESRC is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on social and economic issues. The University, in collaboration with Brunel University and the Open University, hosts the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership - one of fourteen Doctoral Training Partnerships accredited by the ESRC as part of a Doctoral Training Network. 

In order to be considered for a Grand Union DTP ESRC studentship, you must select ‘ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentships in Social Sciences’ in the University of Oxford scholarships section of the University's graduate application form.  You must also complete a Grand Union DTP Application Form and upload it, together with your graduate application form, by the relevant January deadline for your course. 

Information about ESRC studentships at Oxford can be found on the Grand Union DTP website. Please ensure you have read all of the guidance available on the website before completing the Grand Union DTP Application Form. Questions can be directed to the Grand Union DTP Office.

ESRC Migration Pathway Scholarships are applicable to Home or EU students interested in studying for a DPhil in a migration-related subject.  The closing date for applications for October 2019 is Friday 25 January 2019.


ESRC–funded Collaborative DPhil Studentship  Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford and South Wales Police

Trust, Blame and Confidence in Police Organizations: A Deliberative Case Study                                                                 

The Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford is looking for a suitably qualified person to conduct a doctoral research project on ‘trust, blame and confidence in police organisations’. This full-time study will be conducted in collaboration with South Wales Police. It will be supervised by Dr Katrin Mueller-Johnson and Professor Ian Loader from the Centre for Criminology and supported by Superintendent Ceri Hughes from South Wales Police.

The studentship is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) for three years from October 2019. Details on eligibility for ESRC studentships may be found on the Grand Union DTP website. The successful candidate will also be expected to meet the standard entrance requirement for a DPhil in the Centre.  Closing date for applications for this studentship is Friday 25th January 2019.



DPhil students in the Centre for Criminology have access to dedicated workspace in the Centre, as well as to the Bodleian Social Science Library and the Bodleian Law Library. They will also be able to participate fully in the intellectual life of the Centre through its programme of staff-student research workshops, reading groups and seminars


Informal enquiries about doctoral studies in the Centre for Criminology are welcome and should be directed to Professor Carolyn Hoyle  Director of Graduate Studies (Research) She can be contacted at: