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.

See the DPhil Criminology webpage on the University website for information about admissions requirements, fees, and how to apply


The part-time DPhil programme follows the same broad structure as the full-time programme,  with submission of the completed thesis within eight years. Part-time DPhil students spend their first two years as a probationary research student, before transferring to DPhil status following the ‘qualifying test’. Regular seminar series and research methods training is held on Thursdays during term time, and part-time students are encouraged to participate in the life of the Centre as fully as possible, by attending departmental seminars, joining discussion groups and research streams, and taking part in the intellectual and social life of the Centre. To maximise the value of their time in Oxford and to build effective working relationships with other students and academics, part-time students are expected to be present at the University for 30 days a year over the first six years of their programme.

The Howard League for Penal Reform is offering a scholarship of £2,000 per year for six years to a part-time DPhil Criminology student conducting research relevant to the key aims of the Howard League.

Please indicate on the DPhil Criminology application form under Departmental Scholarships if you are interested in being considered for this award and forward a two-page (maximum) statement of interest detailing how your research is relevant to the Howard League to Closing date for applications is noon on Friday 22nd January 2016.

Overseas Applicants: As this is a part time long term course requiring weekly attendance during term time, students should only accept a place if they are, or will be, already resident in the UK in a capacity likely to last until the end of the course. Non EU students will not be eligible to apply for a Tier 4 student visa and neither is the Student Visitor category appropriate for the course. If a student accepts a place on the course it is on the understanding that they are able to be resident in the UK and it is their own responsibility to ensure that their visa permission will last for the duration of the course.

The areas in which members of the Centre for Criminology are able to offer supervision include:

  • policing and security
  • sociology of punishment
  • sentencing
  • restorative justice
  • crime, risk and justice
  • the death penalty
  • human rights and criminal justice
  • border control and the criminalisation of migration
  • victims
  • public attitude and responses to crime
  • procedural justice and legitimacy
  • the politics of crime and justice
  • prisons
  • crime and the family
  • race and gender
  • miscarriages of justice
  • youth justice
  • crime, criminology and social/political theory



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 Dr Ben Bradford , Director of Graduate Studies (Research). He can be contacted at: