DPhil in Criminology (full-time)


Students are not admitted to the DPhil degree directly. Instead, they are first admitted to Probationer Research Student (PRS) status. During the first two terms, all full-time students are required to undertake the methods courses run by the Centre for Criminology (unless they have already completed equivalent training previously) or the Law Faculty’s Course in Legal Research Method (CLRM) if appropriate to their research. Part-time students must also take this training,  but may do so over a period of two years. At the same time, students begin working on their doctoral theses, and in their third term (or sixth term for part-time students) undertake a Qualifying Test which involves the submission of a draft chapter and an outline of the intended thesis. Providing they pass the Qualifying Test, students are then admitted to full DPhil status.

A further assessment known as Confirmation of Status is conducted in the sixth term after admission (the 12th term for part-time students) which also involves submission of draft chapters of the thesis and an outline of the research topic. This is intended to ensure that the student is making satisfactory progress toward ultimate submission of the thesis. After satisfactory completion of Confirmation of Status, students then submit the completed thesis in the third or fourth year (or between years six and eight for part-time students).

All students are assigned a specialist supervisor, who will meet regularly with the student throughout the course of the DPhil. 

Graduate Student Handbook 2023-24

Course in brief

Course length
3-4 years full-time; 6-8 years part-timer

The DPhil entails researching and writing a thesis of between 75,000 and 100,000 words which must make a significant and substantial contribution to the field. Full-time study for the DPhil usually comprises three to four years and part-time six to eight years, inclusive of research methodology training in the first year for full-time students and over years one and two for part-time students. Part-time study requires attendance for a minimum of 30 days of university-based work each year, normally coinciding with the full terms of the academic year, to be arranged with the agreement of the student’s supervisor. See what subjects current DPhil students are working on.

Thinking about doing a part-time DPhil in Criminology

About the DPhil in Criminology

Our academic staff

You don't have to have a supervisor before you apply. Find out more about the research of the academics in the Centre for Criminology

The Centre for Criminology

Discover more about the Centre for Criminology in the Faculty of Law

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