2024/25 entry Applications also open for 2025/26

Doctor of Policing and Criminal Justice

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
5 years

Tuition fees

Home part-time per year
International part-time per year
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
International admissions

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Why study Doctor of Policing and Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University?

The programme curriculum has been designed for current or former professionals working in law enforcement and criminal justice. You will be joining and contributing to a vibrant learning community. As part of this doctorate, you will generate original knowledge through the research related to your own area of professional involvement, as well as participating in taught sessions around research planning, research methodology, and critical reflection.  

About this course

By completing this doctorate, you will achieve formal recognition and accreditation of your professional development and a raised profile within your profession, and you will have the chance to contribute to academic debate, and influence policy and practice.

  • Aims to develop competent, informed, reflective, ethically and professionally competent practitioners who have a sophisticated academic understanding of wider policing, and criminal justice theories and issues
  • Enables students to develop advanced skills and competencies in designing, conducting, evaluating, and presenting
  • Research relevant to policing, and criminal justice
  • Provides a framework in which students can generate original knowledge through the research of policing, and criminal justice, related issues in their own area of professional involvement
  • Enables and encourage those graduating with a Professional Doctorate from the programme to disseminate the results of their research with a view to contributing to academic debates or influencing policy and practice
  • Enhances the development of reflective practice through discussion and networking with others who may be working in different sectors of policing and criminal justice
  • Makes an original contribution to the status of police studies and criminal justice as a discipline, through the advancement of knowledge and professional practice within the sector and through the development of advanced practitioner researchers

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The Professional Doctorate in Policing and Criminal Justice will enable you to contribute to research in new and applied areas; we shall also be engaging in an exchange of knowledge and practice.

You will benefit from formal recognition and accreditation of your professional development, and a raised profile within your profession and as a result of the outcomes of successful project work.

The activities carried out on the programme can also be expected to enhance your personal and professional capabilities for the future. It is anticipated that most if not all candidates will be currently employed within Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice Agencies and therefore candidates may be in a position to have a transformative impact on professional practice. An overarching component of this doctoral programme is the establishment of a Community of Practice across those studying on the programme and those within related programmes within the School of Justice studies.

The exchanging of ideas and knowledge will be encouraged and facilitated by both the formal requirements of the programme (e.g., within the 8400DPCJ Research Planning and 8401DPCJ Research Methodology modules in seminars) and in more informal forums (e.g., you will be encouraged to 'network' with each other outside of sessions). This process will enable networks to build and to transfer knowledge between practitioners.


The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

The programme follows the LJMU Professional Doctorate Framework, and consists of four modules which map onto the three stages of this framework.

In Stage 1, you will work towards the completion of two 30 credit modules: Research Planning and Research Methodology. Research Planning will help you develop your research question as well as enhance your skills at synthesising and critically evaluating research, and will expose you to real-life examples of how research is developed and used to improve practice. The module Research Methodology will equip you with knowledge of a range of different research methodologies that could be used in practice-based research, help you develop an understanding of how to measure the impact of your research (via evaluation techniques), and give you the skills to carry out an ethical and feasible research project.

Stage 2 consists of the Investigative Research Project where you will conduct and write-up your planned research.

In Stage 3 (which will be carried out at the same time as Stage 2), the Critical Reflection on Research Project will help you learn about the theory and practice of critical reflection and how to complete a reflective journal of your research experience.

Core modules

Research Methodology
30 credits

This module will give students the knowledge and ability to design appropriate research methodologies for their proposed research project and to carry out appropriate analysis of data produced from their research. Students will have the opportunity to hear from practitioners in the field and understand real life examples of research methodologies in practice. Students will also be able to provide a detailed overview of how they will conduct their research project and how to ensure this research is conducted ethically.

Critical Reflection on Research Project
60 credits

The module will give students the opportunity to learn about reflective practice (e.g., positionality in research) and they will learn how to write a reflective journal (the assessed piece of work for this module). Students will get the opportunity to be supported with and get feedback on their critical reflection of learning.

Research Planning
30 credits

This module will allow students to outline the key research question(s) of their proposed doctoral research project by understanding how to identify gap in knowledge and/or practice and will give students the ability to systematically and rigorously search the research evidence base to gather and critically evaluate literature on their proposed project. Students will be given the opportunity to gain real-life insight into practitioner-academic research from experts in academia and practice. Student will also be able to start to plan their research project.

Investigative Research Project
240 credits

This module will allow students to carry out their doctoral research project and will support them with this process, such as providing support in terms of the structure of the thesis, how to analyse and interpret the impact of their recommendations. Student will also be given guidance on how to prepare for their viva and will have the opportunity to practice this in an assessed 'mock' viva.


An insight into teaching on your course

Lectures and seminars are delivered in a face-to-face format, and these will be supplemented by asynchronous, online delivery. Our virtual learning environment (VLE) Canvas holds information on your modules, sessions, online delivery, reading lists, and much more.

Students can choose to attend campus for face-to-face teaching in 'learning blocks' across the first two years of the programme (Modules 1 and 2) (two one-week blocks in October and February, e.g., from 9am-4pm), or to attend campus once a month for a full day (e.g., 9am-4pm) for nine months of the year (September to May). These sessions will be supplemented by online asynchronous learning (2.5 hours a month), and monthly meetings with supervisors. For the rest of the programme (Modules 3 and 4), as you carry out your research project and critical reflection, taught delivery will be conducted by your supervisor and will be supplemented by supervisory meetings. 

An overarching component of this doctoral programme is the establishment of a Community of Practice across those studying on the programme and those within related programmes within the School of Justice Studies. The exchanging of ideas and knowledge will be encouraged and facilitated by both the formal requirements of the programme and in more informal forums (e.g., students will be encouraged to 'network' with each other outside of sessions). This process will enable connections to build and knowledge to be transferred between practitioners.

LCAPS and the School of Justice has a strong research culture, and we encourage you to attend research sessions on a variety of subjects. They will introduce you to contemporary issues in policing and criminal justice and help you in many ways. These are helpful when it comes to completing your assessments and beyond university.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

Assessments are clearly important, and we recognise that success is necessary for you to progress through the stages of your degree to your eventual graduation. We also recognise that students have different strengths, so we include a diverse range of assessment methods. Assessments will include a scoping review, learning agreement, data analysis portfolio, research proposal, final thesis submission (viva voce by external and internal examiners), mock viva, and critical reflection. Please be sure you are not alone in your doctorate, and we will support you in any way we can to make sure you succeed in your assignments. All assessments are graded on a pass/fail basis in line with the Professional Doctorate Framework.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Postgraduate degree (required for research programmes)

Applicants possessing an appropriate and relevant Masters degree (normally an MSc) may enter the programme at Doctoral level. Examples of appropriate Masters degree include: MSc Policing and Criminal Investigation, MSc Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice, MA Criminal Justice, MSc Forensic and Investigative Psychology.

Students are also expected to demonstrate a significant career of service within Policing, and/or Criminal Justice professions.


Additional requirements

  • Interview required

    The candidates will be expected to be interviewed to assess their suitability for the programme.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.