2024/25 entry

PhD Policing Studies MPhil

Start date(s):
June 2025
Study mode:
Course duration:
PhD Full-time: 4 years, PhD Part-time: 7 years

Tuition fees


Fee information can be found on the Doctoral Academy web pages

General enquiries:
International admissions

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About this course

LJMU's School of Justice Studies is at the forefront of developing new research in policing, criminal justice, security and related fields.

  • Join an ambitious School and student/staff body known for its impactful and sector-leading research
  • Explore the availability of research scholarships
  • Experience expert supervision from former serving officers, practitioners and leading academics
  • Receive research training and opportunities to communicate research within and outside the University
  • Benefit from excellent facilities and great multi-discipline connections

The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies has significant expertise in the Policing sector and can thus provide supervision in a wide range of topics. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary methodologies. Our suite of Policing Studies qualifications are focused on developing the professionalisation agenda for policing and we work with the professional body, the College of Policing, as well as local policing organisations to ensure the relevance, credibility, and currency of its courses.

To meet the increasing demand for new research, the Centre is offering excellent postgraduate research opportunities to complement our multi-disciplinary agenda and impact-led teaching. Our particular areas of strength include:

  • transnational and public order policing
  • serious organised crime
  • victimology and domestic violence
  • terrorism and counter-terrorism
  • intelligence-led policing
  • human trafficking  

Fees and funding

How to fund your postgraduate research

Securing funding can be one of the main hurdles you face when considering postgraduate research. However, help is available. LJMU has a team of fees and funding experts who can offer advice based on your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 231 3153/3154 or via studentadvice@ljmu.ac.uk


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.

Some postgraduate research students are already in full-time employment when they begin their studies, whilst others are recent graduates looking to extend their research capabilities and subject expertise.

A good proportion of our students return to their existing roles with enhanced career prospects, others move on to further study or take up teaching roles in universities and other educational establishments.

As well as enabling you to focus on your specific areas of interest and expand your subject knowledge ready for employment in your chosen sector, a postgraduate research qualification enables you to take charge of your career path by demonstrating your contribution to an area of knowledge. It enhances your self-confidence and showcases your ability to work independently and ‘go it alone’.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Advanced Policing Studies

Explore the possibilities

Specific research-related training needs are identified on an individual basis. You can study topics such as:

  • Advanced Presentation Skills 
  • Applying for Ethical Approval 
  • How to be an Effective Researcher
  • Poster Presentation/Design
  • Postgraduate Employability Skills
  • Project Management
  • Writing Skills including Creative Planning for Writing your Thesis
  • Surviving the Viva
  • Speed Reading


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Study duration is 4 years full-time, or you can choose to undertake the PhD over 7 years if studied part-time. 

Teaching methods

You will be allocated up to three supervisors and a Lead Supervisor who will work with you throughout your studies, provide you with appropriate levels of support and guidance.

Applied learning

The Centre will provide workshops, skills development opportunities and unique masterclass events, which bring frontline policing and security professionals to the University to discuss their experiences with students.

Throughout your studies, you will also have the support of LJMU’s Doctoral Academy which offers expert advice and guidance to those enrolled on MPhil and PhD programmes.


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.

The PhD requires:

  • competence in conducting an independent enquiry
  • competence in the use of appropriate research methods and techniques
  • you to be at the forefront of understanding your specialist topic
  • an original, personal contribution to the understanding of a problem, the advancement of knowledge or the generation of new ideas

Course tutors

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

I maintain strong links with the policing institution through my research and consultancy work and recently completed a study for the UK’s College of Policing into ‘what works’ in police intelligence practice.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Based within the John Foster Building, in the Mount Pleasant Campus, the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies School features well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated postgraduate study areas. The Centre has a dedicated crime scene investigation suite, interview rooms and students have access to a range of forensics facilities based in the University's Byrom Street campus. At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives access to an exceptional range of materials to support your studies.

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2:1 honours undergraduate degree in a relevant subject
  • a Masters degree with a research dissertation in a relevant subject
  • to have had research training directly related to the PhD project

Additional information

  • If you have qualifications other than those above, your application will be considered individually on merit. Appropriate research and previous experience will be taken into account.
  • IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
  • We also welcome applications from those with non-standard qualifications who can demonstrate knowledge, experience, and skills developed in the workplace or other setting relevant to the programme of research. 
  • If you do not hold the standard academic entry requirements, please use your personal statement to provide further details. Non-standard applications will be considered by the Admissions Tutor(s) on a case-by-case basis.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

If you wish to enquire about making an application for a PhD or express your interest, please send a CV, brief personal statement and outline of your intended research proposal (no more than 500 words) to apsadmissions@ljmu.ac.uk

The department can then discuss appropriate supervision. You may then be invited to make a full application or offered information about your potential application. 

Should you then wish to make a full application please be aware of the following guidelines prior to submission. 

Your application should include two main elements: a Personal Statement and a Research Proposal. We recommend the following structure:

Personal Statement

Approx. 500 words to include:

  1. Short paragraph on current role and responsibilities
  2. Main paragraph on CV highlights ('greatest hits')
  3. Short paragraph on future aspirations including reason for the study and proposed location

Research Proposal

Approx. 1500 words to include:

  • Working Title of proposed research
  • Research Aim(s) (maximum three aims)
  • Research Question
  • Background Statement - paragraph including information on the research field
  • Literature Review - paragraph highlighting exemplars in relation to the proposed field of study
  • Methods - paragraph including information on the proposed mode of study e.g. practice-led or thesis only
  • Proposed Structure - in bullet point form (typically three bullet points will suffice at this stage)
  • Indicative Bibliography - including approx. 10 publications

Application process 

  • Complete and submit your application using the online form attaching official copies of documents (e.g. certificates) and official institution letterhead references 
  • You will receive an acknowledgement 
  • Your application will be considered by the Admissions Tutor
  • You may need to provide further information or attend an interview
  • You will be informed if your application has been successful and will find out about any conditions of acceptance

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.