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PhD Research

A PhD (proffering the title 'Doctor of Philosophy') is the highest degree that a student can achieve, and is highly advantageous to a policing career. The Centre for Policing Research and Learning operates a 50% funded part-time PhD studentship programme for employees of our policing partners. This programme supports academically rigorous and timely doctoral research of relevance to policing. We also support affiliated PhD students conducting policing research across The Open University.

Part-time PhDs take between 3 and 8 years, and result in a thesis typically between 80,000 to 100,000 words in length. Students are supported by a specialist supervisory team, and learn techniques which enable a significant contribution to knowledge within their selected subject.

PhDs can be taken in any of the Centre's themed research areas, and opportunities are notified via Centre correspondence. A full list of PhD projects is below.  

We have opportunities for part funded MPhil research.  For more information look here.

CPRL studentship PhDs in progress


Developing and evaluating a training and competency framework for forensic facial identification




The effect of using an interpreter on the accuracy of witness accounts gathered from police interviews


The predictive potential of police operating models: How complex systems theory can support a data-driven simulation of police policy to improve efficiency


Ethics in policing


What works to increase female representation within specialist tactical roles


Tackling serious and organised crime: processes, challenges and consequences of prioritisation


Online dating initiated sexual offending


Indecent Images of children in the UK: Has the current threat gone beyond policing’s capability to respond to it


CPRL affiliated PhD research


UK police use of social media


History of police archiving practices


Serial stalking interventions


Information systems and bias within police forces


Launch of CPRL Collaborative to foster interdisciplinary dialogue and research across the OU with CPRL members

CPRL has launched a new format of research seminars under the brand ‘CPRL Collaborative’ that are open to academics and our police force members. 

23rd November 2023
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Upcoming Events

Dec 7

Membership Group Meeting

Thursday, December 7, 2023 - 10:30 to 12:30

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