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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


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


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


Ashleigh Bennett - What works to increase female representation within specialist tactical roles


Davin Parrott - The probabilistic assessment of intelligence and decision making


Kimberley Kuhnert - Online dating initiated sexual offending


James Senior - Serial stalking interventions


Russ Hinton - Identifying digital investigations opportunities through the application of data science/data analytics


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


Completed CPRL studentship PhDs


Reuben Moreton - Developing and evaluating a training and competency framework for forensic facial identification


CPRL affiliated PhD research


Dionysia Lali - Perceptions and expectations of the police when interacting with vulnerable people


Kitty Chisholm - How can a short, cost effective, growth mindset intervention result in sustained improvements in behaviour management?


Lara Kazeem - Information systems and bias within police forces


Completed CPRL affiliated PhD research


Angela Sutton-Vane - History of police archiving practices


Jane Roberts - Political leadership and the need to belong: An extension of theory and practice of political and place leadership through the lens of attachment theory


Heather Barrett - In the context of multi-agency adoption and diffusion of a technology to enhance policing, can systems thinking techniques enhance or even replace, exisiting frameworks and models?



2023 Annual Report

This annual report features a selection of the work undertaken across 2023 which we consider to be highly relevant for the current policing environment.

15th May 2024
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Upcoming Events

Jun 6

The understanding of domestic abuse in the criminal justice system- current issues, challenges and developments

Thursday, June 6, 2024 - 09:30 to 16:30

The Open University, Milton Keynes

Contact: Book your place

Jun 7

Free conference opportunity for Police and Police Staff

Friday, June 7, 2024 - 13:00 to 17:00

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