Doctorate in Criminology and Criminal Justice DCCJ

About the course

The Doctorate in Criminology and Criminal Justice is a research degree for senior practitioners/managers in the community and criminal justice (CCJ) sectors (police, prisons, probation, youth justice and the third sector) who wish to study at doctoral level and develop research skills appropriate for conducting research into practice.

This course is an inter professional doctoral where students from across the CCJ sectors together with students from allied health professions study together in the pursuit of knowledge applied to practice.

  • Engage in a course of research
  • Develop transferrable skills through inter-professional learning alongside other professionals in comparable roles
  • Learn from our experienced practice and research-based academics; with expertise, publications and global input into probation, policing, youth justice, prisons and the third sector
  • Develop as an expert practitioner, and enhance your leadership and management expertise; including the ability to influence and inform policy-making
  • Further your knowledge, understanding and skills in the development and application of anti-oppressive research methods and an understanding of diversity in its widest sense

Key facts

Duration: Four–six years part-time

Attendance: In the first year attendance is usually half a day per week. In the second year mainly distance learning apart from induction sessions. The remaining years are independent research with supervision

Start: September 2014

Entry and admission criteria

  • Normally a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in an appropriate subject
  • Students without an Honours degree and/or those seeking to test their academic skills prior to entry onto the course can apply to take one module, or the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Research Design (Criminology and Criminal Justice) (60 credits) either of which, on successful completion, will meet the entry requirements for the doctorate
  • You should be working at a senior level in practice or management in the sector and have the support of their employer to enrol onto the doctorate
  • You will need to attend an interview as part of the application process

If English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent, is essential.

Teaching and assessment

We aim to develop independent researchers who are able to integrate theoretical knowledge of research into professional practice.

You will be actively engaged in the pursuit of original knowledge in your professional field.

Assessment in phase one is via a number of different methods including assignments, presentations and research proposals. In addition you will develop and maintain a scholarly portfolio supported by your supervisory team which will include two doctoral supervisors and a practice adviser from your own area of employment.

Course modules

The course is structured in two phases. Phase one consists of five taught research modules, which may be taken over two-four years, but must be completed before phase two begins.

Modules include:

  • Criminological Research - seeks to establish a grounded and critical understanding of social and criminological research methodology and application
  • Research Dilemmas and Strategies - develops advanced and specialist knowledge in the fields of (1) research strategies and (2) philosophical assumptions underlying research decisions
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Methods - provides a thorough appreciation of handling complex data sets, analysing quantitative data and presenting numerical data graphically in an accessible fashion
  • Advanced Statistics and Data Analysis - extends basic understanding of numerical data analysis
  • Research into Practice - provides the opportunity to focus on managing your research from start to finish with a requirement to cost your research project, consideration of funding opportunities and the need to demonstrate how you would disseminate your research through publication and presentation

These modules enable you to gain a full understanding of research design and methodology for undertaking your own independent research study relevant to your career interests. You must achieve an average of 60 per cent across all modules to progress; however there may be opportunities to exit the course during phase one with Applied Research Design (Criminology and Criminal Justice) PG Cert (60 credits) or PG Dip (120 credits); depending on the number of credits achieved.

Phase two is studied over a minimum of two years, and builds on phase one content. It consists of an independent research project, leading to a thesis of 50,000– 55,000 words; examined at doctoral level in part by viva voce (oral exam). There may be opportunities to exit the course during phase two with Applied Research Design (Criminology and Criminal Justice) MA.

Academic expertise

Our dedicated academic staff have backgrounds in the CCJ sectors including; probation, policing, youth justice, prisons and the third sector, and have researched and published extensively. 

For example:

  • Professor Hazel Kemshall is a leading expert in the theory and practice of risk assessment and management
  • Rob Canton is professor of community and criminal justice. He has taught, researched and written on a number of probation and penal topics.

He was appointed by the Council of Penological Co-operation within the Council of Europe as an expert and drafted the European Probation Rules.

In 2010 he was appointed as a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee in its enquiry into the role of the probation service.

Graduate careers

As the highest award a university can confer, equivalent to a PhD, this course enables senior practitioners and managers to further enhance their careers in the area of research, management and education.

The doctorate enables senior practitioners and managers to be equipped with the highest level of research skills, and enhance their knowledge and understanding of the practice discipline to be at the forefront of policy making for the future benefit of the sector.

Fees and funding

Fees below are for 2013 / 2014

Full-time N/A
Part Time
Phase 1 15 Credit Modules
Phase 1 120 Credits
Phase 2 Independent Research
Full-time £12,200


As part of the universities commitment to enhancing the personal and career development of our graduates. We are pleased to announce the launch of the 2013/14.
Alumni scholarship programme. For more information visit Health and Life Sciences Alumni Scholarships >|

How to apply

UKPASS is the postgraduate equivalent of UCAS and gives you a simple and efficient way to apply online. It allows you to search for a course and guides you through the application process. Using UKPASS you can apply for up to ten courses for free.

You can create your application in your own time, so you can consider, research and complete each section at your own speed. You can track your applications as they progress, and can also receive and reply to offers online. Apply online with UKPASS|

You will need to attach qualification transcripts, references and evidence of English language (if you are an overseas student) with your UKPass application. If these documents are not attached to your original application, this will delay the process of your application.

International students can also apply directly to DMU using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Admissions Team
De Montfort University
Edith Murphy Building
Leicester, LE1 9BH

Online enquiry form|

T: +44 (0)116 250 6070

Case Study

I have always been impressed with De Montfort's approach to probation training, and recognise that over many years you and your colleagues have contributed enormously to the development of probation staff. The programmes at De Montfort University have given a strong ethical basis for their probation practice, and a sound understanding of the theory underpinning their practice.”

Steve Pestell, Director of Corporate Services,
Norfolk and Suffolk Probation Trust

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