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Social Policy and Criminology

An image to illustrate studying social policy and criminology with The Open University.

The Social Policy and Criminology discipline at the OU is recognised nationally and internationally for its distinctive approach to teaching and research. We have a vibrant research culture, broadly drawing on critical constructivist and interdisciplinary approaches to both the study of, and research in, social policy and criminology, sustained through our commitment to producing scholarship and research.

We have publications and research projects of national and international significance that can act as a catalyst for, and inform public dialogue on, critical issues in social policy and criminology, from the global to the local, in the UK and further afield.

Many members of the discipline are actively involved in the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC), Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD) and OpenSpace. Research students are also encouraged to join these centres and to take an active part in our supportive and collegial research culture.

Key facts

  • A thriving interdisciplinary environment
  • Wide range of research interests
  • PhD students are encouraged to take part in one of our research centres (HERC or CCIG)

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Nicola Yeates
+44 (0)1908 654534

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.


Research publications by Open University staff are available through Open Research Online (ORO), the university's repository of research publications and other research outputs. ORO can be searched or browsed by staff name or subject.

The following list, generated from ORO, provides a flavour of the most recently published work in Social Policy and Criminology

Your questions

For advice about applying for a research degree, or sponsoring a research student, send us an email or call +44 (0)1908 654882.