Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Learning
  3. PhD Research
  4. CPRL Funded PhD Opportunities 2023

CPRL Funded PhD Opportunities 2023

Photo of a peer learning visit

The Centre for Policing Research and Learning is seeking applications from officers and staff from the Centre's 24 partner police forces and agencies for Centre funded part-time PhD studentships starting in February and October 2023. Currently, the Centre is funding 9 police part-time students on a variety of research areas which have a direct impact on policing.

Each Centre-funded studentship covers half the costs of the registration fees, for up to 8 years (the time limit for part-time PhDs, approximately 18.5 hours of study per week).  The remainder (approx. £1,101 annually) is generally either self-funded or from police forces and agencies. Studentships are limited to officers and staff of the Centre’s 24 partner police forces and agencies only.  

How to apply for a PhD and CPRL studentship:

The Centre itself does not appoint PhD students – it provides funding & extra support for policing PhD students. Candidates need to apply to any one of the Open University’s faculties and obtain an offer of a place at the OU to study to be considered for the studentship. Further details on how to apply for the PhD can be found here.

As a simple guide, the specialist topic areas divide as follows:

Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)

They specialise in law, leadership & management and also host the Centre for Policing and the Policing degrees team. PhD applications in any aspect of law or leadership and management are welcome. Policing topics, such as evidence-based practice in policing will also be considered in FBL.

Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FASS)

PhD supervised in FASS would include areas of psychology, including forensic psychology, social policy and criminology.

Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Apply to this faculty for topics in Computing and Communications, Technology and Innovation and Mathematics and Statistics and Systems Thinking.

Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)

The Faculty may supervise in areas such as health and wellbeing, social care, literacy and educational technology.

Application Deadlines

Each Faculty has its own application deadline (stated on the relevant Faculty pages) and we cannot consider later applications due to the time it takes for PhD interviews and awards to be completed.

PhD Proposals

For the application you will need to produce your own PhD proposal which details:

  • the topic or area to be investigated
  • the issue, research question or hypothesis that is to be tested (if it can be defined at this stage)
  • the likely methods and techniques to be used in the investigation
  • the relationship of the proposed research to the published literature and current research in your field, and an indication of the contribution your thesis would make
  • details of work you have already done in the proposed field
  • your suitability as a researcher for the proposed project

The proposal enables the academic staff responsible for selecting applicants to assess:

  • your competence in the proposed field of study
  • your ability to conduct a research programme independently
  • the nature of the supervision required

Studentship application

When you apply to a Faculty for a PhD place you will send the application form, including the proposal, to the relevant Faculty’s PhD admissions email address. To apply for the studentship just copy us in to that email at and we will automatically consider you for the studentship. Note the studentships are limited to all current employees of Police Forces and Agencies that are paying members of the Centre.

Further advice

If you are unsure about the proposal or need additional support before you apply you are welcome to contact us at the email address.


Senior Practitioner Fellow Opportunity

Senior Practitioner Fellow secondment opportunity from November 2022 – April 2023.

13th September 2022
See all

Upcoming Events

Sep 28

Festival of Impact

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 10:00 to Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 14:00

OU Campus

Nov 2

Violence Against Women and Girls: Policing, politics and practice

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 09:30 to 16:30

OU Campus, Walton Hall, MK7 6AA

See All