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Research degrees
Research areas
Social policy and criminology
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Social Policy and Criminology

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

Our publications and research projects are of national and international significance. Our research catalyses and informs public dialogue and policy change on many issues in Social Policy and Criminology in the UK and internationally.

Our department has an international reputation for methodological innovation, with particular strengths in qualitative mixed-methods research, visual methods, biographical and life-story research, discourse analysis, historical methods and ethnography.

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 warmly encouraged to join these centres and to take an active part in our supportive and collegial research culture.

Key facts

  • A thriving interdisciplinary research environment.
  • Wide range of research interests and topics.
  • A commitment to socially-just forms of social change.
  • PhD students are encouraged to join our supportive and collegial research culture.