Criminology, Social Policy and Social Work

The Criminology, Social Policy and Social Work pathway addresses three distinctive – yet interrelated – key topic areas. Criminological research within this pathway ranges from critical assessments observing components of, and practices within, the criminal justice and penal estates, including matters relating to ‘crime’, criminality, ‘victims’ and victimisation. Questions of social policy are frequently a core aspect of such research, but a dedicated focus on Social Policy is also considered a substantive research area in its own right, offering a wide remit of postgraduate and postdoctoral research possibilities.

Issues pertaining to Social Work likewise present fundamental agendas to be addressed within this pathway, engaging with historical and contemporary social problems, and covering a broad variety of social injustices and social inequalities pertaining to, for example, family, education, and the provision of care. Close collaborative (e.g. CASE studentship) work is also undertaken and encouraged within this pathway with relevant external organisations. The disciplinary boundaries within this pathway therefore often transcend the three substantive topical areas, but this pathway additionally fosters potential linkages with other substantive pathways including, for example, the Socio-legal Studies and Sociology pathways – our two closest cognate training routes.

Programmes eligible for NWSSDTP funding

N.B. Master’s programmes can only be funded as part of a 1+3/2+2 Studentship

Keele University

Lancaster University

University of Liverpool

University of Manchester

For information on how to apply for funding, please visit our How to Apply page.

Pathway Representatives

Contact details for Criminology, Social Policy and Social Work Pathway Representatives at each institution can be found here

Current Criminology, Social Policy and Social Work NWSSDTP students


R.Oram (Feb 20)Rosemary Oram (2017 Cohort)

Deaf parents and safeguarding: cultural linguistic perspectives on parenting assessment process

In partnership with Manchester City Council, this project involves the exploration of parenting assessments in relation to Deaf BSL (British Sign Language) users and safeguarding. It is an important recognition of the significance of cultural competence in assessments involving Deaf parents who are more readily regarded as disabled than as minority language users from a recognised cultural community


AnnotationMandi Whittle (2018 Cohort)

          • Lancaster University
          • Website:
          • Email Address:
          • MethodsX Stream: Interview-based Qualitative Research

Domestic violence protection orders: Imposition versus agency.

Civil domestic violence protection orders (DVPOs) are used increasingly as part of a criminal justice response to intimate partner violence.  This research questions whether orders designed to stop or curtail perpetrator behaviours whilst simultaneously holding them to account aligns with victim empowerment?  Using a qualitative methodology including interviews, focus groups and case-studies, the victim-survivor experience regarding the DVPO system is explored.


Pete Duncan (2020 Cohort)

Researching the organisation and governance of tax compliance in UK professional football

My research investigates different forms of variably illicit tax minimisation in UK professional football. I am conducting interviews with individuals with expert knowledge of football taxation with a view to building an understanding of how these forms of tax minimisation are organised and how their governance and control can be improved.

Leah Molyneux (2020 Cohort)

What role do police sergeants play in shaping the way frontline police constables understand and operationalise discretion?

This research project will consist of extensive observational fieldwork with policing teams and interviews with participants with the aim to generate original insights into frontline policing. New insights gained from observation-based analysis will create a better understanding of the influence sergeants have over how PC’s operationalise discretion and will inform the development of role-specific training.

Mags Conroy (2019 Cohort)

Living with the Impact of Intimate Partner Violence: A Cross-Case Analysis of the Experiences and Support Needs of Older Women.

This PhD aims to better understand the experiences of older women, who are living with the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV), with a view to improving support services. This is a mixed-methods study involving in-depth interviews with older, female victims-survivors followed by focus groups and key informant interviews with key stakeholders.

Criminology, Social Policy and Social Work NWSSDTP Alumni

Jessica Phoenix (2017 Cohort)

Measuring and investigating the repetition of crime to improve police performance: a focus on situations of domestic violent crime and vulnerability

This project is a CASE studentship with Lancashire Constabulary and Lancaster University. The aim of the project is to improve police collection and use of data to respond effectively to reports of domestic violence. The project uses mixed-methods involving observations of Lancashire Constabulary and quantitative analyses of police data.

Liam Markey (2018 Cohort)

Mediating Militarism: Chronicling 100 Years of British ‘Military Victimhood’ from Print to Digital, 1918 – 2018

This CASE project takes advantage of unique access to print and digital materials captured and held by the British Library, to chronicle and explore the changing public portrayal of the British war dead from the print to the digital age.

Nicole Renehan (2017 Cohort)

‘Building Better Relationships? Interrogating the ‘Black Box’ of a Statutory Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme’

This research study explores the experiences of men who were mandated to a domestic violence perpetrator programme facilitated within a private Community Rehabilitation Company. The experiences of practitioners who implemented the programme are also captured. A key finding to date is that proposals to increase referrals to this programme should be halted until the quality of provision has been addressed.

Elouise Davies (2017 Cohort)

Is Domestic Violence Violent Crime?

Investigating types of violent crime in relation to frequency and severity (injury and harm) to identify the relationship of these and whether the sex of the victim and victim-perpetrator relationship are significant. This will answer the question of whether domestic violence should have its own aetiology or whether it should be included in the aetiology of violent crime.

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