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Doctorate in Criminology and Criminal Justice DCCJ

Course Description

This 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 interprofessional 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. The doctorate enables you, within your own practice area, to:

•Engage in a programme of research
•Develop as an expert practitioner
•Develop inter-professional working, and learn alongside other healthcare practitioners
•Develop 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

Course Modules:

The course is structured in two phases. Phase one consists of five taught research modules totalling 120 level 7 credits. These modules may be taken over a period of two-four years, but must be completed before phase two begins. The modules are:

•Criminological research (30 credits)
•Research dilemmas and Strategies (30 credits)
•Qualitative and quantitative methods (30 credits)
•Advanced Statistics and data analysis (15 credits)
•Research into Practice (15 credits)

The research modules are designed to enable you to gain a complete understanding of research design and methodology as a prerequisite to undertaking an independent research study applied to your particular practice discipline. You must achieve an average of 60 per cent across all five modules in order to progress to phase two. If you choose to step off the course during
phase one you may be eligible for the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Research Design (Criminology and Criminal
Justice) (60 credits) or Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Research Design (Criminology and Criminal Justice) (120 credits) depending on the achievement of the appropriate number of credits.

Phase two consists of an independent research study leading to a thesis of 50,000–55,000 words and examined at doctoral level in part by viva voce (oral exam). Phase two builds on the work undertaken in phase one and leads to the production
of original work of publishable quality. Phase two will take a minimum of two years to complete. If you step off the course or cannot complete the course you may be eligible for the award of Master of Arts in Applied Research Design (Criminology and Criminal Justice).

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.


All staff who support students on the course have backgrounds in the CCJ sector 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:

This is a research degree culminating in an independent research study examined at doctoral level. As such it is 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. Practitioners and managers holding the doctorate will be equipped with the highest level of research skills and will be enabled to apply research to their own practice. The doctorate enables such staff to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the practice discipline and to be at the forefront of policy making for the future benefit of all stakeholders in the community and criminal justice sectors.

"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 courses 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

Visit the Doctorate in Criminology and Criminal Justice DCCJ page on the De Montfort University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

2012 entry, please visit our website.2013 entry:•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 •Candidates should be working at a senior level in practice or management in the sector and have the support of theiremployer to enrol onto the doctorate •Candidates will need to attend an interview as part of the application process

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