Security and Crime Science MPhil/PhD

Research areas:

The department has five main research groups:
  • Counter-terrorism: situational prevention of terrorism; technology for counter-terrorism; transferable training between crime and terrorism
  • Crime mapping: innovation in crime mapping methods; prospective crime mapping
  • Crime policy analysis and evaluation: evaluation of crime prevention schemes; knowledge transfer
  • Designing out crime: role of design in crime prevention; environmental design; crime risk and administrative procedure design
  • Forensic sciences: blood pattern analysis; gun shot residue analysis; investigation of explosions.
SCS hosts the £17million UCL Security Science Doctoral Research Training Centre (UCL SECReT), an international centre for PhD training in security and crime science. We offer a comprehensive integrated PhD programme for students wishing to pursue multi-disciplinary security or crime-related research degrees. In all cases we expect their research to be interdisciplinary and to involve some 'hard science' element.

Our research is underpinned by a methodology that joins science and engineering expertise (S&T) with expertise from wider disciplines including the social sciences. We see four research 'domains' which can interact. These are:
  • Science and technology innovation: to create the next generation of security technologies
  • People factors: understanding and incorporating human factors (via behavioural science, decision-making techniques, etc.) into the development of security solutions
  • Process factors: enhancing security processes by increasing our understanding of the operational processes of activities, organisations or infrastructures under threat
  • Policy: contributing to the development of government policy through research findings.

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Visit the IRIS research portal to learn more about researchers' activities, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks across the whole of UCL.

IRIS department: Dept of Security and Crime Science

Entry requirements

A UK Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English level expected: Good


Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.


  • UK/EU Full-time: £4,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £2,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,200
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,250

Scholarships available for this department

CSC-UCL Joint Research Scholarship

Funding offered by UCL and the China Scholarships Council (CSC) aims to expand the educational, cultural and technological cooperation between the UK and China.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website


Graduates from our research programmes go on to research careers and to lecturing posts in academic institutions. Others have taken up policy-related positions in the public and private security sectors.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Serious Organised Crime Agency, Graduate Trainee, 2012
  • UCL, ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012
  • Abertay University Dundee, Lecturer/Researcher, 2012
  • PRIME (EU FP7 Research Project), Ethics Researcher, 2012


The Department of Security and Crime Science is recognised as a leader in the field of crime science. We are the leading trainer of crime analysts in the UK, having trained over 1,000 police and security analysts in the past ten years. Our students are often practitioners themselves, some holding senior positions. Our programmes are recognised by employers when considering career progression. The fact that our programmes have been endorsed by key advisory organisations (such as the Metropolitan Police Academy) and the fact that they are oriented towards practical approaches to tackling crime mean that they are recognised by recruiters.


SCS is widely recognized for its knowledge transfer activities, and the impact that its research has had on real-world crime problems. Consequently we have long-established links with police forces, policy makers at all levels, academic research centres of excellence and security organisations from around both the UK and further afield. An annual seminar series (25 seminars) brings further opportunities to network with key figures in the field. At our annual industry day in December we invite a range of organisations to meet our current students.

Next steps


Miss Jane Abington

T: +44 (0)20 3108 3046


Security & Crime Science

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Prospectus subject

Security and Crime Science

Faculty overview

Engineering Sciences


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Student View

"I think the overall strength of forensic science at UCL is the many connections that exist (and are needed) with other academic departments and companies such as the Metropolitan Police."

Nadine Smit

Degree: Crime and Forensic Science MSc

Alumni View

"My degree demonstrates my expertise gained through working with some of the best researchers in my field, and people in the industry recognise it."

Ziyi Jiang

Research Associate, UCL

Subject: Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, Faculty: Engineering Sciences