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Security and Crime Science MPhil/PhD

The department of security and crime science is widely recognised for the impact that its research has had on real-world crime problems. Consequently we have long established links with police forces, policy makers, academic research centres of excellence and security organisations from both the UK and further afield.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£4,915 (FT) £2,620 (PT)
£18,300 (FT) £11,800 (PT)

Application dates

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Evidence of graduate research experience for example a Master's degree and a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

Applicants must also consider whether the Department of Security and Crime Science has the relevant expertise available to offer sufficient supervision in their chosen area of research.

You will be expected to identify two UCL academics to supervise your research before applying. Ideally you will have contacted them before applying to ensure they are able to support your application,

Following consideration of applications at the department's Graduate Research Committee, students may be requested to attend an interview with prospective supervisors (either in person or by telephone).

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


The department of security and crime sciences is organised into five centres of excellence:
  • Geographical Analysis
  • The Designing Out Crime Group
  • The Crime Policy and Evaluation Group
  • Terrorism and Organised Crime
  • Forensic Science
Staff and students work within and across these groups and across UCL and the wider research community, including active international collaborations.

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.
UCL Security & Crime Science (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 combines 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.
More information can be found on the department website: Security and Crime Science MPhil/PhD


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

CSC-UCL Joint Research Scholarship

Fees, maintenance and travel (Duration of programme)
Overseas students
Based on academic merit

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding 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.


UCL Security & 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.


UCL 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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The department of security and crime science is the first in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction. Our mission is to change crime policy and practice.

Security and Crime Science is a multi-disciplinary subject, drawing on expertise in psychology, social science, statistics, mathematics, architecture, forensic sciences, design, geography and computing. This is reflected in our PhD students, who come from a variety of backgrounds, making the department an interesting and stimulating environment in which to study.

Department: Security & Crime Science

Student / staff numbers › 12 staff › 120 taught students › 62 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Security & Crime Science

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit 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.

For more information see our Applications page.

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