Comparative studies of why offenders stop offending

Project summary

Studies of why people cease offending are now very common in criminology, and much has been learnt. What is less common, however, are studies of two or more countries of societies or cultures. Studies have been conducted of the processes by which people stop offending which compare England & Israel and also England & France, but there is a gap in knowledge about how processes vary between countries, communities and cultures (and since many research studies adopt their own definitions and ways of measuring offending, simply comparing studies in different countries provides little clues to how national culture, welfare systems or economies may assist in the process of stopping offending).

Candidates ought to be able to speak fluently all of the languages which are common in the countries or communities which they propose studying and to have a good understanding of the cultures of the countries or communities in which the fieldwork would be conducted. They ought also to be able to undertake qualitative data collection and analyses and, ideally, to have some understanding of the criminal justice systems in the countries they wish to study. Possible projects might include, for example:

Entry requirements

Applicants will need either a first-class or upper second class honours degree in relevant subjects including (but not limited to): Criminology; Sociology; general Social Sciences.

International students may also need to meet our English language requirements. Find out more about our entry requirements for international students.

Project specific requirements must align with the University’s standard requirements

How to apply

Please contact Professor Stephen Farrall ( in the first instance.

The University has 4 starting points each year for MPhil/PhD programmes (September, January, March and June). Applications should be made at least 3 months before you would want to start your programme. Please note that if you require a visa additional time will be required.


Self-funded by student. There is a range of options that may be available to you to help you fund your PhD.