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Portsmouth launches doctorate programme

The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth has launched a new Professional Doctorate programme in Security Risk Management. It’s starting in September.

Adopting the postnominals D.SyRM, it is a structured, four-year, part-time programme aimed at security people in the UK and overseas.

Portsmouth says that the emphasis of professional doctorate programmes is on developing researching professionals, which is distinct from the more traditional PhD route which aims to develop professional researchers. The DSyRM comprises a taught element for the first two years, delivered through a small number of two-day workshops in Portsmouth, and then two years of supervised research leading to a thesis.

Dr Alison Wakefield is Course Leader of the DSyRM. She said: “Our new Professional Doctorate in Security Risk Management has the potential to transform the knowledge base of the security sector, by supporting senior practitioners in designing and undertaking targeted research projects to inform professional practice. It also offers further development opportunities to those who have successfully completed master’s degrees and are looking for a next step.

The DSyRM will be delivered in parallel to the university’s Professional Doctorate in Criminal Justice (D.CrimJ). This has attracted a number of candidates from the security sector, studying such topics as the management of complex crises, security in the oil and gas sector and the security of tax havens, who will be able to transfer across to the new programme. The programme build’s on the university’s general provisions at bachelor’s and master’s level in security risk management, and its research reputation in the field.

Dr Phil Clements, Head of Department at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, said: “Our extensive experience and close professional relationships with the criminal justice and private security sectors ensure that our programmes reflect the changing needs of these professions. We are able to offer flexible and transferable platforms for life-long learning, and are delighted to be able to build on our established track record in educating security practitioners at bachelor’s and master’s level by offering this new doctoral pathway.”

Entry requirements

Places will be competitive, and limited to ten per year. Applicants must have a master’s degree in a relevant subject, preferably at merit level. It is essential that applicants are professionally engaged in one of the many areas of security risk management, working at a senior level and/or having strong relevant security risk management experience. Applicants must also have English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 5.5.

About the institute

The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS) was founded in 1992 and researches and offers courses in criminology, criminal justice and police studies. With 50 academic staff members and more than 1800 students, the Institute is one of the largest departments of its kind. It draws together expertise in criminological analysis, applied psychology, police governance and management, victimology, penology, risk, security and international and comparative criminal justice.

For details of the programme visit


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