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Criminology

Criminology at Edinburgh is home to a collegiate and committed group of scholars and students. Building on a distinguished legacy of criminological research at Edinburgh Law School, we take a broad view of the study of criminology and are proud to place equal importance on theoretical and empirical work, on national and international/transnational issues, and on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Police van in Shetland

We work collaboratively with policy makers and practitioners (including the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, the Scottish Prison Service and the voluntary sector), as well as communities and the wider public to shape how problems of crime and justice are thought about and to build safe and just societies. 

Our current research interests include penal politics, youth crime and justice, crime trends, patterns and inequalities, violence, policing, sentencing, cybercrime, security and surveillance, and global, transnational and comparative criminology. We are home to the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime, and the Understanding Inequalities project, which aims to explore the causes and consequences of inequalities in Scottish society and beyond. Our research is supported by two inter-institutional, Scottish research centres: the Scottish Centre of Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) and the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR).

As well as a range of undergraduate courses, we teach two Postgraduate Masters programmes: an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice; and an MSc in Global Crime, Justice and Security. We are especially proud of our PhD community and warmly welcome applications from prospective students.

Kirsty Arnott, Research Assistant

Andy Aydin-Aitchison, Senior Lecturer in Criminology

Sanja Badanjak, Chancellor's Fellow

Robert Barrett, Research Assistant

Jamie Bennett, Honorary Fellow and Deputy Director for Operational Security, HM Prison and Probation Service

John Crichton, Honorary Professor and Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland

Alistair Henry, Senior Lecturer in Criminology

David Garland, Professorial Fellow in Criminology

Babak Jahanshahi, Research Fellow in Criminology

Fiona Jamieson, Senior Teaching Fellow in Criminology

Richard Jones, Senior Lecturer in Criminology

Ben Matthews, Research Fellow in Criminology

Lesley McAra, Chair of Penology

Susan McVie, Professor of Quantitative Criminology

Ana Morales GomezResearch Fellow in Safer Communities

Kath Murray, Research Fellow in Criminology

Fernandes Pantoja Nunez, Research Fellow in Safer Communities

Gill Robinson, Honorary Fellow

Anna Souhami, Senior Lecturer in Criminology

Richard Sparks, Professor of Criminology

Milena Tripkovic, Lecturer in Criminology

Journal articles

Interaction rituals and 'police' encounters: New challenges for interactionist police sociology.
Henry, Alistair. In: Policing and Society, 09.07.2020. View article

Crime and justice research: The current landscape and future possibilities.
Sparks, Richard. In: Criminology and Criminal Justice, 10.08.2020. View article

Crime, shame and reintegration as a challenge to the social sciences. 
Sparks, Richard. In: The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Vol. 3, No. 1, 08.04.2020, p. 74-79. View article

Procedural justice, compliance with the law and police stop-and-search: A study of young people in England and Scotland.
Murray, Kath (Lead Author); McVie, Susan; Farren, Diego; Herlitz, Lauren; Hough, Mike; Norris, Paul. In: Policing and Society, 12.01.2020. View article

Book chapters

The carceral state and the interpenetration of interests: Commercial, governmental, and civil society interests in Criminal Justice.
Sparks, Richard; Gacek, James. Marketisation and Privatisation in Criminal Justice. ed.
Kevin Albertson; Mary Corcoran; Jake Phillips. Bristol : Policy Press, 2020. p. 47-58. View chapter

Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) Legacy
The Applied Quantitative Methods Network improved the understanding of UK social issues by providing independent research-based evidence
Visit the AQMeN Legacy website

Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime
The Edinburgh Study for Youth Transitions and Crime (ESYTC) is a research programme that addresses fundamental questions about the causes of criminal and risky behaviours.
Visit the ESYTC website

Understanding Inequalities
Understanding Inequalities is an ESRC-funded project aiming to provide robust evidence to help reduce inequalities in Scottish society and beyond.
Visit the Understanding Inequalities website

Crime, Justice and Society Seminars
The Crime, Justice and Society seminars are a venue for research presentations and discussions on a broad range of topics, and takes up the remit of the former Centre for Law and Society for socio-legal scholarship.
View the upcoming Crime, Justice and Society Seminars 

Edinburgh Futures Institute
The Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) brings together people from across the University of Edinburgh and beyond to grapple with some of the world's most pressing questions.
Visit the EFI website

Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR)
The SCCJR is a collboration between the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and Strathclyde. The SCCJR aims to produce research that informs policy and practice and advances our understanding of justice.
Visit the SCCJR website

Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)
SIPR is a strategic collaboration between 14 of Scotland's universities and the Police Service of Scotland, offering a range of opportunities for conducting relevant, applicable research to help the police meet the challenges of the 21st century and for achieving international excellence for policing research in Scotland.
Visit the SIPR website

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