Criminology student Megan Witty with Humberside Police

School of Criminology, Sociology and Policing

A pioneer in the field, the University of Hull was one of the first in the UK to deliver criminology programmes over 50 years ago. Many of the country's leading scholars have studied or taught here since.

With sociology and our partners in the Wilberforce Institute, the department delivers superb teaching and impactful research with a socially-conscious edge.


Athena Swan Bronze Award

Research in the School of Criminology, Sociology and Policing

Research in the School of Criminology, Sociology and Policing is truly diverse.

Always outward-facing and challenging – our research works across many subjects to explore criminal justice, social justice, contemporary slavery, equality and diversity, gender and health.

The range of issues we address include women in policing, prisons in the inter-war years, substance misuse in Yorkshire, restorative justice in the Basque Country, religion in sport, and sexual health in sub-Saharan Africa.

A central theme of our research is harm. We identify where policies past and present influence harmful outcomes and understand the harms of crime and poverty – as well as how these can be overcome. We develop and evaluate interventions that can prevent harm caused by violence, slavery, terrorism and other forms of injustice.

The impact of our research begins in Hull but stretches across the globe.

We work with colleagues across the University including Wilberforce Institute and the Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research. Our reseach partners stretch across government  voluntary sector, public services and the community throughout the UK, Europe and Africa.

We're ranked Joint 15th in the UK for Research Quality‡ by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Research strengths

Preventing Violence through Multi-agency Collaboration

Research at Hull has influenced violence-prevention practices across the world.

Led by Professor Iain Brennan, our research has helped reduce the health, economic and social burden of violence by fostering multi-agency partnerships. His research has highlighted effective violence prevention strategies and demonstrated how agencies can collaborate to improve outcomes for victims and to prevent violent offending.

Working with police forces, health services, non-governmental organisations and policymakers at local and national levels, Professor Brennan’s research has created widespread changes to practice in emergency departments and policing. Data sharing between agencies has improved as a result of his work – with the emergence of a whole-system approach to preventing violence. His research has also helped improve and inform how police and other services understand and respond to domestic abuse and community violence.

In collaboration with Cardiff University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, Professor Brennan demonstrated that using hospital data relating to violent injuries could help prevent violence; by giving police better knowledge of where incidents happen in cities.

Research into the characteristics and behaviours of young weapon carriers highlighted that peer groups and past violence are key influencers in the decision to carry a weapon. This work has informed several policy documents including the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy.

Most recently, his research has evaluated the effectiveness of Violence Reduction Units and gender-informed domestic abuse training for police officers.

Our community

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Kickstart your career in Criminal Justice

Here’s the good news – there are lots of career opportunities out there in the field of criminal justice, and they are also incredibly rewarding.

Find out more

Student Writing Retreats

Writing to deadlines can be a challenging – and sometimes lonely – endeavour for students and staff. At our regular writing retreats, students and staff gather for a day to write and to share experiences and ideas.

Contact Dr Alexander Ornella to find out more.

Student Research Journal

Our student's findings on everything from terrorism to takeaways.

Take a look at our student research

"When I found out there was a placement with Humberside Police, I knew it was right for me"

Watch: Find out why Jasmine Morley chose Criminology at Hull.

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Take a virtual taster session

Watch: Join Dr Alexander Ornella and Jordan Milnes to find out more about Criminology at Hull.

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Our Criminal Ancestors

This project hopes to share an understanding of the sometimes difficult situations that lead to our ancestors encountering the criminal justice system.

Visit the blog

Safer Hull ‘Great Nights Out’

Professor Simon Green and Dr Nicola O’Leary explore the reasons behind why we all have a responsibility to look out for each other when we’re enjoying a few drinks over Christmas.

Watch the Presentation

University of Hull Brynmor Jones Library at dusk

Take a tour of the facilities

Criminology and Sociology students enjoy 24/7 access to the recently-restored Brynmor Jones Library which boasts more than a million books.


‡ The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.