The Centre of Excellence for Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime (CENTRIC) is a multi-disciplinary and end-user focussed research network linking both academic and professional expertise across a range of disciplines and professional practice in the security domain. This provides a unique context in which to undertake innovative, applied research in the form of a structured doctoral research programme.

CENTRIC seeks to bridge the gap between research and operational realities, ensuring that research has an impact on operational policy, practice and procedure. The CENTRIC Academy offers an opportunity for those in law enforcement, intelligence agencies, the military and wider security industry to engage in a flexible but rigorous programme of research, relevant to the demands and challenges of their profession.

CENTRIC PhD Programme

As members of the CENTRIC PhD Programme, students can study either part-time or full-time and can submit a PhD thesis in either a traditional monograph style or as an article-based PhD. An article-based PhD is the preferred route within CENTRIC.

The Article-based PhD

The Article-based PhD is designed to meet the needs of doctoral candidates who wish to publish their research early in their career. A number of peer-reviewed research articles (usually between 3 and 5) are produced by the student during their period of registration as a PhD candidate, and these articles form part of the PhD submission, alongside a 40,000 word thesis. Students are encouraged to publish their research in high quality, international journals and edited collections and all articles must be published or accepted for publication to be included in the submission. Publications may be jointly written, but the PhD candidate must be the principle author.

Students progress on an approved programme of research and are supported throughout the life of their studies by CENTRIC and an experienced supervisory team consisting of a Director of Studies, one or two Second Supervisors and, where appropriate, one or more Advisors who may be external to the university. Students’ individual training needs are assessed at the outset of the programme and they will be invited to attend a structured training programme designed to develop generic research skills.

The article-based PhD is a recommended five-year programme for part-time candidates as follows:

  • Year 1: The programme of doctoral research is refined and approved, including review of research design, methodology and ethical considerations. Students undertake research training. Research activities commence.
  • Year 2: By the end of year 2, students are assessed via a 6,000 word report and an oral defence as part of the institutional process of approval to confirm PhD candidature. Submit article for publication.
  • Year 3: Students continue on agreed research activities and submit two articles suitable for publication and present a paper at a CENTRIC seminar.
  • Year 4: Students continue on agreed research activities and submit two articles for publication. Draft literature review for the thesis part of the submission.
  • Year 5: Students continue to prepare the thesis part of the submission, comprising an introduction, an explanation of the research questions, the relevant literature, an account of the methodology and a summary and discussion of the research findings as a whole. Submit thesis and undergo viva voce examination.

The CENTRIC article-based PhD ensures that student research is published at regular intervals, informing and raising awareness of research programmes across the international security landscape. The article-based PhD provides students with a unique opportunity to achieve a body of peer-reviewed published works by the conclusion of their studies and recognises the need for security practitioners’ studies to have a real and positive impact.

Duration of PhD Programme

The PhD Programme is suitable for security practitioners and professionals who, whilst being committed to their studies and maintaining a healthy work and life balance, should be able to complete the programme in a recommended period of 5 years on a part-time basis. Understanding the demands of professional and personal life, students may apply to suspend their studies at any time and reconvene their research from the point at which their studies were suspended. Students may also apply to extend the end date of their studies beyond the recommended 5-year period if required. Alternatively, for highly motivated students, a part-time PhD candidate thesis may submit within a minimum of 45 months.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for a PhD programme are 1) an appropriate Masters degree (preferred) or 2) a minimum of a first class or upper second-class undergraduate degree. Non-standard applicants may have evidence of research ability and background knowledge taken into account. Relevant practitioner experience is desirable.

Estimated Programme Fees for 2021/2

Home £4455

Overseas £14460

Fees are subject to review and increase each year.

Your personal development

The completion of the CENTRIC PhD provides a unique investment in your personal and professional development. It also offers the opportunity to develop niche expertise, to be part of CENTRIC activities and extend your networks, as well as increasing your profile with senior leaders and subject specialists across the global security landscape.

Organisational Benefits

The PhD Programme provides organisations with an opportunity to recognise invest in and reward talent by sponsoring colleagues. Programmes of research can be designed to meet specific organisational needs, goals, or gaps in knowledge. This approach serves to develop research skills and capacity within your organisation, from which you shall see a direct and positive return on your investment. The full or part sponsorship of students for the duration of the PhD Programme ensures a long-term and cost-effective commitment to employee’s personal and professional development while serving to tackle your organisations’ most pressing security challenges and concerns.

Enrolment dates

CENTRIC is pleased to welcome applications for the following enrolment dates each year:

  • February
    Submission of application by 1st October, the year before intended start
  • October
    Submission of application by 1st June, the year before intended start

Contact Us

CENTRIC welcomes applications from any individual working in the security domain who believes they have the drive, determination and ability to complete this unique PhD opportunity.

To find out more about the PhD Programme or to informally discuss your research interests, please send an e-mail to the CENTRIC team at centric@shu.ac.uk

To request an application pack or submit a completed PhD application, please e-mail Joshua Hales at Industry-innovation-admissions@shu.ac.uk