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Scholarships available for SECReT: The International Training Centre for Security and Crime Related Research Degrees

UCL SECReT: The International Training Centre for Security and Crime Research Degrees

Learn from world-leading researchers, tackle challenging projects, boost your career prospects and gain a globally-respected postgraduate degree from UCL. A top-ranked university and the UK's University of the Year 2024*, UCL's security and crime science postgraduate research programmes can help you shape your future, and the future of the world around you.

UCL's Security Science Doctoral Research Training Centre (UCL SECReT) was founded in 2009 with support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and an array of public and private sector organisations working in crime reduction security and law enforcement.

Since then, numerous students from around the world have passed through the programme, going on to work in prestigious careers in crime reduction, security and academia with organisations such as the UK Home Office, DSTL (the UK Defence Science and Technology Lab), Rapiscan, Darktrace, the UK National Crime Agency and a range of top universities.

See full programme details

We offer the most comprehensive integrated PhD programme for students wishing to pursue multidisciplinary security or crime-related research degrees.

We recruit our doctoral students from a range of scientific backgrounds to pursue research in crime or security domains across the engineering and social sciences.

Students can enter through various funding routes (self-funded, industry sponsors, scholarships).

Watch our PhD Open Evening

Watch our recorded session to learn more about our PhD programme, funding, future career opportunities and the experience of our former and current students.

Scholarships available for SECReT: The International Training Centre for Security and Crime Related Research Degrees

Research Areas

During their PhD, all SECReT students develop an expertise in specific crime and security domains such as cybercrime, terrorism, organised crime, sexual abuse, urban crime, environmental crime, heritage crime, etc.

Their research can be classified into four themes: design and technology, crime and security analysis, forensic science, and future crime.

Crime and Security Analysis

This research looks at how crime events occur and affect complex systems in the physical world or cyberspace. This theme focuses on understanding what influence criminals’ decision making, the patterning of crime events in time and space, crime reporting, intelligence analysis and security operations, and directly informs the design of prevention policies and security measures.

Students typically come from political science, crime science, psychology, geography, computer science, statistics and mathematics.

Design and Technology

This research looks at the design and evaluation of crime prevention and security measures, such as the emergence of new materials, sensors, and algorithms for security applications. This theme focuses on technological innovation and a powerful network of external partners, with researchers coming from physics, chemistry, electronic engineering, and computer science backgrounds.

Forensic Science

This research addresses all stages of the forensic science process, from the crime scene to the analysis of evidence, the interpretation of those results and their presentation to a court.

Students come from a range of backgrounds and develop a strong understanding of a particular forensic science domain and theoretical frameworks to enable more robust inference and interpretation of the significance and weight of intelligence and evidence.

Future Crime

Our Dawes Centre for Future Crime at UCL identifies emerging crime threats and works to deliver pre-emptive interventions for the benefit of society. The centre focuses on key questions such as "which emerging crimes should we focus on, given limited resources?" and "how can we mitigate future threats?"

The Centre supervises research in areas such as cybercrime, artificial Intelligence and crime, drones, autonomous vehicles, robotics/nanobots, wearable ICT, IOT, hacking and others.

Who should apply?

Students applying must have (or expect to achieve) a 2.1 undergraduate degree.

Get started

Please visit our website to find out more about course fees, routes of study and what you need to prepare when applying for a PhD with us.

* The Sunday Times Good University Guide