Within policing there is a drive to understand who the ‘riskiest’ or ‘most harmful’ suspects are, to prioritise limited policing resources and to ensure police are maximising their opportunities to safeguard victims and the wider public. While there is a strong appetite in policing currently to use concepts like, threat, risk, and harm to drive forward operational actions, these concepts are often poorly understood and articulated, used inconsistently, and used to describe different psychological concepts in different circumstances without recognition of these differences. Further, their application in tools, assessments, and judgements often do not often have a strong evidence base which underpin them. The purpose of the PhD, therefore, is to explore the psychology of concepts threat, risk, and harm, and to understand how they are used within policing.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2024


Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University


36 months

Entry requirements:

Outstanding academic potential as measured normally by either a 1st class honours degree or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA), or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent). For more information check out our full entry requirements