Criminology at Queen’s is internationally recognised for its research contributions and teaching excellence.
Criminology asks difficult questions about the criminal law and its enforcement. What is crime? Who is a criminal? Does punishment deter crime or create more harm? There are few more interesting places to study these dynamics of crime and justice than Northern Ireland, and Queen’s University Belfast has a long history of outstanding research and teaching on the subject with particular expertise on the lives of young people in conflict with the law. In all of our work, we seek to better understand the behaviours of the criminal justice system and other state actors and their role in combatting or exacerbating this offending. With an overarching social justice perspective, our research situates these questions in the wider socio-political contexts in which they occur.
Over 88% of research submitted by colleagues from Criminology, Social Policy, Sociology and Social Work to the Social Policy and Social Work Unit of Assessment (UoA) was judged to be World Leading or Internationally Excellent. An endorsement of the quality of our research and its impacts in areas such as the penal system, mental health and trauma; work once again achieved through work undertaken in partnership with the health, social care and criminal justice sectors. We are delighted that Social Work and Social Policy (including Sociology and Criminology) has been ranked at 12th in the UK (Times Higher Education Social Work and Social Policy UoA table).
What is Criminology?
Dr John Topping, Queen's University Belfast, asks the question 'What is Criminology?'
|Name||Area of Expertise||Telephone|
|Dr Michelle Butler||Prisons; Psychology of Crime; Penal Reformfirstname.lastname@example.org||+44 (0)28 9097 3956|
|Dr Mary-Louise Corr||Young People in Conflict with the Law; Youth Justice; Domestic Violence; Homelessness; Marginalised youth; Biographical Research.||email@example.com||+44 (0)28 9097 5370|
|Dr Teresa Degenhardt||Criminology of War; Policing/Military Continuum; Social Controlfirstname.lastname@example.org||+44 (0)28 9097 1244|
|Dr Kevin Hearty||Transitional Justice; Victimology; Political Violence; Critical Criminology; Human Rights; Policing.||email@example.com||+44 (0)28 9097 1176|
|Dr Sarah Jankowitz||Peacebuilding, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice; Victimology; Gender and social firstname.lastname@example.org||+44 (0)28 9097 3196|
|Professor Shadd Maruna||Prisons & Penal Reform; Psychology of Crime; Penal Reform; Desistance from Crimeemail@example.com||+44 (0)28 9097 5986|
|Dr Siobhan McAlister||Young People in Conflict with the Law; Youth Marginalisation; Sensitive Research; Children’s Rights.||firstname.lastname@example.org||+44 (0)28 9097 5918|
|Professor Andrew Percy||Quantitative Criminology; Adolescent Development; Longitudinal Research; and Alcohol and Drug Use.||email@example.com||+44 (0)28 9097 5261|
|Dr John Topping||Police Practice; Police Reform; Security Governance and Stop/Search.||firstname.lastname@example.org||+44 (0)28 9097 3630|
|Dr Gillian McNaull||
Criminalisation of women; the harms of imprisonment; transformative justice; the political economy of imprisonment.
|email@example.com||+44 (0)28 9097 5910|
|Dr David Scott||
Young People in Conflict with the Law; Youth Justice; Mental Health; Diversion and Liaison Services; Evidence Based Practice.
|firstname.lastname@example.org||+44 (0)28 9097 5759|
|Dr Brendan Sturgeon||
Peacebuilding; Social-Spatial Segregation; Evidence based practice; Service design and Evaluation.
|email@example.com||+44 (0)28 9097 5052|
|Dr Colm Walsh||
Youth violence; psychological trauma; masculinity; evidence based practice; service design and evaluation.
|firstname.lastname@example.org||+44 (0)28 9097 3174|
KEY RESEARCH PROJECTS
This project examines the impact of the Covid lockdown on the well-being of prisoners in England and Wales. Prisoners have faced considerable health risks during the pandemic and have had their visits, education, and opportunities for meaningful activity highly constricted during the pandemic. A co-production with the User Voice organisation, this user-led participatory action research project aims to allow prisoners to tell their own story of this lockdown experience.
This project examines the legacies of the Conflict, and their impacts, on children and young people in Northern Ireland and the border regions of Ireland. The research engages with children and young people, parents, community and departmental representatives, regional and statutory bodies. A young person’s advisory group works alongside the QUB team.
Funded by the European Commission and led by Siobhan McAlister, this project involved working with partners in six European countries to devise training materials to enhance child-informed responses to victims of violence. Data was collected from over 1300 children, and resources co-designed with advisory groups of children and young people.
Police stop and search powers remain as one of the most contested aspects of policing practice. No less in Northern Ireland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) use of the powers remain at one of the highest levels in U.K policing with fewest outcomes. Particularly focused on children and young people, this research continues highlight the problematic nature of stop and search within the post-conflict setting of Northern Ireland.
The Criminology team in the SSESW continue to lead research and public policy debate both locally and internationally as part of their world-class research profile. They work with external bodies and agencies on a regular basis as part of their research and advisory roles. This includes active engagement with criminal justice agencies across the U.K and beyond, as well as with voluntary and community sector bodies, including Niacro, Committee on the Administration of Justice, Community Restorative Justice Ireland, and dozens more.
Recent examples of community engagement work include:
‘Young People, Policing and Stop & Search’ – organised by the Crime and Social Justice Group which included inputs from Anne Skelton of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s first ever “Learning Together” course involving students from QUB learning criminology alongside students from Hydebank Wood Secure College.