PhD (via MPhil) Studentship in Psychology

University of Central Lancashire

Applications are invited for a full time PhD (via MPhil) studentship in the School of Psychology. The studentship is tenable for up to 3 years full-time [subject to satisfactory progress] and will cover the cost of tuition fees at UK/EU rates and a partial maintenance grant of £3000 per annum. International applicants may apply but will be required to pay the difference in tuition fees. It is expected the successful applicant will start on 1st January 2017.

Project Title Child Sexual Exploitation

Project Description

Sexual exploitation is widely regarded as a form of sexual abuse (DCSF, 2009), frequently involving children being expected to ‘swap’ sex or sexual behaviours in exchange for a range of goods (Barnardo’s, 2011). Some children may view the exchange of sex as a means to provide for basic needs. These needs are often present due to a range of social difficulties, including neglect in the home or instability with care provision (Coy, 2008). Exploitation does not always involve physical contact between a child and perpetrator, and some children are exploited using technology such as mobile telephones or the internet (Barnardo’s, 2012). Through these types of technology children may be exposed to sexual images or materials, or be involved in the production of indecent images (Beckett, 2011). 

There have more recently been high profile criminal cases in regard to such abuse. However, this is a relatively new area of systematic study. Taking an international approach of study, this research will attempt to explore in more detail the psychological and criminological factors linked to this form of sexual abuse, from the victim’s perspective, looking to consider vulnerability and protective factors, as well as adverse impact.  

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Carol Ireland

Candidates should have (or expect to hold) a UK BSc or Master’s degree at 2:1 or above in a related discipline (or equivalent).

International applicants require an English Language level of UKVI IELTs 6.5 (no sub-score below 6.0) or equivalent qualification.

Further information

For the application form and full details please go to:

Completed application forms should be returned to the Research Student Registry via email at, quoting the studentship reference number by the closing date.

Proposed Interview Date: 30 November 2016


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Northern England