Dr. Rebecca Phythian

Lecturer in Policing and Criminal Investigation

School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Maudland Building, MB119

+44 (0) 1772 89 4251


Subject Areas: Criminology and Policing, Psychology

Full Profile

Rebecca is a lecturer in Policing and Criminal Investigation. She primarily teaches on MSc Degree programmes, supervises MSc dissertations, PhDs and Professional Doctorates, and acts as an academic skills advisor for Policing students. Rebecca is deputy chair of the School’s Research and Innovation committee, and a member of the University’s STEMH ethics committee. She is also the external examiner for the Security Science MSc and Investigative Psychology MSc at the University of Huddersfield, and the Criminology and Criminal Justice courses with Kaplan Online Learning, in partnership with the University of Essex. Her background includes teaching, and supervising, undergraduate and postgraduate students in Psychology and/or Research Methods at the University of Liverpool, Edge Hill University, Manchester Metropolitan University and Laureate Online Education.

Rebecca is an active member of UCLan’s Policing research team, Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change, and Criminal Justice Partnership. Additionally, she is seconded as a researcher to Lancashire Constabulary and a member of their Evidence Based Policing team, as well as working with other UK police forces (e.g. Greater Manchester Police) and organisations (e.g. Home Office, College of Policing). Rebecca’s PhD quantitatively examined serious violent offenders, with a particular focus on age, gender, criminal history, specialisation and predictive factors; she collaborated with a UK police force during this research.


  • Ph.D. Psychology, University of Liverpool, 2016
  • M.Sc. Investigative and Forensic Psychology, University of Liverpool, 2011
  • B.Sc. (Hons.) Psychology, University of Liverpool, 2010

Membership of professional and learned bodies

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Kirby, S., Palmer, I., & Phythian, R. (under review). Assessing the appetite for Evidence Based Policing: A UK based study. International Journal of Police Science and Management.

Coleman, R., Almond, L., & McManus, M. (2017). Do female offenders differ? Comparing the criminal histories of serious violent perpetrators with a control sample. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling. DOI: 10.1002/jip.1485

Research Activities

Rebecca supervises MSc, PhD and Professional Doctorate students, conducts research on behalf of UK police forces and organisations, and is an active member of UCLan’s Policing research team, CJP and Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change, Lancashire Constabulary’s Evidence Based Policing team and RUSI’s Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research. Her research interests include:

  • Serious violent offenders (including female offenders / gender differences);
  • Evidence-based policing;
  • Investigative psychology;
  • Criminal histories/Criminal careers (including offender specialisation and predictive models of violent offending);
  • Serious and organised crime;
  • Human trafficking;
  • Police wellbeing.


External Affiliations and Roles

  • Seconded to Lancashire Constabulary’s Evidence-Based Policing team one day a week;
  • Member of RUSI’s Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research;
  • External examiner for the University of Huddersfield and Kaplan Online Learning (in partnership with the University of Essex).

Teaching activities and responsibilities

  • Module leader: FZ4701 Research Methods for Crime and Criminal Justice;
  • Module tutor: FZ4729 Research in Practice, FZ4730 Criminal Justice: An international perspective