Professor Stephen Farrall

Professor of Criminology, University of Derby


I studied A levels in sociology, politics and economic and social history, having ‘scrapped through’ my O levels. It was really only when studying at A level that I found learning really enjoyable. My first A level class was in the sociology of deviancy, and from that point I knew that I wanted to research crime – something which I have been fortunate enough to be able to do. After completing my A levels I went to study ‘Applied Sociology’ at the University of Surrey, leaving after 5 years having completed a 4-year first degree and them a Masters in Social Research Methods. I then worked in Glasgow for two years studying the fear of crime, before moving to Oxford to study why people stop offending (then a very novel topic, but one which I had researched during my 1st degree and Masters). After four years in Oxford, during which I also completed my PhD, I moved first to Keele and then about 10 years ago to Sheffield, where I am now Professor of Criminology. As well as studying why people stop offending, I have most recently studied the impacts for crime of Thatcherite social and economic policies. I have also researched ‘where’ and ‘when’ certain crime take place, male victims of domestic violence, and ‘minor’ crimes like fiddling tax expenses or insurance claims. I have commissioned two films – one about why people stop offending (48mins) and one about Margaret Thatcher (40mins). Both were made by professional film makers.