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Thomas Wells

MA Criminology and Social Research (University of York), BA Criminology (University of York) 

PhD student 


Thesis supervisors

Sharon Grace

Dr Lisa O'Malley

Thesis topic

In light of the ‘Prison Crisis’, what are the explanations of, and solutions to, violence within prison? A qualitative study of prisoners’ and prison staffs' perceptions of the current prison environment within England and Wales using a GST theoretical framework. 


General research interests

  • Criminal Justice studies
  • Justice Theory
  • Prison studies
  • Police studies
  • Qualitative research
  • General Strain Theory
  • Surveillance studies
  • Victimisation studies
  • Social Control


While researching for my PhD I have also gained teaching experience. Throughout the year, I have been teaching first year undergraduate seminar groups on the topic ‘Introducing Criminal Justice’. Three hours per week during term time was dedicated to teaching. Now that the teaching has come to an end, I have been dedicating most of my time on my PhD thesis to make sure I meet my deadlines and goals.



In the last five years I have been studying and researching at the University of York. I began to study Criminology as an undergraduate in September 2015. During my three years studying Undergraduate level Criminology I found Criminal Justice studies to be a particular interest of mine. I ended up writing my dissertation on student perceptions of police armament in England and Wales. In July 2018, I graduated my undergraduate degree with a First and was awarded the prize for the best dissertation of my course. Soon after, I began my Masters degree in Criminology and Social Research in October 2018. During this time, I wrote and submitted a PhD proposal to the School for Business and Society and the White Rose scholarship. I was successful in both applications. For my Masters dissertation I decided to centre my research on Restorative Justice. In January 2020 I graduated from my Masters course with a Distinction. I am currently in the first year of my PhD.



Contact details

Thomas Wells
PhD student
School for Business and Society