Professor Stephen Farrall

Professor of Criminology, University of Sheffield


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.

The film I commissioned about why people stop offending can be watched here: The film about Margaret Thatcher is still being shown at film festivals, but the trailer can be seen here: My own University webpage is here:

Related speakers

Dame Barbara Stocking DBE

President of Murray Edwards College

Justine Thornton

Environmental Law Barrister

Sharon White

Chief Executive of Ofcom

Professor Noreena Hertz

Academic, Economist, Author, Sirius XM and Chief Europe Correspondent & Former Economics Editor, ITV News

John-Paul Flintoff

Author and Journalist with The Sunday Times

Dr. Tim Grant

Senior Lecturer in Forensic Linguistics