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Dr Will Coyles

Assistant Professor (Teaching) Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies

Assistant Professor (Teaching) Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Sociology


Will was appointed as a Teaching Fellow in Criminology in September 2017, having previously held a Teaching Fellowship within the School. Will holds a BA/BSc (Hons) degree in Criminology with Sociology (First Class Honours) from the University of Central Lancashire and a Master of Jurisprudence from Durham University Law School. He completed his ESRC funded PhD in the field of youth justice policy and practice at the University of Kent in September 2017. This explored how recent decentralising policy changes within youth justice are being negotiated at local level through a comparative case study of two contrasting youth justice services.

Will currently convenes two core criminological theory modules: the level-1 module Understanding Crime and the level-2 module Contemporary Criminological Theory. He also contributes to teaching and supervision within the school at Masters level. Will is involved with the school’s widening participation work. He is currently the lead academic on the Criminology/Sociology stream of both the Sutton Trust and Supported Progression programmes, where he is responsible for the design and delivery of the two summer schools. 

Research Interests
  • Youth justice policy and practice
  • Organisational studies
  • Foucauldian and post-Foucauldian social control
  • Drugs and crime
  • Qualitative research methods

Current Teaching

Understanding Crime

Contemporary Criminological Theory

Previous Teaching

Risk and Society

Welfare in Modern Britain


Journal Articles

Coyles, W. (2009) ‘The bare-life of the problem drug user: An analysis of neo-liberal state responses to problem drug users’, Internet Journal of Criminology. Available at:

Conference Papers

Coyles, W. (2014) Managerial Practice Cultures and Boundary Disputes: Potential barriers to the Coalition Government’s diversionary reforms’, presented at the British Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Liverpool, 10th July 2015.

Drew, J., and Coyles, W. (2014) ‘Is There Still a Youth Justice Movement?: Reflections on the Achievements of the Last Decade and the Challenges Ahead, presented at the National Association for Youth Justice Annual Conference, London, 9th April 2014.

Coyles, W. (2014) ‘Governmentality and the Coalition Government’s Big Society Agenda within Youth Justice’, presented at the Professional Seminar Series, University of Bedfordshire, 13th February 2014.

Coyles, W. (2013) ‘Forgetting the Punitive-Turn: Counter-Memory and the Coalition Government’s Reforms to Youth Justice’, presented at the Ustinov Seminar Series, Durham University, 10th November 2013.

Coyles, W. (2010) ‘Agamben, The State of Exception, and the Underclass Child’, Human Rights Conference, Durham University Law School, 1st March 2010.