Dr Nicola O'Leary

Lecturer in Criminology

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

School of Education and Social Sciences


01482 465741

Nicola is a crimonology lecturer and researcher with interests in the fields of victims and victimisation, vulnerability, domestic abuse / coercive control, media and crime, and identity and representation.

Having worked previously at the University of Leeds, she was appointed lecturer at the University of Hull in 2013.

Nicola is the Principle Investigator on a funded research project, entitled 'Giving voice to victims: a strengths-based investigation into victim identities', supported by the British Academy.


Research Interests

  • Victims and victimisation

  • Vulnerability and resilience

  • Representations of crime

  • Ethical methods of researching with victims

  • Experiences of victims

  • Collective identity

  • Stigma and spoiled identity

  • Media / content analysis

  • Reflexivity in research

Research groups

  • Currently working on a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant study, 'Giving voice' to victims: a strengths-based investigation into victim identities (O'Leary PI, Green and Calverley CI)

  • Previously completed 'An Exploration of Domestic Abuse Patterns and Service Provision in Humberside' (Humberside Criminal Justice Board; £18,632 to Iain Brennan (PI), Sinead Gormally, Vicky Burton and Nicola O'Leary, 2015)


O'Leary N. (2016) 'Ethics and Methods in Victim Research' and 'Notoriety and Victims', in K. Corteen et al., (eds.) Companion to Crime, Harm and Victimisation, Bristol: Policy Press.

O’Leary, N. (2014) ‘Negotiating Victim Communities: Reflexivity and Method in Researching High-Profile Crimes’, in K. Lumsden and A. Winter (eds.) Reflexivity in Criminological Research: Experiences with the Powerful and Powerless, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

'Victimological Perspectives on Domestic Abuse', European Society of Criminology Conference, Cardiff, September 2017

‘Operationalising coercive control: A contradictory challenge?’, Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence Research Network Conference, De Montfort University, Leicester, November 2016

‘Private suffering made public: crime news, narrative and victim identity’, European Society of Criminology Conference, Muenster, September 2016


Programmes taught on

Modules list

  • Representations of Crime

  • Criminal Justice and Community Safety Placements

  • Punishment and Society

  • Contemporary Imprisonment (Hong Kong)

  • Crime Control and Community Safety Hub (MA)

Research PhDs

Nicola welcomes applications for supervision on undergraduate and Masters research in the fields of victimology, vulnerability and resilience, and media and crime

Teaching awards and accolades

  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) Communication Studies, Sheffield Hallam University

  • MA Criminology, University of Hull (Distinction)

  • PhD Criminology, University of Hull

External roles

Member of the British Society of Criminology, European Society of Criminology and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.

Awards and accolades

Research grants include

  • 'Giving voice to victims: a strengths-based investigation into victim identities' (2016,) British Academy Small Grants: £6,235 to Nicola O'Leary (PI) Simone Green and Adam Calverley

  • 'An exploration of domestic abuse patterns and service provision in Humberside' (2015), Humberside Criminal Justice Board; £18,632 to Iain Brennan, Nicola O’Leary, Sinead Gormally and Vicky Burton