Dr Ali Malik

Dr Ali Malik


I joined the School of Law in May 2023 as Lecturer in Criminal Justice. Previously, I was Assistant Professor in Criminology and Policing at Northumbria University (2019-2023) where I led the policing degree programme. I have also worked as Associate Inspector for HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (2017-2021). I completed my doctoral thesis at the University of Edinburgh (2013-2017), examining the police governance and accountability arrangements in Scotland following reform in 2013. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

I have recently submitted the draft manuscript of my monograph entitled The Politics of Police Governance: Scottish police reform, localism and epistocracy due for publication by Policy Press in 2024. I have written sole and co-authored peer-reviewed articles for European Journal of Criminology and Scottish Affairs and contributed book chapters. I have contributed to the Introduction to Policing (4th edition) textbook with Professor Mike Rowe and Dr Liam Ralph, due to be published by Sage in November 2023.

I have extensive experience of research and policy engagement. I wrote for the Conversation regarding issues related to equality, diversity and inclusion in Police Scotland. My research report  ‘Steering from the centre’ formed part of the Scottish Parliamentary scrutiny on police governance. I have written several research summaries and briefings for the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee. I have also engaged with the Economist, Financial Times and the Herald Scotland. 


  • Deputy Director, Centre for Criminal Justice Studies

Research interests

I am currently developing a research proposal to examine police governance and climate change. I am also contributing as a participant researcher on a study focusing on digitial deviance and compliance in video games led by Dr Alistair Henry (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Shane Horgan (Edinburgh Napier University) and funded by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR).

In January 2023, I jointly delivered an inter-disciplinary study with colleagues from Northumbria University, examining the extent to which English as an additional language (EAL) can be a factor in the performance of candidates from diverse backgrounds in police recruitment and promotion exams and applications for specialist roles. As PI, I led on all aspects of the research including fieldwork, data analysis and the final report. The findings and recommendations have led to a review of police assessments and exams. The research was generously funded by Durham Constabulary as part of the Policing Uplift Programme. 

In 2021, I contributed to the HMICS’ thematic inspection of Police Scotland’s training and development. As part of the inspection, I conducted a survey focusing on issues of equality and diversity and experiences of officers in Police Scotland. Findings from the survey formed part of the HMICS report and recommendations. In 2019, I was commissioned by HMICS to undertake a comparative review of police governance arrangements to assist with their inspection of police governance in Scotland. I undertook an extensive analysis of six jurisdictions including New Zealand, Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales and the Netherlands. A comparative overview report was delivered to HMICS which formed the basis of recommendations aimed at improving the governance of policing in Scotland.  

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Criminology, University of Edinburgh
  • MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Edinburgh
  • Pg. Cert. in Academic Practice (Distinction), Northumbria University

Professional memberships

  • European Society of Criminology
  • British Society of Criminology
  • Higher Education Academy (Fellow)

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>