Skip to main content
School of Health and Society

Dr Laura Connelly

Lecturer in Criminology


After the completion of her University of Leeds-funded PhD in 2016, Laura joined the University of Salford as a Lecturer in Criminology. During her PhD Laura was employed as a Teaching Fellow, and she has also worked as a Research Assistant on a range of criminological and sociological projects. Since arriving at Salford, Laura has undertaken three internally-funded research projects, and has taken on the Admissions Tutor and Link Tutor academic leadership roles. Working closely with voluntary sector organisations – including Basis Sex Work Project – Laura seeks to ensure her research operates to inform policy and practice. She currently sits on the Sex Work Research Hub Board


Laura is committed to research-led teaching, contributing to both undergraduate and postgraduate modules, including:

  • Understanding criminology (Foundation Year)
  • Becoming a social scientist
  • Understanding victims and victimisation (Module Leader)
  • Gender, crime and criminal justice
  • Policing and social control (Module Leader)
  • Constructing guilt and innocence
  • Violence in society
  • International criminal justice processes

Research Interests

Sitting on the borders of criminology and sociology, Laura’s research interests include: the sex industry, critical ‘modern slavery’ studies, policing, governance, critical victimology, and feminist theory/research.

Her PhD research explored the governance of sex trafficking in England and Wales, focusing in particular upon how the strategic priorities of the police and organisational politics of the voluntary sector are negotiated and structured through service delivery. She examined how sex trafficking has been taken up in the political manoeuvring of a range of state and non-state actors, in the pursuit of divergent ideological agendas.

Other research has examined violent and non-violent crimes against sex workers, which involved a quantitative analysis of crime reports submitted to the National Ugly Mug scheme. Laura was also involved in a Wellcome Trust funded project, alongside colleagues from the University of Leeds, exploring the working conditions of internet-based sex workers. Currently, Laura is working on a project examining the impact of the EU Referendum on migrant sex workers in the UK, and (with Dr Tina Patel) on a project examining the Salford 'Brexit' vote.

Qualifications and Memberships

  • BA (Hons) Criminal Justice and Criminology (2007-2010)
  • MA (Hons) Social Research (2010-2011)
  • PhD Sociology and Social Policy (2011-2016)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2017)


Connelly, L., Kamerãde, D., and Sanders, T. (2018). ‘Violent and Non-Violent Crimes Against Sex Workers: The Influence of the Sex Market on Reporting Practices in the United Kingdom’ Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Online First:

Sanders, T., Connelly, L., Jarvis-King, L. (2016). ‘On Our Terms: The Working Conditions of Internet-Based Escorts in the UK’ Sociological Research Online, 21(4). https://doi: 10.5153/sro.4152

Connelly, L. and Sanders, T. (2016). ‘Prostitution and Sex Work’ in The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Connelly, L. (2016). ‘Debates on Prostitution: An Introduction to Feminist Politics and Their Influence upon International Policy and Practice’ in F. Jacob (ed.) Prostitution: A Companion of Mankind. London: Peter Lang.

Connelly, L., Jarvis-King, L., Ahearne, G. (2015). (eds.) ‘Editorial: Blurred Lines: The Contested Nature of Sex Work in a C

hanging Social Landscape’ Special Edition of The Graduate Journal of Social Science, 11(3) Connelly, L. (2015) ‘The Rescue Industry: When Help Becomes a Hindrance’ in L.

Connelly, L. Jarvis-King and G. Ahearne (eds.) Special Edition of The Graduate Journal of Social Science, 11(3): 154-160. Wicker, K., and Connelly, L. (2013) ‘The Practice of Elite Interviewing in Politicised Policy Areas’ in Sage Research Methods Cases. London: Sage.

Postgraduate research

  • The Sex Industry
  • Human Trafficking/ModernSlavery
  • Feminist Criminology/Sociology
  • Policing
  • Victimology