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Dr Melissa Henderson


  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile

Personal profile

I began working as a teaching fellow at Royal Holloway in 2016 whilst completeing my PhD. I became a Lecturer in Sociology in 2018 after completing my PhD in early 2017. I am currently a full time lecturer in Criminology and Sociology and Programme Lead for both Criminology and Sociology and Sociology with Philosophy.
I have previously obtained an MA (Hons) in Sociology and MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice, both from the University of Glasgow. 

Research interests

My research focuses on prison populations, looking specifically on female experiences of incarceration and desistance, as well as rehabilitative measures. My research focused specifically on exploring peer mentoring programmes for women in prison, as well as mentoring as a rehabilitative strategy within the community. From a sociological perspective, I have an interest in the formation of relationships, looking specifically at relationships within prison settings and familial connections, as well as gendered dynamics. 

I have previously completed two Needs Assessments for HMP Bronzefield, highlighting mental and physical need amongst the female prison population and in collaboration with the prisons 'Through the Gate' strategy. I have also been part of a research team with Professor Rosie Meek exploring the use of mentoring approaches for male juvenile offenders. 

I am currently involved in a research project with Professor Rosie Meek and Professor Nick Hardwick with Depaul Ukraine looking at through-the-gate support for prisoners in the Ukraine. 


I am currently teaching on the following courses:

  • CR2014 Sociology of Contemporary Society 
  • CR2019 Sociology of the Family 
  • CR3036 Sociology of Death 
  • CR5005 Crime and Consumerism (Postgraduate level)  


I have previously taught on:

  • CR1015 Social Problems and Social Policy
  • CR1014 Introduction to Sociology
  • CR1011 Introduction to Criminology 
  • CR2021 Youth in Society 
  • CR3004 Youth in Society: Culture, Subculture and Transgression
  • CR3026 Sociology of Music 
  • CR3003 Youth in Society: Deviancy and Delinquency
  • CR3036 Race, Ethnicity and Migration

I have experience supervising BSc Criminology and Sociology undergraduate dissertations, as well as MA Consumption, Culture and Marketing postgraduate dissertations. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions