Fully Funded PhD Studentship: Student Sex Work in the Netherlands: A Comparative Analysis with the UK

The Student Sex Work Project (TSSWP) was the first national study in Europe to reveal the motivations and experiences of student sex workers in the UK.

In the UK, student sex work is connected to the increasing financial pressures faced by students in Higher Education (HE). For example, tuition fees (which have increased substantially in countries such as the UK and less so in others such as The Netherlands). Aspects to consider include:

  • Whether or not economic circumstances are driving students into sex work in a European context has yet to be investigated;
  • Legal frameworks within which sex work takes place vary; the implications of regulation/policy can increase stigma and social isolation. Levels of governance within HE institutions are also unknown;
  • The implications for students (positive or negative) in a European context remain unexplored.

This scholarship will enable the first investigatory and comparative study of student sex work in the UK and the Netherlands, providing an opportunity for the innovative/creative methods used in TSSWP to be implemented outside of the UK. The successful candidate will consider student sex worker experiences within different legal, cultural and social frameworks. Following a systematic review of the legislative and policy frameworks, data from TSSWP will be further analysed alongside data collated online or face to face from student sex workers in Amsterdam in relation to:

  • Motivations
  • Experiences
  • Institutional responses

This work is particularly important given:

  • the many vulnerabilities sex workers can face;
  • the social stigma and social isolation experienced by many sex workers;
  • the increasing mobility of students across Europe;
  • associated risks including coercion and human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation

The academic supervisors for this project are:

Dr Tracey Sagar, Associate Professor of Criminology, College of Law and Criminology, Swansea University (first supervisor). Tracey is a sex work researcher and Principal Investigator on TSSWP (T.Sagar@swansea.ac.uk)

Dr Marie-Louise Janssen, Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam (second supervisor) (M.P.C.Janssen@uva.nl)

Debbie Jones, Lecturer in Criminology, Swansea University. Debbie is a sex work researcher and Project Manager on TSSWP (third supervisor) (Deborah.A.Jones@swansea.ac.uk)

The successful candidate will be expected to start their studentship no later than 30 September 2016.


Candidates must have a Master's degree in Law, Criminology or Sociology.

Experience of sex work research and a fluency in English is required. A knowledge of Dutch is desirable but not essential.

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is open to UK/EU candidates only.


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of approximately £14,057 p.a for three years (value will be determined by RCUK minimum stipend level).

There will also be an additional £550 (subject to change) available for research expenses.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete and submit the following documentation by the stated deadline.

To apply for this studentship, please return:

  • A copy of your CV
  • A covering letter which includes a section explaining your motivation and suitability for the project (max 1000 words)
  • A College of Law and Criminology Research Application Form which is available on request from t.sagar@swansea.ac.uk and/or deborah.a.jones@swansea.ac.uk.

Please email the completed documents to Dr Tracey Sagar (t.sagar@swansea.ac.uk) or Deborah Jones (deborah.a.jones@swansea.ac.uk)

or post them to:

College of Law and Criminology
Swansea University
Singleton Park

The deadline for applications is Thursday 31st March 2016.

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed to Dr Tracey Sagar on the email address above or by telephoning +44 (0)1792 295313.