Dr Ivana Sekol

School of Law


Programme Director for LLB Law and Criminology

Deputy Director of Employability and Enrichment Activities

LAW - Ivana Sekol Headshot outside a brick building
Profile picture of LAW - Ivana Sekol Headshot outside a brick building
+44 114 222 6849

Full contact details

Dr Ivana Sekol
School of Law
Bartolomé House
Winter Street
S3 7ND

I joined the University of Sheffield in June 2023, having previously worked at the University of Derby (UK) and University of Osijek (Croatia). In 2017/18 I had an opportunity to spend a year as a Fulbright visiting scholar at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY, NY).

Prior to completing my M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Criminology at the University of Cambridge, I served as a frontline worker in a children’s home. This gave me a direct insight into the harmful effects of residential peer hierarchies and overall (in)effectiveness of the existing social care and criminal justice systems for youth, spurring my long-term policy-led research interest in the wellbeing of institutionalised young people. Consequently, my research has predominantly been focussed on young people who are at the intersection of social care and criminal justice systems, especially in terms of protecting them from (peer) violence, negative effects of parental imprisonment, and improving their overall developmental outcomes. In light of my therapeutic background, my criminological research views young people involved in antisocial behaviour through a welfare-centred approach, which is a social policy issue in broader terms. Recently, I have expanded my research to a prison setting, where I have conducted evaluative research and examined the effects of the prison environment on prison violence. Overall, my research is highly interdisciplinary, encompassing philosophies of Criminology, Social Policy, Psychology, Sociology and Social Pedagogy, and placing particular importance to generating research-led impact.

I have 10 years of direct experience in policy development and analysis focussed on protecting children from violence and deinstitutionalisation in South-East Europe through consultantships (ranging from the ones commissioned by UNICEF to NGOs and the Croatian Government).

  • PhD in Criminology, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge
  • MPhil in Criminological research, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge
  • BSc in Social Pedagogy, Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb
Research interests
  • Young people at the intersection of the social care and criminal justice system
  • Developmental outcomes of young people in care
  • Bullying and peer violence in care
  • Evaluation research
  • Policy development
Teaching activities

Undergraduate Teaching 

  • Responding to Crime (Convenor)
  • Responding to Crime and Victimisation (Convenor)
  • Youth Crime and Justice

Postgraduate Teaching

  • Responding to Crime in Europe
Professional activities and memberships

A member of the Centre for Criminological Research