Professor Wilson completed his undergraduate and initial postgraduate studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His Masters thesis was an historical study of violence, the law and local community in a colonial settlement. Dean continued postgraduate study in Australia, gaining a scholarship to Monash University where he undertook the first major historical study of urban policing in Australia. Having completed his PhD in 2001, Dean has subsequently concentrated on contemporary criminological research, including research into surveillance, technology and security, policing and victims of crime and border militarization and policing. Dean's research and teaching engage interdisciplinary methodologies that traverse the fields of criminology, sociology, media, law, history and politics. Dean was a lecturer and then senior lecturer in criminology at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia between 2003 and 2010 and a Reader in Criminology at the University of Plymouth prior to joining the Department of Sociology at the University of Sussex in 2015.