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Families, relationships and communities

The Department of Social Policy and Criminology has extensive interests in this field and is engaged in a number of lived-experience, policy- and welfare-related research projects. We are active members of the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG), leading the Families, Relationships and Communities Programme, and contributing to the Psychosocial Programme.

Our substantive areas of interest include:

  • Meanings and practices of couple relationships 
  • Family ‘troubles’
  • Bereavement and change
  • Parenting, kinship and intergenerational relationships
  • Fatherhood
  • Intimacy and sexualities in personal lives
  • Children’s rights, participation and agency
  • The emotional dynamics of welfare encounters
  • Parenting and risk
  • Parenting in urban communities
  • Histories of gendered and generational family meanings and family lives.

We have an international reputation for methodological innovation, with particular strengths in qualitative mixed-methods research, visual methods, biographical and life-story research, discourse analysis, historical methods and ethnography.

Research students connected to this area are encouraged to join CCIG and to participate in the supportive and collegial research culture in the department.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil

Fees:

For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) and an MA or /MSc

Potential research projects

For guidance on choosing a research project, please visit the Faculty of Social Sciences Research website. Information there will help you identify and articulate your research project, and tells you who to contact to discuss it with before writing your proposal and submitting an application.

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Name:
Ms Donna Collins
Email:
FASS-SocialPolicyCriminology-Enquiries@open.ac.uk
Phone:
+44 (0)1908 654534

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.