Education, Childhood, Youth and Sports

Research in the area of education, childhood, youth and sport spans across faculties, bringing together academics and research students conducting social, sociological and psychological research into the lives of children and young people, and related policy/practice applications.

Academics in this area work collaboratively across the University with those who are interested in a wide variety of subjects relating to children and young people, their education, well-being and health. 

Key facts

  • Thriving interdisciplinary and multicultural environment.
  • Opportunities and support provided for research students to attend workshops, seminars and conferences at other national and international institutions.


Most of our full-time research students are based at our Milton Keynes campus; for details of residence requirements for different modes of study see Full-time study and Part-time study.

Career prospects

Many of our doctoral students go on to build successful academic and non-academic careers. Many of them use the doctorate as a platform for continuing professional development in a wide variety of occupations at local, national, and international contexts.



Find your research topic

Explore specific areas of research, current and prospective projects, entry requirements, fees and funding, available supervisors, how to apply and contact details for advice.

Child and youth studies

Education futures

Literacy and social justice

Sports and fitness

Wellbeing of children, youth and families


Related topics

Consider linked topics from other research areas.

Living with disability and long-term conditions

Reproduction, sexualities and sexual health


The OU network is incredibly rich, and new and exciting opportunities for collaboration are always around the corner. I can confidently say that I’ve learned more during this PhD than during any other three years of my adult life. The support from my supervisors and OU staff throughout this time made a huge difference to my life and research project, especially under the difficult circumstances of the pandemic.

Ernesto Roque-GutierrezPhD Student, Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies