Children and young people

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
February and October January to April
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

The Social Policy and Criminology discipline at The Open University has interests in this field and is engaged in a number of lived experience, social policy and welfare-related research projects. We are part of the OU’s Children and Young People Research Network, the Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD) research centre, and the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC). Our substantive areas of interest include:

  • meanings and practices of couple relationships 
  • parenting, kinship and intergenerational relationships
  • intimacy and sexualities in personal lives
  • children’s rights, participation and agency
  • changing service provision for young people
  • young people, welfare (un)employment and crime.

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

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

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English

Potential projects

We are open to receiving proposals on a wide range of research projects on this broad topic.

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,712 per year Full time: £11,958 per year
Part time: £2,356 per year Part time: £5,979 per year

Some of our research students are funded via The Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Child with social worker

How to apply

Get in touch

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

Dr Rossana Perez del Aguila Coda, SPC Postgraduate Convenor
Email: FASS-SocialPolicyCriminology-Enquiries

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.