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Research degrees
Research areas
Social policy and criminology
Children and young people

Children and young people

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 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 collegiate research culture in the discipline.

Qualifications available

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Research degree fees.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential projects

We are open to receiving proposals on a wide range of research projects on this broad topic. For guidance on choosing a research project, please visit our 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


Child with social worker

Further information

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

Professor Nicola Yeates
Email: FASS-SocialPolicyCriminology-Enquiries
Phone: +44 (0)1908 654530