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Research degrees
Research areas
Social policy and criminology
Genders, sexualities, relationships, intimacies

Genders, sexualities, relationships, intimacies

This research area is a meeting point for critical interdisciplinary Social Policy and Criminology scholarship on gender, sexuality and intimacies in the contemporary world.

There are long-standing research interests around everyday nuances of intimacy and family life, including same-sex parent families and long-term relationships, alongside broader interests around sex, sexuality and sexual citizenship. Research interests also focus on how and why our intimate relationships, organisations and social institutions can become sites of gendered violence, abuse and harm. This complements a long-standing research area on domestic homicide and gender in policing as well as on the gendered relations of health and social welfare.

Research in this area also explores punitiveness at the intersection of criminal and social justice on particular gendered and sexual subjects.

This research area also sustains a critical focus on resistance, agency and activism of women, victim-survivors, non-binary and transgender individuals, as well as lesbian, bisexual and queer women to disrupt power and contest structural harm and violence. This further encompasses concerns with ‘justice’, ‘survival’ ‘rights’ and ‘recovery’ in criminal justice approaches, support services, social movements and transformative justice.

Our department has 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.

Staff in this research area are members of the Gender, Intimacies and Sexuality (GENIES) research stream in the Citizenship and Governance Strategic Research Area (C&G SRA), the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC) and Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD). All of these warmly welcome Postgraduate Student participation.

Qualifications available

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Research degree fees.

Entry requirements

An applicant seeking admission to the degree of MPhil or MPhil with the possibility of transfer to PhD should normally hold the minimum of an upper second class honours degree, or a Master’s degree in an appropriate cognate area from a UK University or other recognised degree-awarding body. See other possible entry routes.

Potential research 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


Couple holding hands

Further information

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

Professor Nicola Yeates, SPC Postgraduate Convenor
Email: FASS-SocialPolicyCriminology-Enquiries
Phone: +44 (0)1908 654534