(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
February and October
January to April
Research within Social Policy and Criminology at The Open University explores the intersections of social policy and social justice, renewing longstanding research concerns within The Open University and establishing exciting new terrain upon which these might be developed.
Our research interests include:
- corporate crime and harm
- critical analyses of justice – criminal, social and territorial
- forms of criminalisation, non-criminalisation and regulation
- globalisation, social policy and development
- harms to non-human animals
- homelessness and housing
- research methods
- sites and processes of incarceration
- social harm and zemiology
- social inequalities and divisions
- harms of austerity and social injustice
- the history of criminal justice
- the state and the welfare state
- utopias and utopian social theory
- youth un/employment and youth justice.
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.
This is a dynamic research area, open to many possible postgraduate research projects. It coheres broadly with the multidisciplinary scope of both the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC) and Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD), both of which welcome Postgraduate Student participation. Research students are encouraged to participate in the supportive and collegial research culture in the discipline.
Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.
Potential research projects
- Corporate crime and harm
- Critical analyses around justice – criminal, social and territorial
- Globalisation, social policy and development
- The harms of austerity and social injustice
- Harms to non-human animals
- The history of criminal justice
- Homelessness and housing
- Prisons, and other sites and processes of incarceration
- Research methods
- Social harm and zemiology
- Social inequalities and social divisions of ‘race’, ethnicity, class, gender, age, sexuality and locality
- The state and the welfare state
- Youth un/employment and youth justice
- Utopias and utopian social theory
- Various forms of criminalisation, non-criminalisation and regulation.
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.
Research students connected to this area are encouraged to participate in the supportive and collegial research culture in the department and the School of Social Sciences and Global Studies.
Current/recent research projects
We are open to receiving proposals on a wide range of research projects on this broad topic.
This theme encompasses most members of academic staff in the department. The departmental website gives the main areas of research expertise of academic staff, as well as links to their personal webpages and research publications.
Fees and funding
|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.