Research course

Health and social care of children, young people and families

Open University · Centre for Childhood, Development and Learning

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent). Masters level qualification with evidence of research methods at postgraduate level.

Months of entry


Course content

The Children and Young People Research Group in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care brings together academics and research students conducting social, sociological and critical psychological research into the lives of children and young people and policy/practice applications. The group has strengths in a range of methodologies including: psycho-social methods; critical discourse analysis; biographical and life-history research; historical methods; and secondary analysis of archived data sets. Particular areas of expertise include: gender identities, exploring mothering and fathering as social identities; child language brokers; LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and young people questioning their sexuality or gender identity), mental health; children and pain, ME in childhood; parenting at a distance; professional identities; youth justice; young masculinities; special educational needs; and ‘different childhoods’.

Potential research projects

  • Men working with children
  • ‘Normative’ and ‘different’ childhoods
  • Young people and cultural identity; child language brokering
  • Young parenthood
  • Youth justice and youth crime
  • Prison identities and young people
  • International childhoods
  • Young people and death/bereavement
  • Young men, maternal relationships and caring identities
  • Transitions to parenthood
  • Children with disabilities, including autism
  • Young carers
  • LGBTQ youth mental wellbeing

Current/recent research projects

  • Older fathers
  • The construction of ADHD – a discursive psychological approach to the talk of mothers of children with ADHD
  • Adoptees’ views on international adoption into Italy
  • Street children in Zimbabwe
  • Disabled motherhood: changing times/Becoming a Disabled mother

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
15 months


part time
72 months
full time
48 months

Course contact details

Dr Lindsay O’Dell, Director of Postgraduate Studies