Research course

Children, Young People, Parenting and Families

Open University · Department of Health and Social Care

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Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) plus either a masters degree or research methods training at masters level (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

The Children and Young People research group in the Faculty of Health & Social Care brings together academics and research students conducting social and sociological research into the lives of children and young people and policy/practice applications. The group has strengths in a range of methodologies including: qualitative longitudinal research; 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, youth and childhood transitions; professional identities; youth justice; special educational needs; exploring mothering and fathering as social identities; and critical examinations of policy and practice in relation to parenting. It includes a cluster of studies around the theme of modern motherhoods, focusing on issues such as intergenerational transmission, young motherhood, disability and consumption. Research on fathering has explored the experiences of young fathers, fathers in prison and men’s experience of family services.

The group holds a regular seminar series and works collaboratively with academics and students across the university interested in children and young people, including the International Development Centre, The Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET) and The Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Dr Lindsay O'Dell, Director of Postgraduate Studies
+44 (0)1908 858373