Research course

Living with Disability and Long-Term Conditions

Open University · Department of Health and Social Care

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 School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care’s work in this area covers research on a wide spectrum of people’s experiences and care across the life course, including physical and learning disability, and living with a long-term condition and receiving and giving care. Key strands include the social history of learning disability; theory; policy and practice in disability; advocacy for people with learning disabilities; disability, sexuality and reproductive health; disability and end-of-life issues; disability and diabetes; neurodiversity and autism; determinants of help-seeking for mental health-related issues and subsequent engagement with mental health services; the benefits and challenges of providing social support and for mental health issues; carer wellbeing. Research in the field of long-term conditions includes the experience of co-morbidity (physical and mental health); motherhood, and issues around screening; caring policy; carers’ perspectives; diversity and gender; and the discursive construction of autism and ADHD. Projects in this area have also focused on the development of inclusive research methodologies, scoping reviews and life story work.

Collaboration with colleagues in other universities, with service-user and provider organisations, and with disabled people - in the UK and internationally - is a central component of research in this area.

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

Mrs Wendy Whiteley