Research course

Critical, Narrative, Discursive, Phenomenological and Transdisciplinary Psychosocial Research

Open University · Department of Psychology

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) We normally expect applicants to have an appropriate masters degree, including some research methods. A recognised MSc (Research Methods) is required for Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentships.

Months of entry


Course content

The Department of Psychology’s work in this area has a distinguished history and the department has a world-class reputation for its contribution to the development of these psychological approaches. This research ranges from sexualities and relationships, health and illness, sexual violence, memory, suggestibility and intersections between psychology and law, to masculinities, femininities, and the discursive construction of identities, and alternative structures of intimate life in diverse contexts. A principal interest concerns theoretical and methodological innovation to shape distinct transdisciplinary psychosocial approaches.

Other significant areas of work in this area address questions of ethnicity, racism and nationalism, and migration and citizenship. There is a strong track record of externally funded research and active links with colleagues across the Faculty of Social Sciences and the flagship Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG). The Psychosocial Research Programme within CCIG offers an institutional context for collaborative research activity and support.

Potential supervisors:

Department specialisms

Discursive and phenomenological approaches to self Narratives of relationships, normative and/or non-normative sexualities Embodied, lived and/or liminal experiences and affect, particularly relating to gender, sexual, and relationship diversity Femininities and masculinities Conflict, prejudice, segregation and discrimination Discourses, practices and experiences of health and illness, including contested illnesses Critical approaches to wellbeing, happiness, quality of life and self-management The construction and practices of moralities and moral orders Identity work around occupations and work, e.g. in the creative industries Media representations of children and parenting Methodological developments in social psychology History, theory and philosophy of psychology The nature of folk psychology and its role in scientific psychological explanation Psychology and law (including international perspectives, legal and welfare practices, issues surrounding child protection and child witnesses) Critical psychology Q methodological studies of subjectivity and its discursive resources Dialogical Self, dialogical analysis; dialogues of mobility and non-mobility in the public sphere, including migration and the European Union. Analysis of self-help and advice giving, particularly relating to sex and relationships Life course transitions and intimacy; alternative structures for intimacy Social psychology, history and memory

Fees and funding

For detailed information on current fees visit: Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
48 months


full time
15 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

+44 (0)1908 653947