Research course

Genders, Sexualities, Relationships, Intimacies

Open University · Department of Social Policy

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Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent).

Months of entry


Course content

This research area is a meeting point for critical interdisciplinary Social Policy and Criminology scholarship on gender, sexuality and intimacies in the contemporary world.

There are long-standing research interests around everyday nuances of intimacy and family life, including same-sex parent families and long-term relationships, alongside broader interests around sex, sexuality and sexual citizenship. Research interests also focus on how and why our intimate relationships, organisations and social institutions can become sites of gendered violence, abuse and harm. This complements a long-standing research area on domestic homicide and gender in policing as well as on the gendered relations of health and social welfare.

Research in this area also explores punitiveness at the intersection of criminal and social justice on particular gendered and sexual subjects.

This research area also sustains a critical focus on resistance, agency and activism of women, victim-survivors, non-binary and transgender individuals, as well as lesbian, bisexual and queer women to disrupt power and contest structural, harm and violence. This further encompasses concerns with ‘justice’, ‘survival’ ‘rights’ and ‘recovery’ in criminal justice approaches, support services, social movements and transformative justice.

Staff in this research area are members of the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC) and Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

+44 (0)1908 654534