Research course

Regulation, governance and policing

Open University · Department of Social Policy

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) and an MA or /MSc.

Months of entry


Course content

Research in this area is active and extensive, and is located both within the Social Policy and Criminology discipline, and the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG). Research interests include:

  • The historical development of welfare politics, policies and practices
  • The conflicts over future development of welfare states and systems
  • The modes of governing welfare and public services, including Foucauldian methodologies
  • The contested social relations of welfare
  • Histories of poverty, families and welfare
  • Regional social policy: devolution, nationalism and social policy.

We also have expertise in the area of globalisation, transnationalism and social welfare, focused both within the Social Policy and Criminology discipline, the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG) and the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC). This is an interdisciplinary theme that focuses on how social relations, divisions and inequalities are constructed, manifested and contested through globalisation and transnationalisation processes.

Another core theme concerns the links between educational policy and society which deal with education, poverty, social class and/or identity, the democratic governing of education and the relationship between skills-based approaches aligning to models of corporate governance, and democratic representative models.

Expertise in this research area also includes urban policy, particularly as examined through the lens of poverty and problematised spaces, racial and other forms of exclusion. Research has also mobilised a critical engagement with the notion of community, whether this be the idea of sustainable communities, community mobilisation or parenting communities.

Potential research projects

For guidance on choosing a research project, please visit our website. Information there will help you identify and articulate your research project, and tells you who to contact to discuss it with before writing your proposal and submitting an application.

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website.

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months
distance learning
variable months


part time
24 months
full time
15 months

Course contact details

+44 (0)1908 654534