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Social Work and Social Policy

The Open University's (OU) social work and social policy research enhances society's health and well-being. Its crime and social harm, migration, borders and rights, gender, intimacy and sexualities and health, care, and social welfare experts impact policy and practice to address pressing social problems.

OU researchers are improving migrants' security and challenging disinformation by sharing their stories with millions of BBC viewers. They are combatting abortion stigma in England and Wales and changing abortion law in Northern Ireland. Their work is tackling youth violence and breaking UK policing's 'blue code' of silence to hold officers accountable for serious misbehaviour. They are also transforming thousands of couples' relationships through the research-based app, Paired.

Learn more about OU social work and social policy's research impact

From the Pandemic to Putin's War: OU research sheds light on refugees' lives

Professor Marie Gillespie has dedicated her research career to understanding and challenging inequalities migrants experience. Now, she is drawing on the international network of academics, activists and artists she and her colleagues built during the coronavirus pandemic to raise awareness and support families displaced by the war in Ukraine.

Why reducing youth violence is a question of public health, not law and order

Our research is pioneering a new public health approach to holistically address youth violence, its deep-rooted causes and its economic and social impact to safeguard children across England and Wales.

Why we need to talk about abortion

Professor Lesley Hoggart discusses her work to lift the veil of silence around abortion in the UK and challenge the stigma that people it affects can feel.