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Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Research interests

I have completed funded research on funeral costs and practice, and professional development for staff in the deathcare industry. In 2016 I acted as a Special Advisor to the Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry into Bereavement Benefits, after which I commissioned and edited a wide ranging policy review on the implications of devolution for death, dying and bereavement in 2017.

Over the years my work has been widely disseminated through the media, including numerous appearances on BBC Radio 4 Today programme, BBC Breakfast, and features in The Guardian and The Telegraph. I have undertaken consultancy work with Royal London, Axa SunLife and Volunteer Cornwall.

I am co-editor of the journal Mortality and on the editorial board for the journals Sociology and Death Studies.

I have successfully supported five students to the completion of their PhDs and was twice voted Supervisor of the Year by the University of Bath and Students' Union (2013-14 and 2014-15). I would welcome enquiries about doctoral supervision.

Prior to working at the University of Bath I undertook my bachelors degree in sociology at Lancaster University, my masters degree in sociological research at the University of Warwick, and my PhD at the University of Sheffield. I have completed two postgraduate certificates in teaching in higher education, and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am a member of the Centre for Death and Society (CDAS), the UK’s only research centre devoted to the study of social aspects of death, dying and bereavement.

Research interests

  • Funeral practice
  • Families and familial obligation
  • Qualitative methods and research ethics

Research projects

Institute for Policy Research

Dr Woodthorpe undertook a sabbatical project with the Institute of Policy Research (IPR) to examine the risks and opportunities associated with the national and regional devolution of policy and services associated with death, dying and bereavement.

More about this project

Death, Dying and Devolution

Dr Woodthorpe is working with the Scottish Government as the Social Fund Funeral Payment gets transferred.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Kate Woodthorpe is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 5 Similar Profiles
funeral Social Sciences
death Social Sciences
cemetery Social Sciences
dying Social Sciences
Bereavement Medicine & Life Sciences
Cemeteries Medicine & Life Sciences
poverty Social Sciences
pathology Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2017 2020

Cremation project

Woodthorpe, K.

Dignity Funerals Ltd


Project: UK industry

Research Output 2006 2019

'From Cradle to Grave?': Policy Responses to Death

Foster, L., Woodthorpe, K. & Walker, A., 2019, In : Mortality. 24, 1, p. 1-16 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Public Policy
studies (academic)
Social Sciences
Policy Making
10 Downloads (Pure)

"We don't want to go and be idle ducks": family practices at the end of life

Borgstrom, E., Ellis, J. & Woodthorpe, K., 24 Apr 2019, In : Sociology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

From Prince Charles and his mother down, why Britain finds it hard to talk about death

Woodthorpe, K., 26 Nov 2018, The Conversation.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access

Survive and Thrive in Academia: The New Academic's Pocket Mentor

Woodthorpe, K., Jun 2018, Abingdon, U. K.: Routledge. 252 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Going to Funerals in Contemporary Britain: The Individual, the Family and the Meeting with Death

Author: Bailey, T., 31 Dec 2013

Supervisor: Walter, J. (Supervisor) & Tuckwell, K. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The Choosing Person: Marriage, Middle-Class Identities, and Modernity in contemporary Sri Lanka

Author: Abeyasekera, A., 3 Sep 2013

Supervisor: White, S. (Supervisor) & Tuckwell, K. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD