Projects per year
I am co-director of the Centre for Death and Society (CDAS) and have completed funded research on funeral costs and practice, families, cemetery usage and professional development for staff in the deathcare industry. I am a Sociologist by background and committed to social science and research making a difference in society. Drawing on my work on funeral poverty, in 2016 I acted as 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. In 2019 at their request I gave evidence to the Competition and Markets Authority as part of their investigation into the funeral industry.
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 have published extensively on issues related to the end of life, and I am on the editorial boards for Sociology, Death Studies, Mortality and Bereavement Journal. I edited Mortality between 2016-2019.
I have successfully supported six students to the completion of their PhDs and have been twice voted Supervisor of the Year by the University of Bath and Students' Union. I would welcome enquiries about doctoral supervision. You can hear me talk about my approach to supporting students, colleagues and the next generation of academics on the Death Studies podcast.
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 I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
- Funeral practice
- Families and familial obligation
- Qualitative methods and research ethics
- Exploring the relationship between cremation and grief
- See Kate talk about her funeral poverty research in her lecture entitled 'Why should we care about dying?'
- Hear Kate talk about her research on Radio 4's 'Thinking Allowed' with Laurie Taylor.
- Her Affording a Funeral project has also been covered in The Guardian.
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
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Woodthorpe, K., 1 Jan 2022, In: Archives of Disease in Childhood. 107, 1, p. 100-101 2 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile4 Downloads (Pure)
"My memories of the time we had together are more important": direct cremation and the privatisation of UK funeralsWoodthorpe, K., Rumble, H., Corden, A., Birrell, J., Schut, H., Stroebe, M., Newsom, C. & Smith, Y., 1 Jun 2022, In: Sociology. 56, 3, p. 556-573 18 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access
Woodthorpe, K., 2021
Research output: Non-textual form › Digital or Visual ProductsFile18 Downloads (Pure)
Pentaris, P. & Woodthorpe, K., 6 Aug 2021, Death, Grief and Loss in the Context of Covid-19. Pentaris, P. (ed.). London, U. K.: Routledge
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Conference contribution
Woodthorpe, K., 22 Jul 2021, The Conversation.
Research output: Contribution to specialist publication › Article