School of Sociology and Social Policy

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Zoe Robinson

Postgraduate Research Student, Faculty of Social Sciences



As an undergraduate, I studied Politics and International Development at the University of Sussex. My dissertations for both subjects strayed into sociology, and I found myself engaging with disability theory. My politics dissertation asked whether the Deaf community can be considered an ethnic group, and the dissertation for international development asked why people with intersex experience human rights abuses when they should be protected by international conventions. This research led to an interest in disability studies theory, and after a two year break I embarked on an MSc in Disability Studies at the University of Bristol.

At Bristol, nested in the School for Policy Studies, I learnt the importance (to me) of carrying out research that can have an impact on policy. As a result, my focus changed from being purely theory-based to highly practical, and my MSc dissertation reflected this. I examined the use of spending diaries for measuring the extra costs of having a learning difficulty, marking a move away from disability theory and towards policy research. I graduated with a distinction, giving me the confidence to embark on a PhD in policy studies.

I am now in my first year of a part-time PhD in criminology and forensic psychology, with a strong policy focus. I am looking into developing an intervention to engage potential offenders in the prevention of child sexual abuse. As a part-time student based in London, I also work in disability advocacy, in a small charity in the London Borough of Hackney.

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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