research student

Robyn Fawcett

Postgraduate Research Student

Robyn wearing glasses, smiling.


I am PhD researcher at the University of Derby and my research is analysing the criminological theory of ‘social harm’ through people’s lived experiences of Universal Credit. The research is interdisciplinary, including sociology, welfare theory, social policy, political theory, criminology and social psychology. The primary method of the study is a qualitative longitudinal study over around 12 months, including regular diary entries from Universal Credit recipients.

In March, a secondary method was used to understand how coronavirus and the five-week wait impacted Universal Credit claimants. The results from 107 respondents found most claimants experienced hardship while waiting for their first payment. The results formed a policy brief published by the Work and Pensions Committee in June 2020.

Thesis title 

Social Harm: Understanding the Lived Experiences of Universal Credit Claimants