Enquire about research degrees

By telephone
During office hours
(Monday-Friday 08:30-17:00)
+44 (0)1582 489056

By email

How to apply for a research degree

For all the information you need on how to apply for a research degree and to make sure you fulfil the entry requirements visit our 'How to apply' page

You should have a good honours degree (2:1 or above) or masters degree or equivalent in the relevant subject area.

International applicants should be aware of our English language requirements

Jane Williams

PhD Student

Jane Williams

Course Start: March 2017

Supervisor: Dr Angel Chater
Second Supervisor: Dr Julia Fruer
Third Supervisor: Dr Gillian Shorter

Working thesis title

Supporting young people after sudden parental bereavement with sport and physical activity.


In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that 41,000 children lost a parent during 2015 (Child bereavement Network, 2017), with 1 in 20 having experienced parental bereavement by age 16 (Parsons, 2011) it is necessary that the correct support is there for young people during this traumatic event. Experiencing death is a normal life event, however this doesn’t make it any easier, with parental bereavement one of the most traumatic experiences. It can take years for young people to adjust to life without their parent (Stroebe, Schut, & Stroebe, 2007)

For young people grieving, they may begin to feel isolated, have difficulties in school with attention, behaviour and concentration. Anxiety levels may increase along with feelings of helplessness (Downey,2000). It is important that young people are given support during this traumatic time. There are nationwide and local bereavement centres which specialise in parental bereavement. The majority of bereavement centres focus on individual and group therapy sessions.

This research study will investigate the use of physical activity to help bereaved individuals. Research has shown sport can aid the psychological well-being of participants, by reducing stress (Harrison , 2003), and anxiety levels (Eime, Young, Harvey, Charity, & Payne, 2013). Sport can also increase self-esteem (Wiersma & Fifer, 2008), which may reduce isolation and feelings of helplessness.

Contact Information

E: jane.williams2@study.beds.ac.uk
LinkedIn: Jane Williams

I would like to welcome anyone who wishes to take part in my study to contact me. Participants must have experienced the death of a parent or guardian at least 5 years ago, between the ages 10-24, and be over 18.

Bedfordshire University Research

Research - REF» Institute for Sport and Physical Activity Research» Research Students» Jane Williams