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Vicky Singleton supervises 3 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Vicky Singleton

Senior Lecturer, Director of Womens Studies

Vicky Singleton

Bowland North

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YN

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 592499


Research overview

Current research programme: Care in and for Policy

As part of this programme I am currently writing a book on Unhealthy Policy: The Loss of Care in Public Health addressing the following questions: 

  • How do the practices of public health policy produce particular subjects and objects?
  • How does public health policy, in intimate social-material practices, distribute rights and resources?
  • How might policy be enacted in ways that are care-full? 

The research programme aims to develop a network of researchers to explore concerns about policy as failing, marginalising ‘good’ practices and causing harm.  'Policy’ can been seen as a historically, culturally and politically specific form of care. Yet, policies designed to protect, to nurture and to care for inadvertently harbour and promote relations of harm. Policies that ‘work’ within particular defined contexts can be seen to be dysfunctional within other contexts. Recent research on care as socio-technical and relational may prove productive in thinking through diverse policy-related domains. This research explores how policy could attend to those things often neglected, harmed or made invisible and how to sensitize policy to inevitable incommensurate knowledges and excesses.


PhD supervision

I welcome research students and have supervised 15 students researching in a range of substantive areas including; Caesarean section and women's right to choose, Surgical construction and treatment of obesity, Schizophrenia and psychiatric care, Young women, sexuality and Christian traditions, The co-evolution of children's bodies and prosthetic limbs. I am interested in and have expertise in qualitative research including participant observation, interviews, and textual analysis in the form of detailed case studies. In particular I am interested in research that seeks to articulate and to appreciate the work of practice of programmes, policies, interventions, systems and guidelines.

Research Interests

Key Words

Materiality, practices, technoscience, feminist theory, health, medicine, care, farming, policy, gender constitution and enactment, standardization and generalisation, science and technology studies, (after) actor-network theory.


General Research Activities

I trained and worked as a Registered General Nurse before completing my degree and PhD and have had an enduring concern that my research speaks with, and to, professional practice, particularly about how policies and guidelines relate to emobodied, located practices. Theoretically, the research contributes to the field of Science, Technology and Society Studies and feminist technoscience studies through qualitative case studies in health and medicine and farming. I draw upon a diverse body of work that includes public understanding of science and technology, feminist technoscience studies, medical sociology, feminist theory and practice, cultural studies and Science and Technology Studies. I explore how programmes, knowledge-claims, policies and guidelines are constructed and developed and, in particular, how they work in practice. Recent research on the intersection of national policy and practices on small farms has emerged from an earlier project on rural community health and citizenship and it examines the intersection of national policy and practices on small farms in Cumbria and the North West UK. 

I have completed case studies in several locations, often about the experiences of publics and practioners of policy develoments. For example, I have studied:

  • Women's (non) participation in the UK Cervical Screening Programme.
  • The making of healthy citizens in the New Public Health: case study of a grass roots initiative to train members of a rural community in Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation.
  • The complexity of clinical decision making around the management of acute Alcoholic Liver Disease: the experiences of patients and clinicians (with John Law).
  • The enactment of mothers, babies and policy in the national campaign to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
  • Women's choice and Casaerean Delivery by Maternal Request (with Dr. Carol Kingdon).


Funding and research collaborations

  • Six studentships, three as ESRC CASE awards, and three supported by direct NHS funding. (2001 to present)
  • Mixed method study of Women’s choice and Caesarean Section, funded by the National Health Service (2000-6)
  • The Management and Treatment of Acute Alcoholic Liver Disease, supported by the National Health Service (2003-5)
  • Public health and training local citizens in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, in collaboration with a local charity (1999-2003)
  • Evaluation of sicknesss absence policy and practices, funded by HMRC Land Registry (1999). 


Current Teaching

I direct and lecture on the undergraduate first year course, Gender and Women's Studies 101. I co-convene and teach 2 undergradute courses: Feminism and Social Change and Gender, Sexuality and Society. I am also the Sociology Undergraduate Departmental Personal Tutor. I and the Gender and Women's Studies MA Director and I convene the MA module in Independent Study in Gender and Women's Studies. I have co-developed and teach an innovative intensive MA module and Summer School in Feminist Technoscience Studies. I contribute a session on Feminist Epistemologies to a Faculty module for postgraduate students titled Philosophy of the Social Sciences.


Teaching experience

Doctoral Workshops: I have taught at several doctoral summer schools and teaching workshops including Science Studies Summer School, Prague, Czech Republic (March, 2005), Linköping University, Sweden, Medicine, Technologies and Practices (November, 2003), Health, Bodies and Medicine, Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, Norway, (June 2002), Bodies, Medicine and Health, Centre for the Sociology of Innovation, L’Ecole des Mines, Paris, France (May 2001).

Undergraduate: I have developed and taught an array of undergraduate courses, including on study skills. I contributed to the University Effective Learning Programme for many years. 

Postgraduate TeachingMA For 6 years I convened and taught the core module for the Women’s Studies MA programme Doing Feminist Research. I obtained ESRC and AHRC recognition for Women's Studies MA and MRes programmes. I co-developed the long standing MA in Science and Technology Studies and for 10 years I was jointly responsible for the core module, Science, Technology and Society, and for an option module, Technologies in Health and Medicine. In 2008/9 I convened and taught the Sociology MA and Gender and Women's Studies core MA module Gender, Sex and Bodies.

Research Student Teaching: I am an experienced PhD supervisor having supervised 2 MPhil students and 15 PhD students to successful completion. I currently supervise 5 PhD students. I have also worked with 6 visiting research students in recent years.

Examining Duties: I have acted as External examiner for 1 MPhil Theses and 7 PhD theses and Internal examiner for 1 MPhil and 10 PhD theses. I have chaired numerous viva examinations.

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