Dr Sarah Burch

Director of Research & Scholarship

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education

Department:Leadership and Management Staff

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Health, social care and medical innovation

Sarah’s main areas of expertise are older people, health policy and ageing.

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Before joining academia, Sarah worked in a range of public sector organisations, focusing on housing, social care and health. She worked principally with older and disabled people in different settings.

Since joining Anglia Ruskin University, Sarah has held a number of roles, including Head of Department. She now works across our faculty, promoting research and supporting doctoral students.

Research interests

  • Ageing
  • Social policy
  • Health
  • Childhood studies
  • Social inclusion

Sarah's work now focuses mainly on ageing and social policy, with a broader focus on health policy. She has a wide interest in several policy areas, including well-being, childhood studies and social inclusion. A common theme is the way that social groups and conditions are problematised, alongside the consequences for their experiences.

Areas of research supervision

  • Ageing
  • Health policy
  • Social policy
  • Health assessment
  • Narrative analysis

Sarah has supervised eight doctoral students to completion. She currently supervises students undertaking doctorates and professional doctorates in subjects including:

  • Volunteering and the Big Society
  • Identity and domiciliary care services
  • Foundation degrees
  • Experiences of carers, patients and nursing staff in PPCI
  • Nursing recruitment and gender
  • Assessment of suicide risk
  • Assessment of MS in routine clinical practice
  • Successful communities
  • Anti-social behaviour in emergency departments
  • Women at risk of prostitution
  • Moral regulation and gender in alcohol use
  • Child labour and street trading in Nigeria


Sarah has taught across a range of social policy areas at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level. She now focuses mainly on supervision and training for doctoral students.


  • Phd, thesis entitled Narrative and Negotiation in Structured Interviewing with Older People, Anglia Ruskin University
  • BA Arts and Social Sciences, Open University

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow, the Higher Education Academy

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • 2014: Dementia Buddies, SEPT
  • 2010: Volunteers in Child Protection, CSV
  • 2006-7: Evaluation of older people’s participation in a reference group, Age Concern
  • 2002-5: Evaluation of Healthy Living Initiative in East Cambs
  • 2004-6: Study of palliative care at Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Selected recent publications

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Sadler, K., Akister, J. and Burch, S., 2014. Do factors associated with ‘Young People Not Being in Education, Employment or Training’, apply to the demographics of an area rural deprivation? A case study of Fenland in the UK. International Social Work, DOI: 10.1177/0020872813515010. Online version available at http://isw.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/03/27/0020872813515010.

Burch, S., 2014. Cultural and anthropological studies, In Naidoo, J, and Wills, J. (Eds.). Health Studies (3rd edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Sadler, K., Akister, J. and Burch, S., 2011. Risk Factors Associated with Becoming NEET: A review of the literature applied to the demographics of the Fenland area. Report for Cambridgeshire County Council.

Scourfield, P. and Burch, S., 2010. Ethical considerations when involving older people in public service participation processes. Ethics & Social Welfare, 4(3), pp.236-253.

Trowler, P. (revised and updated by Burch, S.), 2008. Communication and the media, In: Haralambos, M. and Holborn, M. Sociology: Themes and Perspectives. London: Collins Education.

Burch, S., 2005. The roles of patients and professionals in primary care and public health. In: Holborn, M. (Ed.). Developments in Sociology: An annual review  (volume 21). Harlow: Causeway Press/Pearson Education, pp.21-38.

Hu, M., Moore, S. and Burch, S., 2005. Final Report: Evaluation of Healthy Living, East Cambridgeshire. Cambridge: Anglia Ruskin University/ New Opportunities Fund.

Burch, S., 2004. Story telling in structured interviewing. British Society of Gerontology 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting, ‘Challenging Perceptions of Later Life’.

Burch, S. and Borland, C., 2001. Collaboration, facilities and communities in day care services for older people. Health and Social Care in the Community, 9(1), pp.19-30.

Burch, S., Longbottom, J. ,McKay, M., Borland, C. and Prevost, T., 2000. The Huntingdon day hospital trial: secondary outcome measures. Clinical Rehabilitation, 14, pp.447-453.

Burch, S., Longbottom, J., McKay, M., Borland, C. and Prevost, T., 1999. A randomized controlled trial of day hospital and day centre therapy. Clinical Rehabilitation, 13, pp.105-112.