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Dr Sam Murphy

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Head of Health & Social Care
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
  • Health and Social Care
  • sam.murphy

Professional biography

I joined the Open University in June 2010 to work on K260, Death and dying which I now lead.  Over the past year I co-chaired the redevelopment of K101, An introduction to health and social care and am leading its first presentation which started in October 2014. I am now co-leading the reconfiguration of K827: Leading healthcare improvements

I am co-convenor of the Brish Sociological Association's Human Reproduction Study Group and am chair of the OU's Birth and Death research group.  My specific interest in the area of death and dying is pregnancy loss and my ESRC-funded doctoral research, undertaken at the University of Surrey, was a sociological exploration of parental experiences of stillbirth.  I am also a member of the Association for the Study of Death and Society and the British Sociological Association.

In my spare time I am treasurer of North Herts Sands - a grass-roots support group for parents whose baby died at, or around the time of birth. 

Research interests

All forms of reproductive loss

Teaching interests

Death and dying, sociology of health and illness, communication.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Birth & Death Research GroupGroupFaculty of Health and Social Care


Externally funded projects

Willen Hospice PhD co-funding for issues related to the end of life in MK

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Oct/201630/Sep/2019Willen Hospice
What is the role of the environment and culture of the hospice in MK that means that people choose this over dying at home?


Learning from deaths: Parents’ Active Role and ENgagement in The review of their Stillbirth/perinatal death (the PARENTS 1 study) (2017-10-02)
Bakhbakhi, Danya; Siassakos, Dimitrios; Burden, Christy; Jones, Ffion; Yoward, Freya; Redshaw, Maggie; Murphy, Samantha and Storey, Claire
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 17, Article 333
The psychological, social, and economic impact of stillbirth on families (2017-06)
Murphy, Samantha and Cacciatore, Joanne
Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, 22(3) (pp. 129-134)
Case study: what supports students to improve their grades? (2016-06-03)
Sieminski, Sandy; Messenger, Julie and Murphy, Sam
Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 31(2) (pp. 141-151)
Analytics4Action Evaluation Framework: A Review of Evidence-Based Learning Analytics Interventions at the Open University UK (2016-01-19)
Rienties, Bart; Boroowa, Avinash; Cross, Simon; Kubiak, Chris; Mayles, Kevin and Murphy, Sam
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, Article 2(1)
Women's experiences of termination for fetal abnormality in a United Kingdom hospital setting: a systematic review protocol (2015)
Newton, Victoria Louise and Murphy, Sam
JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, 13(9) (pp. 159-167)
By the way knowledge: grandparents, stillbirth and neonatal death (2014-09)
Murphy, Sam and Jones, Kerry
Human Fertility, 17(3) (pp. 210-213)
Stillbirth and loss: family practices and display (2013-02-28)
Murphy, Sam and Thomas, Hilary
Sociological Research Online, 18(1)
Finding the positive in loss: stillbirth and its potential for parental empowerment (2013-01)
Murphy, Samantha Louise
Bereavement Care, 31(3) (pp. 98-103)
Reclaiming a moral identity: stillbirth, stigma and ‘moral mothers’ (2012)
Murphy, Samantha
Midwifery, 28(4) (pp. 476-480)
Lost Futures: Stillbirth and the Social Construction of Grief (2010-06-26)
Murphy, S. L.
ISBN : 9783838345840 | Publisher : Lambert Academic Press | Published : Saarbrücken, Germany
Bereaved parents: a contradiction in terms? (2013-01)
Murphy, Samantha
In: Earle, Sarah; Komaromy, Carol and Layne, Linda eds. Understanding Reproductive Loss: Perspectives on Life, Death and Fertility. (pp. 117-128)
ISBN : 978-1-4094-7241-4 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Farnham
Who shouts the loudest? The demographics of research into child bereavement (2015)
Murphy, Sam
In : Death, Dying and Disposal 12 (2-6 September 2015, “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia, Romania)
The Good Stillbirth (2014)
Murphy, Sam
In : Canadian Sociological Association Annual Meeting 2014 (26-30 May 2014, Brock University, St Catherines, Canada)


Dr Hannah Marston and her book Mobile e-Health

Book published and Keynote presentations in 2018

2018 seems to be turning into a busy year for Dr Hannah R. Marston, Research Fellow in the Health & Wellbeing Priority Research Area (H&W PRA). Hannah has recently published Mobile e-Health with colleagues from Swansea University and the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada; and Hannah will be a keynote presenter at two conferences this year.

10th January 2018
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