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Sue Westwood



Dr Sue Westwood
BSc (Hons), MSc (Geront), MSc (IntPsych), DipCnsPsych, PGDip (Gender, Sexuality & Human Rights), GDL, PhD (Law), FHEA


Sue is a social gerontologist and a socio-legal scholar.  She has taught undergraduate and postgraduate law at Keele University, and undergraduate law at Coventry University, the Open University, and the Southwest University of Political Science & Law (SWUPL), Chongqing, China. Sue was a visiting scholar at Beasley School of Law, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA (2016) and Emory Law School, Emory University, Atlanta, USA (2015).

I am Programme Leader for the 2-year LLB (Hons) Law (Senior Status) programme; Academic Lead for York Law School's student law journal, York Law Review; and a member of York Law School’s Athena SWAN gender equality steering group and York Law School’s Departmental Research Committee. I am a member/chair of the University of York’s Standing Academic Misconduct Panels.



Sue is both a social gerontologist and a feminist socio-legal scholar, interested in ageing, diversity, and equality in regulatory contexts. She is particularly concerned with the quality of health and social care provided to older people, people with dementia, and those at the end of life.  


Current research projects

  1. Older LGBT+ People and COVID-19: This project, in collaboration with Professor Trish Hafford-Letchfield (University of Strathclyde); and Dr Michael Toze (University of Lincoln), explores the impact of COVID-19 on older LGBT+ people.
  2. Religious Freedoms, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Rights in Older Age Care Spaces.(J.B. Morrell internal funding, £7,467
  3. Developing a good practice guide on LGBT+ people and dementia with Dr Liz Price, University of Hull in collaboration with Jessica Kingsley Press
  4. ESRC ‘Inclusive Ageing’ research grant application under development, with colleagues at the University of Sussex and University of Strathclyde


Selected publications

For a full list of publications see York research database

Sample of books:

  • Westwood, S. (ed) (frth) Death Rights: Regulating the ending of life. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Westwood, S. (ed) (2018). Ageing, Diversity and Equality: Social justice perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge. [Successfully nominated by Routledge for the Knowledge Unlatched Open Access scheme]
  • Westwood, S. (2016) Ageing, Gender and Sexuality: Equality in Later Life. Abingdon: Routledge. [Winner of the Socio Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Early Career Book Prize for 2017]

Sample of book chapters: 

  • Westwood, S. (frth). Embodiment, choice and control at the beginning and ending of life: Paradoxes and contradictions. In S. Westwood (ed) Death Rights: Regulating the endings of life. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Westwood, S. (2020). Older Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People: Socio- legal perspectives on healthcare inequalities in later life. In M.A. Jacob and A. Kirkland (Eds) Research Handbook for Socio-Legal Studies of Medicine and Health, part of Law and Society series directed by Austin Sarat (Amherst, US) and Rosemary Hunter (Queen Mary, London), London: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Bishop, J. A., & Westwood, S. (2018). Trans(gender)/gender-diverse ageing: Possibilities for reframing gendered ageing. In S. Westwood (ed) Ageing, Diversity and Equality: Social justice perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge. 

Sample of journal articles:

  • Westwood, S. (2020). The myth of ‘older LGBT+ ’people: Research shortcomings and policy/practice implications for health/care provision. Journal of Aging Studies, 55,
  • Westwood, S., Willis, P., Fish, J., Hafford-Letchfield, T., Semlyen, J., King, J., Beach, B., Almack, K., Kneale, D., Toze, M. and Becares, L. (2020) Older LGBT+ Health Inequalities: Setting a research agenda. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, doi: 10.1136/jech-2019-213068

Recent reports:

External activities


Other Activities

  • Reviewer for: Ageing and Society; The British Journal of Sociology; The Sociological Review; NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research; Canadian Journal for Law and Society; Housing Studies; The Journal of Nursing Ethics; Social Theory and Health; Social Science and Medicine; Health Promotion Journal of Australia; Culture, Health and Sexuality; BPS Psychology of Sexualities Review; and Journal of Academic Development and Education (JADE).
  • Peer reviewer for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Routledge and Springer.



I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teach on the following modules:


  • LLB Introduction to Law and Society (Year 1)
  • LLB Foundations in Law (Obligations) (Years 1 and 2)
  • LLB Dissertation (Year 3)

I have designed, and am Module Leader for, the third-year LLB module, Law, Gender and Sexuality (LAW00064H), which is studied by both Law and Social Policy undergraduates.


I am Module Leader for the postgraduate law optional module, Law, Gender and Sexuality (LAW00072M) available to students on York Law School’s LLM LawLLM International Human Rights Law and Practice, and LLM Legal and Political Theory 

PhD Dissertations

I welcome inquiries from students interested in completing PhDs in my research areas.

Contact details

Dr Sue Westwood
York Law School

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 5874