Dr Edward Tolhurst

Senior Lecturer

School of Health and Social Care

I am a researcher in the field of dementia, ageing and informal care.

I teach at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

  • Vice-Chair of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network on Ageing in Europe.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Ageing and Mental Health - Staffordshire University

  • PG Cert in Higher and Professional Education - Staffordshire University

  • MA in Social Research - University of Warwick

  • BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy - University of Liverpool

Research interests

My particular research focus is the experience of dementia and how this is shaped by relationships, social location and sociocultural factors.

Further academic interests include sociological theory, the social epistemology of qualitative research, and the philosophy of social science.

I am a member of the School of Health and Social Care research ethics committee.

Enterprise and commercial interests

In April 2016, I convened the 5th International PhD Workshop of the ESA Ageing in Europe Network, hosted by The University of Chester.


I teach on research modules across the School of Health and Social Care. I also lead the following modules:

Dementia Awareness
Research and Dissertation
Leadership and Management
Extended Study

Leadership Role in Quality, Innovation and Change
Risk, Decision-Making and Uncertainty
Research Methodology and Methods

I am currently supervising two doctoral students and have supervised one doctorate to completion.



Tolhurst, E. & Weicht, B. (2018) Unyielding Selflessness: Relational Negotiations, dementia and care. Journal of Aging Studies, 47: 32-38.

Tolhurst, E. et al. (2018) Is Living Well with Dementia a Credible Aspiration for Spousal Carers? Health Sociology Review, doi.org/10.1080/14461242.2018.1475249 [online before print].

Tolhurst, E., Weicht, B. & Kingston, P. (2017) Narrative Collisions, Sociocultural Pressures and Dementia: The relational basis of personhood reconsidered. Sociology of Health and Illness, 39(2): 212-226.

Tolhurst, E. & Weicht, B. (2017) Preserving Personhood: The strategies of men negotiating the experience of dementia. Journal of Aging Studies, 40: 29-35.

Tolhurst, E. (2016) The Burgeoning Interest in Young Onset Dementia: Redressing the balance or reinforcing ageism? International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 10(2): 9-29.

Tolhurst, E., Bhattacharyya, S. & Kingston, P. (2014) Young Onset Dementia: the impact of emergent age-based factors upon personhood. Dementia, 13(2): 193-206.

Tolhurst, E. (2014) The NHS Research Governance Process: A researcher’s experience. The Journal of New Writing in Health and Social Care. 1(1): 23-33.

Tolhurst, E. & Kingston, P. (2013) Understanding the Experience of Dementia: Utilising the theoretical insights of ‘status passage’. Social Theory & Health, 11(2): 175–193.

Tolhurst, E. (2012) Grounded Theory Method: Sociology's quest for exclusive items of inquiry. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(3), Art. 26.

Conference presentations

ESA Research Network on Ageing in Europe, 4th Mid-term Conference – Brno, Czech Republic: ‘Unyielding Selflessness: Strategic interaction and the negotiation of care relationships’ (September 2018).

13th European Sociological Association Conference – Athens: ‘Anti-reductionist sociology as a basis for dementia studies’ (September 2017).

23rd Nordic Congress of Gerontology – Tampere, Finland: ‘Stoical acceptance and active endeavour: the strategies of men negotiating the experience of dementia’ (June 2016).

International Institute of Qualitative Methodology, 15th Qualitative Methods Conference - Glasgow: ‘Qualitative inquiry and the sociological imagination: narrative collisions, sociocultural pressures and dementia’ (May 2016).

10th UK Dementia Congress - Telford: ‘The experiential impacts of cognitive function tests upon men with dementia and their carers’ (November, 2015).

12th European Sociological Association Conference – Prague: ‘“Sod tomorrow”: the perspectives of dementia carers on making plans for the future’ (September 2015).

ESA Research Network - Ageing in Europe, 2nd Mid-term Conference – Klagenfurt, Austria: ‘The burgeoning focus on young onset dementia: redressing the balance or reflecting ageism?’ (September 2014).

ESFR, 7th Annual Congress – Madrid: Invited Symposium (coordinator and presenter) ‘Dementia and the family: developing a textured relational framework’, with Benbow, S., Hellström, I. & Lovatt, M. (September 2014).

QHR, 19th Annual Conference - Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: ‘Joint interviews and research into the experience of dementia’ (October, 2013).

Top 250 Young University

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Top 15 for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020