Dr Edward Tolhurst

Senior Lecturer

School of Health, Science and Wellbeing

I am a Senior Lecturer, and researcher in the field of dementia, ageing and care. My 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 based in the Postgraduate team and course leader for the MSc in Medical Education. I also lead the University’s Step Up to Master’s programme. In addition, I am Chair of Research Ethics within the School of Health and Social Care, and accordingly member of the University’s Research Ethics Committee.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Coordinator – European Sociological Association’s Research Network on Ageing in Europe
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Health Studies, Staffordshire University
  • PgCert 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

  • Dementia and care
  • Ageing, dignity, and safety
  • Patient experience

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.


  • Course leader – Postgraduate awards in Medical Education
  • Leader – Step Up to Master’s
  • Module Leader – Master’s Dissertations
  • I lead further modules at Postgraduate and Undergraduate levels, covering Research, Leadership, and Risk and Decision-Making.
  • I supervise doctoral students
  • I review/examine PhD work, and Chair PhD vivas



Wells, A. & Tolhurst, E. (2021) In-hours Acute Home Visits by Advanced Nurse Practitioners in Primary Care: a qualitative study. British Journal of Nursing, [forthcoming].

Hall, M. & Tolhurst, E. (2020) Supporting Self-Management of Type 2 Diabetes within a Primary Care Setting. Journal of Diabetes Nursing. 24(5).

Tolhurst, E., Carey, M., Weicht, B. & Kingston, K. (2019) Is Living Well with Dementia a Credible Aspiration for Spousal Carers? Health Sociology Review, 28(1): 54-68.

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

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. & 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, 5th Midterm Conference – Jyväskylä, Finland (delivered online): ‘Navigating the Impacts of Dementia: The experience of male spousal carers’ (January 2021).

ESA Research Network on Ageing in Europe, 4th Midterm 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 on Ageing in Europe, 2nd Midterm Conference – Klagenfurt, Austria: ‘The burgeoning focus on young onset dementia: redressing the balance or reflecting ageism?’ (September 2014).

European Society on Family Relations, 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).

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

UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021