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The impacts of Universal Credit: Researching people’s experiences of claiming and living on Universal Credit


The impacts of Universal Credit: Researching people’s experiences of claiming and living on Universal Credit

What is this research about?

The research aims to understand:

  • What it’s like getting started on Universal Credit
  • What it’s like to live on Universal Credit
  • What effects Universal Credit has on people’s lives, health and wellbeing
  • How Universal Credit affects people over time
  • How experiences differ between Northern England and Scotland

This research is being carried out across Tyne and Wear and the Glasgow city region and hopes to involve about 80 people who are claiming Universal Credit.

Who is doing and funding the research?

This research is part of an Evaluation of the health impacts of Universal Credit: a mixed methods study, which is a 5-year programme of work funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

The team doing this research are local researchers from Newcastle, Northumbria and Glasgow Universities. The team do not work for the DWP or any services that give advice or support to people claiming Universal Credit. Dr Marcia Gibson will be talking to people in Glasgow city region, and Dr Steph Morris will be talking to people in Tyne and Wear.

This part of the research is led by Professor Clare Bambra and Professor Suzanne Moffatt at Newcastle University.

Why is this research important?

We will be showing our findings to policy makers and local and national decision makers. We hope that the findings will raise awareness of the impacts of Universal Credit and that they will be influential in shaping the way that Universal Credit works in the future.

What does taking part involve?

Taking part in the study involves having a conversation with a researcher from our team in-person, on the phone or online. Each conversation takes about one hour and arranged to suit each person.

We will be asking people to take part between January and June 2022. Some people will talk to us more than once (about 6-18 months later) so that we can see how things change for them over time.

Who can take part?

Anyone aged 18 and above who is claiming Universal Credit can take part. We are looking to talk to a range of people who have experience of claiming and living on Universal Credit. This includes all age groups, ethnicities, as well as parents, and people in work and people out of work. We need to have a good balance of people in the study for our findings to be listened to by policy makers. Later in 2022 and early in 2023 we will be interviewing staff who support people claiming Universal Credit.

How do I find out more?

You can find out more about the research and register to take part, by following the link below.

Experiences of Universal Credit (

Please email Dr Steph Morris or Dr Marcia Gibson if you have any questions about the research – details below.

Dr Steph Morris (Tyne & Wear): [email protected]

Dr Marcia Gibson (Glasgow City region): [email protected]

Are you a person claiming Universal Credit and want to be involved in the study?

Please get in touch using the form below. If you end up taking part in the study, you will be given a £20 gift voucher for your time.

Experiences of Universal Credit (

Are you an organisation wishing to help us to contact people on Universal Credit or wishing to be involved in the research?

Please get in touch using the contact details above. You can also dowload our flyer/information sheet for people who you work with, below.