PhD Studentship - Preventing gambling-related harms among secondary school aged children:evaluation and development of school-based training materials

Gambling has recently been identified as a public health issue. Although the legal age for gambling in the UK is 18 years, a growing body of evidence indicates that adolescents are not immune to the risks of gambling. These digitally enabled gambling experiences have increased exposure, availability and accessibility of gambling activities, rendering adolescents more vulnerable to problem gambling behaviours. This is particularly concerning as early exposure to gambling content is linked to high susceptibility to later problem gambling behaviours, and adverse developmental outcomes in adulthood. 

Given the harms caused by gambling addiction and the lack of services available for treating gambling-related harm, prevention initiatives are urgently needed. EPIC Risk Management, a gambling risk management consultancy, have recently started delivering lived experience facilitation (talks about the dangers of gambling-related harm, delivered by former problem gamblers) to secondary school pupils aged 14-18 years in schools nationwide. However, although this lived experience facilitation has been perceived positively by both teachers and pupils, it has not been assessed systematically.  

Therefore, this project aims to:

  • Evaluate the lived experience facilitation in terms of its long-term effectiveness in enhancing awareness about gambling-related harms among secondary school pupils, 
  • Design a training package that is deliverable by teachers in secondary school PSHE lessons, and 
  • Test the teacher training package in a pilot randomized controlled trial. 


1.To evaluate the lived experience facilitation, we will ask secondary school students to complete questionnaires about their satisfaction with the training and knowledge of gambling-related harms, as well as what constitutes gambling.  We will not ask about levels of gambling as it is illegal for children aged under 18 to gamble in the UK. This data will be analysed quantitatively using JASP  

2. We will run focus groups and co-design sessions with both secondary school students and PSHE teachers who would be required to deliver the training on gambling-related harms. This data will be analysed qualitatively.  

3. In the pilot randomised controlled trial, we will collect quantitative data before and after the teacher-delivered lived experience facilitation.  As it is a pilot study, the data will be analysed descriptively. 

This is a fully-funded PhD studentship which includes a stipend of £18,622 each year to support your living costs.

Key information

Next start date:

22 January 2024


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


36 months

Entry requirements:

Outstanding academic potential as measured normally by either a 1st class honours degree or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA), or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent). For more information check out our full entry requirements