Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school



Staff from across the University and outwith teach on the degree and undertake supervision of dissertations. These and other staff may be available for dissertation supervision.

Dr Katie Cebula
Katie is a lecturer in Developmental Psychology in the Institute for Education, Community and Society, in the School of Education. She teaches courses on child development, autism and developmental disabilities. Her research interests focus on: socio-cognitive development in children with Down’s syndrome and fragile X syndrome; psychosocial adjustment in siblings of children with autism; experiences of families implementing intensive interventions for children with autism.
For further information, please see Katie Cebula's webpage.

Dr Gary Clapton
Gary is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work. He is a qualified social worker and his work experience has covered counselling, generic social work and practice teaching in London and Edinburgh in the statutory and voluntary sector. His Masters was in Social Policy and Sociology and his PhD was in Social Work. His teaching interests include work with children and families, adoption and fostering, fathers and child welfare and how students best learn. His research interests include fatherhood, after-adoption issues such as the outcome of reunions between birth relatives and adopted people, the identity needs of those who have been long-term/permanently fostered and how student learning is best integrated. He is course convener for years one and two of the BSc in Social Work, and teaches across the four years of the BSc and the two years of the Masters in Social Work. 
For further information, please see Gary Clapton's webpage.

Professor Viviene Cree
Viviene is Professor of Social Work Studies. She is a qualified social worker and community worker and worked for 16 years as a practitioner before coming to the University of Edinburgh in 1992. Viv's research interests lie in historical research, research on social work education and practice and research with children. She has worked on two research studies to date with children and young people: the first with children with a parent with HIV and the second with young carers. She is currently teaching a course on Reflexivity in Qualitative Research.
For further information, please see Viviene Cree's webpage.

Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley
Sarah is Professor of Medical and Family Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, where she has worked since 1990.  She is based in the Division of Community Health Sciences (Public Health Sciences section) within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and also at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR), where she is one of its co-directors.  She has been conducting research in the sociology of health and illness and family sociology for many years, mostly employing qualitative methods. Her research interests include sociological aspects of genetics and health; public engagement in science; young people, children and health; families, relationships and health.  She is also involved in teaching undergraduate medical students and postgraduate public health research students; she also supervises several PhD students.  She is a member of the Human Genetics Commission, the UK Government’s advisory body on new developments in human genetics and social, legal and ethical issues.
For further information, please see Sarah Cunningham-Burley's webpage.

Dr Emma Davidson
Emma is a Research Fellow in Sociology, School of Social and Political Science. The focus of her research is on young people’s identities, agency and socio-spatial relationships. As well as developing ethnographic methods for working with young people, her current project for the National Centre for Research Methods is examining the feasibility of ‘scaling up’ qualitative data, using secondary data from several qualitative longitudinal studies. Her forthcoming research, for The Leverhulme Trust, will work with children and young people to explore the role of public libraries, and their contribution to social inclusion, community building and civic engagement.
For further information, see Emma Davidson’s staff page.

Professor John M Davis
Professor Davis is Professor of Childhood Inclusion at Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh.  His research has examined the development of participatory methods in childhood and focussed on understanding children and young people’s perspectives of inclusion, social justice and integrated working. His major concern has been to develop contemporary and innovative examples of inclusion that have been utilised by children, families and professionals to change children’s services. His research has also examined international approaches to multi-professional working and increased our understanding of the factors that foster creative and innovative learning. His work has been utilised in major policy development in a range of national and international governmental and organisational contexts.
For further information, please see John Davis' webpage.

Dr Deborah Fry
Deborah Fry is a Lecturer in Child Protection at the University of  Edinburgh.  At the University, Deborah undertakes primary research to measure the magnitude of violence against children and peer victimisation, barriers and enablers to appropriate response systems including in school settings and the effectiveness of existing interventions. In 2012, Deborah secured a prestigious  Marie Curie Fellowship to longitudinally  examine the knowledge, attitudes and  perceived self-efficacy of new teachers  in responding to issues of bullying and  safeguarding in the classroom.  In addition, Deborah is the Principal Investigator on a multi-country study exploring the drivers of violence affecting children and a co-investigator on two studies exploring identification and response related to child protection and disability.
For further information, please see Debi Fry's webpage

Dr Ian Fyfe
Ian is Head of Institute for Education Community and Society and Lecturer based at Moray House School of Education. He has a professional background in youth work, community-based education, learning and development with over 20 years practical experience based in Scotland, USA and Australia. His teaching and research interests include youth work practice, youth studies, education for citizenship, youth transitions and young people’s political participation. Ian teaches on the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in community education and the MSc Education. Current research projects include an investigation of the impact of community-based youth work in Scotland and young people’s engagement in music subcultures.
For further information, please see Ian Fyfe's webpage.

Dr Jeni Harden
Jeni Harden is Senior Lecturer in Social Science and Health in the Centre for Population Health Sciences. She has carried out research on children's and family health in a number of areas: parenting children with chronic illness; parent and child negotiation around everyday risks; the construction of young children's emotional wellbeing in schools; an exploration of how families reconcile work and family life over time; low income parents' food practices with young children; young people's experiences of information giving around epilepsy risks; caring for a child with type 1 diabetes.
For further information, please see Jeni Harden's webpage

Professor Lynn Jamieson
Lynn is Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR). She researches personal relationships, identity and social change across the life course, often focusing on childhood and young adulthood. Recent publications include Jamieson, L. and Highet, G. 'Troubling Loss: Children’s Experiences of Major Disruptions in Family Life' in Ribbens McCarthy, J., Hooper, C.-A. and Gillies, V. (eds.) 2013 Family Troubles?  Exploring Changes and Challenges in the Lives of Children and Young People: Policy Press, 135-150 and Jamieson L. and Milne S. 'Children’s and young people’s relationships, relational processes and social change: reading across worlds’ Children’s Geographies 2012, 10, 3, 265–278. Historical work includes Jamieson and Toynbee, Country Bairns Edinburgh University Press, 1992.
For further information, see Lynn Jamieson's webpage.

Dr Kristina Konstantoni
Kristina is a Lecturer in Childhood Studies/Programme Director of the BA Childhood Practice/Co-Director of Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. Her main research interests are in children’s social identities and attitudes, diversity, equity/fairness/social justice and young children’s rights and participation, and how the latter are taken forward in educational policy and practice. 
For further information, see Kristina Konstantoni's webpage

Dr Marlies Kustatscher
Marlies is a Lecturer in Childhood Studies at the Moray House School of Education. Her research interests include children and young people’s social identities and inequalities, children’s rights and participation, and children’s emotions and relationships. She also has a particular interest in ethical issues arising in research. Marlies has experience of working with children and young people as a support worker and social worker in Italy and Scotland.
For further information, see Marlies Kustatscher's webpage

Dr Gillean McCluskey
Gillean is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Head of the Institute for Education, Community and Society. She is based in the Centre for Research in Education, Inclusion and Diversity, where she is also joint Deputy Director.  She has recently completed research funded by the Welsh Government to examine exclusion from school across Wales and provision for excluded pupils. She is currently working on a smaller project exploring learner achievement in special schools. She is a qualified teacher with experience in mainstream and specialised settings. She teaches, researches and writes on issues associated with restorative approaches in education, conflict resolution, student voice, ‘troubled and troublesome youth’, discipline, exclusion and marginalisation in education
For further information, see Gillean McCluskey's webpage.

Dr Ingela Naumann
Ingela is Lecturer in Social Policy in the School of Social and Political Science. She is also Deputy Director of the Graduate School and Programme Director for the MSc in Comparative Public Policy. She is currently working on an international review on early childhood learning and care for the Scottish Government; she is also involved in a large EU-funded research project examining childcare arrangements across Europe. Her research interests lie in the comparative history and politics of welfare states with special reference to early years and education policy, and work/family reconciliation issues. Ingela convenes and teaches regularly courses on European Social Policy, on gender-, family- and child-related policy issues and on comparative and qualitative research methods.
For further information, see Ingela Naumann's webpage.

Seamus Prior
Seamus is Co-Director of Counselling and Psychotherapy in the School of Health in Social Science. He has a practice background in counselling children and young people who have experienced abuse. His research interests include therapeutic practice with children and young people, abuse and trauma, gender and sexuality. Epistemological and methodological interests include concepts of discourse, power and subjectivity. Some of his papers include: (2012) 'Young People's Process of Engagement in School Counselling', Counselling and Psychotherapy Research 12(3), (2012) 'Overcoming Stigma: How Young People Position Themselves as Counselling Service Users', Sociology of Health and Illness, 34(6) and (2012) '"Pink at the heart of it": the containment of vulnerability by a man and a boy in therapy for sexual abuse', Psychodynamic Practice 18 (2).   
For further information, see Seamus Prior's webpage.

Professor John Ravenscroft
John is Professor of Childhood Visual Impairment in the Moray House School of Education and very much interested in the nature of representation and the evolutionary process of cognition (of those that can and cannot see).
For further information, see John Ravenscroft's webpage

Dr Autumn Roesch-Marsh
 Autumn is a qualified social worker and experienced researcher with a particular interest in the experiences of looked after children and young people.  She teaches on the topics of Social Work in Communities, Assessment in Social Work, Decision Making and Empathy.  She has recently published a book on Therapeutic Child Care.  She continues to research looked after children and has a particular interest in how the everyday care provided by residential workers, foster carers, nursery workers and parents can promote recovery for children and young people with an experience of trauma and abuse.
For further information, see Autumn Roesch-Marsh's webpage.

Professor Kay Tisdall
Kay is Professor in Childhood Policy and Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships. She has worked in both academic and in policy, having previously been Director of Policy & Research at Children in Scotland (the national membership agency for organisations and professionals working with children and their families). Current and recent research projects include information rights for children, theorising children’s participation, and parent-child contact in situations of domestic abuse. She is Programme Director of the MSc/Diploma in Childhood Studies.
For further information, see Kay Tisdall's webpage

Dr Jo Williams
Jo is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, School of Health in Social Science. She director of the MSc Psychology of Mental Health (Conversion). As a developmental psychologist her teaching focuses on child psychology in practice and children’s mental health. Her current research interests focus on: child health and mental health; the development of children's perceptions of health and biology;  adolescent development; and children's interactions with animals (including cruelty).
For further information, see Jo William's webpage.