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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Jackie Gulland

Jackie Gulland
Dr Jackie Gulland
Lecturer in Social Work
2.09 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 650 8256
Research Interests
Rights, Law and Regulation, welfare systems, gender and public policy, disability, Social History, Socio-legal, Social care


My research concerns the broad topic of social welfare and the ways in which service users understand rights to social welfare.  I have carried out research in the fields of social security, social care, disability and ageing, using a variety of qualitative methods. 

I have particular interests in gender, disability, age and socio-legal approaches to welfare rights and decision making.

My current research is historical and looks at the ways in which social security benefits for people who are unable to work have developed in the UK since 1911.  This research, funded through a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, considers how concepts of (in)capacity for work have been constructed over a hundred years of the 20th century, the formal and unwritten conditions attached to claims and the extent to which these conditions been gendered. Using archive material relating to appeals against refusals of benefit, my research looks at who made the decisions, what evidence was used and how decisions reflected existing ideas about men and women in the workplace. 

For more information on this project, see my research blog

My academic career is grounded in my work experience.  Before entering academia, I worked in the voluntary and local government sector for fifteen years as a welfare rights adviser, information officer and trainer. Since then I have worked in higher education, teaching on a variety of courses ranging from introductory social sciences to post-graduate supervision, at the Universities of Edinburgh, Stirling, Strathclyde and at Edinburgh Napier and the Open University.   I have taught students from a wide range of backgrounds and I am committed to widening participation in higher education and to making the social sciences accessible to everyone.  I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

I am a honorary Public Engagement Fellow in the Beltane Public Engagement Network and am making links with local organisations to share the findings of my research.

I am a member of the Social Policy Association, the Socio-Legal Studies Association and the British Sociological Association.  I have served on the editorial board of the journal Social Policy and Society.

I am a member of the Disabilty Research Edinburgh network - see our webpage here Disability Research Edinburgh

Follow me on twitter @JackieGulland


Articles in peer-reviewed journals

Gulland, J. (forthcoming 2017) 'Working while incapable to work?  Changing concepts of permitted work in the UK disability benefit system' in Disability Studies Quarterly

Gulland, J. (forthcoming 2017) 'All under one umbrella? The Family Guide to National Insurance 1948' in Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly

Gulland, J. (2013) 'Extraordinary Housework: women and claims for sickness benefit in the early 20th century', Women's History Magazine 71, Spring 2013, 23-30.

Open access copy available on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Gulland, J. (2012), "Fitting themselves to become wage-earners": Conditionality and incapacity for work in the early 20th century', Journal of Social Security Law, 119, 2, 51-70.  Article available through the Westlaw database

Open access copy available on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Gulland, J. (2011) 'Ticking boxes: understanding decision making in Employment and Support Allowance' in Journal of Social Security Law 18(2) pp69-86.  Article available through the Westlaw database

Open access copy available on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Gulland, J. (2011) 'Taking complaints seriously: the role of informality in complaints about public services' in Social Policy and Society 10 (4), pp483-494.

Open access copy available on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Gulland, J. (2009) 'Independence in complaints procedures: lessons from community care' in Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 31(3), pp59-72.

Open access copy available on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Gulland, J. (2006) 'Second-tier reviews of complaints in health and social care' in Health and Social Care in the Community 14(3), pp206-214. 

Contributions to published books

Gulland, J (2016) 'Accountability for Welfare' in Alcock, P., Haux, T., May, M. and Wright, S. (eds) Student's Companion to Social Policy 5th Edition London: Wiley Blackwell

Gulland, J (2012) 'Accountability for Welfare' in Alcock, P., May, M. and Wright, S. (eds) Student's Companion to Social Policy 4th Edition London: Wiley Blackwell

Gulland J. (2010) 'Complaints Procedures and Ombudsmen: current developments in the UK' in Adler, M. (ed) Administrative Justice in Context, Oxford: Hart Publishing

Published research reports

IPSOS MORI and Gulland, J. (2011) Collection of client feedback and outcome information across the CLAO network, Edinburgh, Scottish Legal Aid Board 

Gulland, J (2009) Scoping report on existing research on complaints mechanisms London, Health Professions Council 

MacLardie, J., Murray, L., Sewel, K., Adler, M., Black, S., Halliday, S., Gulland, J. and Mordaunt, E. (2007) Scrutiny and the Public: Qualitative Study of Public Perspectives on Regulation, Audit, Inspection and Complaints Handling of Public Services in Scotland, Edinburgh, Scottish Government 

Adler, M. and Gulland, J. (2003) The Experiences, Perceptions and Expectations of Tribunal Users (literature review for the Lord Chancellor's Department) London, Council on Tribunals.


PhD in Social Policy, University of Edinburgh   

MSc in Social Policy (by research), University of Edinburgh

MSc in Social and Public Policy, University of Edinburgh

Post-graduate Professional Certificate in Youth and Community Work, Aberdeen College of Education 

MA (Hons) Linguistics, University of Edinburgh

Topics interested in supervising

I welcome PhD applicants with interests in topics relating to Social care, Social Security and Disability. I have particular interests in socio-legal approaches to social welfare, history of social welfare and in service users' experiences of welfare.

If you are interested in being supervised by Jackie Gulland, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Social Work; MSc (R) Social Work

Latest Blog Posts

A library and an art gallery: two Blakes in Newcastle 

Daniel Blake and Quentin Blake: what do a fictional character from a hard-hitting, award-winning Ken Loach film and a celebrated children’s book illustrator have in common?.  I found a connection at the Socio-Legal Studies Association annual conference, held this year at … Continue reading →

Published on 13th April 2017 via Constructing incapacity for work researching a century of change in incapacity benefits

Mary Macarthur

I’m delighted to see that Mary Macarthur, who was a campaigner for women’s rights to sickness benefits, has been commemorated today by a blue plaque on her home in London. Information here In her very short life, Mary Macarthur was … Continue reading →

Published on 7th March 2017 via Constructing incapacity for work researching a century of change in incapacity benefits

Being creative with conference presentations

I’ve been a bit lost in book writing lately but I have the chance to do something a little different at a forthcoming conference. I will be going to the Socio-Legal Studies Association conference in Newcastle in April. Incapacity and … Continue reading →

Published on 24th February 2017 via Constructing incapacity for work researching a century of change in incapacity benefits