School of Social and Political Science

Social work profession and social work education



As social work practitioners and educators, our research also focuses on the social work profession itself. We are interested in how gender, race, class, sexuality and ethnicity feature in, and impact upon, social work practice and how social workers can be supported to enhance their practice and their own wellbeing.

We are actively involved in researching social work education itself and how we can best prepare students for entering social work practice, or developing their practice once qualified.

Our research includes the history of social work education and the history of social work at the University of Edinburgh.


  • Social work profession
  • Social work education
  • Social work history
Research staff and PHD students

Phd Students

  • Sarah Rose
  • Sarah Henning
Additional information

Our recent research includes:

  • Autumn Roesch-Marsh on the Scottish Social Services Council
  • Review of Scottish Social Work Education
  • John Devaney on developing quantitative skills for student social workers
  • Mary Mitchell and Jackie Gulland on women in the social work academy
  • Pearse McCusker on self-care and mindfulness for social work practitioners
  • Avril McIvor on the experiences of lesbian and gay social work students
  • Pearse McCusker has carried out research on co-production of social work education with service users
  • Steve Kirkwood, Viv Cree and Eve Mullins contributed research to the 50th anniversary of the Social Work Scotland Act
  • Autumn-Roesch-Marsh is working on an anthology of poetry for newly qualified social workers.

For information about some of our current and recent projects:


Related people and projects