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Our Social Work research areas

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Our Social Work research areas

Our research focuses on the themes of Inequalities, Justice and Power, and Contemporary Professionalism.

Inequalities, Justice and Power

Diversity is a key topic here: social workers engage with people from different and dynamic communities, and research provides a critical examination of services engagement with diversity.

This includes the responses of mental health services to ethnicity, gender and inequalities, and the experiences of often marginalised groups such as vulnerable adults, unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people and children involved with the family justice and care systems.

A developing area of work here is cultural competence – ways of working with people across different cultures, understanding their experiences, and developing strategies to challenge day-to-day injustices.

Contemporary professionalism

This area explores the policy and organisational contexts of social work and the current and future impact of economic and social change on professional practice.

Key topics addressed include:

  • The relationship between practitioners and managers, and between practitioners and other professionals
  • Professional knowledge, particularly the use of critical reflection
  • The pedagogy of professional skills development
  • Decision-making and professional discretion.

A developing area of work is the international aspects of social work practice including comparative research.

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