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Events held during the centenary year

We marked the centenary year with a wide variety of events - some formal, and some very informal, and over the course of the year, literally thousands of people took part. Some were new to The University of Edinburgh - visitors and conference and seminar guests. Others were students, staff members, colleagues and supporters (past and present) - our community is a lively and indeed international one.

This webpage gaves a flavour of the events that took place.

"In conversation with…" seminars


We ran four "in conversation with" seminars throughout the year where an alumnus/alumna/staff member from one generation interviewed an alumnus/alumna/staff member from another. These events were informal, and attendees were invited to bring questions, observations and any artefacts that were willing to share with others and with us - old exam papers, dissertations, scrolls, badges - whatever!

Our first event (Viv Cree "in conversation with" Wendy Paterson) was on Wednesday 29th November 2017, and focused on practice learning developments over the years. At the second, Ruth Forbes was "in conversation with" Judith Brearley, where they talked amongst other things about developments in psycho-dynamic social work. Our third event was on Monday 26th March 2018, when Gary Clapton was "in conversation with" Jane Aldgate, a key architect of the Scottish Government's Getting it Right for Every Child policy.

Our last event - 26th September 2018 - John Devaney "in conversation with" Viv Cree. This event looked back on Viv's 40 year connection with the University of Edinburgh, from student to practice teacher and later staff member. It also marked her official retirement from the university. The event also marked the contribution of Vivienne Triseliotis (nee Laughton) to social work education at the University of Edinburgh. Vivienne worked as a student supervisor at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in the mid 1950s before becoming a lecturer at Edinburgh, a post she held until 1970. Vivienne continued thereafter to support her husband, John Triseliotis, in his work.

Quiz night


The Centenary year kicked off with a quiz night hosted by the Social Work students on 4th October 2017 at 7pm in the Loft Bar, Teviot. All the questions related to social work history and some were extremely challenging! This was a great night for socialising, getting to know social work students from other years and finding out more about the centenary project - 40 students and 3 staff came and had a great time. Thanks to Anastasija, Kathryn, Nicola and Megan for organising this.

World Social Work Day Event

On 20th March 2018, Celebrating 50 years of Social Work in Scotland - Professor Viv Cree gave a keynote on the Social Work (Scotland) Act. Check out the powerpoint here.


European Social Work Research Conference

This conference, organised by the European Social Work Research Association, was hosted by Edinburgh University from 18th-20th April 2018. The theme of the conference was 'Social work in transition: challenges for social work research in a changing local and global world'. The conference website provides details about programme and speakers here.

Social Work History Network, based at King's College London, held a pre-conference event in conjunction with the ESWRA History Special Interest Group in Edinburgh on 18th April 2018 on the theme of university settlements history. You can find out more about the network by visiting its website.

Book launch - Social Work in a Changing Scotland,  edited by Viviene Cree and Mark Smith and published by Routledge, was launched at the April conference.

SW book

Scottish Conference for Newly-Qualified Social Workers and Final Year Students

Entitled ‘Building the Future - Shaping our Social Work Identity’, this conference was held at the University on 31st May 2018. Delivered in partnership with the Higher Education Heads of Social Work Group,  Iriss, Scottish Social Services Council, the Scottish Association of Social Workers, Social Work Scotland and the Scottish Government, the one-day event provided an opportunity for newly qualified social workers to come together.  An audio recording of the morning speeches was created by Iriss and is available at

Honorary Degree

Professor Joyce Lishman, a former student of Edinburgh and retired Head of Social Work at the Robert Gordon University and editor of the Research Highlights in Social Work book series, was honoured by the University for her contribution to social work education and social work with the Degree of Doctor honoris causa at the 9th July 2018 degree ceremony. Here is the Principal, Professor Peter Mathieson, with Professors Lishman and Cree, as Joyce signs the official record.

joyce lishman

Joint University Council for Social Studies Centenary

The JUC(SS) began in 1918, with the aim of promoting and standardising the Social Studies courses that were emerging at the time at British universities. Today it has two committees - Social Work Education and Public Administration. The JUC marked its centenary with an event in London on 18th October 2018. Professor Viv Cree was one of the keynote speakers - her powerpoint is available here.

Chrystal Macmillan Lecture

The last formal event in the centenary year was the Chrystal Macmillan Lecture, given by Professor Lena Dominelli from the University of Stirling on 14th November 2018. Lena's lecture was entitled: 'Social Justice Challenges for the 21st Century: Green Social Work Perspectives.'

This is her recent book on the topic:

Green Social Work: From Environmental Crises to Environmental Justice

14 March 2017

Website launch and party

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26 September 2017

Centenary Launch: Social Work Education - Looking Back, Looking Forward

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11 November 2017

Experiencing Social Work Exhibition

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