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Research :: Edinburgh PhDs over time


The work of research students - and particularly those doing theses on social work topics - gives great insight into knowledge and understanding at different points of time. Here is a list of some of the Edinburgh PhDs that relate to social work subjects. You will see that while some of the more recent degrees were awarded in Social Work, many more were awarded in Sociology and other subjects.  As well as PhDs, a number of MPhils, MScs and MEds relating to social work subjects have also been undertaken and they are also listed here. We will, over time, try to list all the MSW dissertations too. 

The University of Edinburgh library is currently digitising its entire theses collection. You can click on the titles of the theses which have been digitised so far and this will take you to a copy of the pdf file which you can read (these titles are in blue writing).

If your PhD (or the PhD of a loved-one) is missing, do get in touch. And consider telling us your story for the alumni page too - contact us at



Jean Gordon, Everyday social work practice: Listening to the voices of practitioners.


Peter Hillen, An exploration of the role of beliefs (religious, spiritual, and secular) in pathways of recovery from problematic substance use


Vasiliki Theocharidou, ‘Lost in Transition: lived experiences of unaccompanied Afghan minors in Greece'


Sally Paul, 'Advancing education and support around death, dying and bereavement: hospices, schools and health promoting palliative care'        

Peter Yates, ''Better Together': a grounded theory study of social workers decision making in cases involving sexual behaviours between siblings'

Janan Dean, 'Examining social work and technology: a cross-disciplinary analysis of technology issues in violence against women shelters in Ontario, Canada'

Kate Norman, ''"Socializing Transgender" social care and transgender people in Scotland: a review of statutory and voluntary services and other transgender experiences of social care'


Marilyn de Santos, 'The role of the social care worker in interventions into unacceptable sexual behaviour in people who have a learning disability'

Md. Tuhinual Islam, 'Residential Childcare: the experiences of young people in Bangladesh'

Comfort Jinadu, 'Recovery from drug dependence: experiences of services users in a christian faith-based agency'

Laura Kerr, 'Foster carer self-efficacy and the role of attributions and coping in the quality of foster placements'

Deborah Menezes, '"This is my life now": lived experiences of residents in care homes in Goa, India'

Marguerite Schinkel, 'Long term prisoners' accounts of their sentences'

Mark Smith, 'From rights and protection to care and upbringing: a reflexive account of changing rationalities of residential child care'


Andressa Maria Gadda, 'Looking after young people? An exploratory study of home supervision requirements'

Md. Tuhinul Islam, 'Residential child care: the experiences of young people in Bangladesh'

Comfort Jinadu, Recovery from Drug Dependency: experiences of service users in a Christian faith-based agency


Autumn Roesch-Marsh, 'Crossing the 'threshold of risk': a study of local secure accommodation decision making in Scotland'


Arlon Pullar, 'Violent and non-violent convicted women offenders in Fife: an analysis of offending patterns, criminogenic need and effective service provision'

Rosemary Okoli, 'Children's work: experiences of street vending children and young people in Enugu, Nigeria'


Kerrin Clapton, 'Theory into Practice: case studies of the pilot Scottish drug courts'

Stavros K. Parlalis, 'De-institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities, organisational change and the impact on professional roles'


Jacqueline Gulland, 'Complaining, appealing or just getting it sorted out: complaints procedures for community care service users'


Joe Francis, ‘Failing children: a study of the educational experiences of young people in residential care’

Jennifer Turpie, ‘The participation of looked after children in permanency planning’


Saara Greene, 'Young Mothers, Social Exclusion and Active Citizenship'

Dina Sidhva, 'Living with HIV/AIDS: turning points, transitions and transformations in the lives of women from Bombay and Edinburgh'


Sarah Wilson, 'Managing everyday life: social service use by mothers with HIV infection'


Ruth McKinlay, ‘Mental health officers and the problematics of gender


Silvia Fargion, 'Theories and practices in social work: practitioners' representations of contract work' 

Julie Warren, 'Talking a good match: a case study of placement matching in a specialist adolescent foster care scheme'


Gary Clapton, 'Perceptions of fatherhood: birth fathers and their adoption experiences'


Ignatia (Nadia) Farmakopoulou, 'Collaboration between education and social work authorities in assessing children's special educational needs'


Jean M. Smith, Towards hope, normality and achievement: How parents cope with childhood cancer'


Anvar Samadi Rad, 'Study of social workers' perceptions of success'


Charles Anderson, 'Learning to discuss, discussing to learn: a study of tutorial groups in a faculty of social sciences'


Stephen B. Pavis, 'Expressed emotions and supported accommodation for sufferers of severe mental illness: an ethnographic study of four community based houses'


Viviene E. Cree 'Social work's changing task: an analysis of the changing task of social work as seen through the history and development of one Scottish voluntary organisation, Family Care'

Jill Mordaunt, 'The funding game: a case study of voluntary statutory relationships'


Jennifer Secker, 'A phenomenological inquiry into the development of social work students' practice as they progress through training'

Richard W. Barker, 'Lone fathers, parents and masculinities'


Majida Atkinson 'Clients' and practitioners' perceptions of intermediate treatment'

Chris L. Clark, 'Theory and practice in social intervention: the case of voluntary action on unemployment'

Edward Kruk, ‘The impact of divorce on non-custodial fathers: psychological and structural factors contributing to disengagement’


Allyson McCollam, 'An evaluation of an employment project for mentally ill people'


Diane E. R. Kennedy 'An organisational analysis of social work area offices and newly referred clients with rent arrears and fuel debts'

Edith M. Ross, 'Social workers and primary teachers: inter-professional perceptions, communication and co-operation' 

Kirsten Stalker, 'An evaluation of a family-based respite scheme for children with mental handicap'

Margaret Balcombe, 'Risk-taking and decision-making in teenage pregnancy'


Alison Petch, 'Parental attitudes to the Children's Hearings: the experience of juvenile justice'

Malcolm Hill, 'Sharing care of young children' (awarded under Sociology)


Elizabeth M. Humphreys, 'Ideologies of social workers and volunteers: and the effect of these on services offered to clients of social work departments' (awarded under Sociology)

Ian Levitt 'Welfare and the Scottish Poor Law 1890-1948' (awarded under sociology)

Andrew Margolis, 'Mutual aid in the welfare state' (awarded under Sociology)

Sally Petra Taisekwa Nyandiya-Bundy, 'Ethological studies on the effects of the birth of the second child on mother-first child relationships' (awarded under Psychology)


Reuven Barneis, 'Client construction in front-line social work practice: a technological perspective' (awarded under Sociology)

David John du Feu, 'Computers and social workers: the reception of a computerised client record system in Social Services Fieldwork District Offices'

John Whiteford 'The application of the Poor Law in mid-nineteenth century Glasgow' (awarded under Sociology)


Elizabeth MacMillan, 'The effects of orientation of probation workers and a comparison of outcome of probation in Scotland and England' (awarded under Sociology)

Stewart Asquith, 'Frames of relevance and decision-making in children's hearings and juvenile courts; a comparative study' (awarded under Sociology)


Kenneth H. Gordon, 'Improving instruction in social work: two evaluation paradigms' (awarded under sociology)

Alison Campbell, 'Origin and implementation of section 12 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968'


Jane Aldgate, 'Identification of factors influencing children's length of stay in care' (awarded under Sociology)


Gillian Michael, 'Content and method in fieldwork training' (awarded under Sociology)


Bruce Lynch, 'The changing role of Local Authority social workers in Scotland' (awarded under Sociology)

Frank Witcher, 'Families with mentally handicapped children; studies in the pastoral method' (awarded under Sociology)

Audrey Paterson, 'A study of poor relief administration in Edinburgh city parish between 1845-1894' (awarded under Sociology)

Alexander Robertson, 'Social class, the symbolic environment, and the relationship between parental behavious, self-conception and psychopathology in adolescent boys' (awarded under Psychology)


Peter Wass, 'Community development in Botswana, with special reference to the evaluation of policy and organisation 1947-1970' (awarded under Sociology)


John Triseliotis, 'Evaluation of adoption practice in Scotland' (awarded under Sociology)


Dorothea Smith, 'The treatment and rehabilitation of delinquent women' (awarded under sociology)


John Nash, 'The psychology of deprivation in childhood' (awarded under Psychology)


Ethel Stoneman, 'Motivations of attempted suicide.  An investigation of 87 cases of unsuccesful suicide, Edinburgh 1932-1933' (awarded under Psychology)



Paul Curry, 'A study of hospital and voluntary mental health service usage by the Asian and Chinese communities in Edinburgh'


Sandra Youngson-Reilly, 'Models of social work delivery in two area social work teams: preventative and reactive social work'

Alistair Gormley, 'Sources of social support in the lives of men with schizophrenia in the community'


Ian J. Brodie ‘Teaching from practice in social work education: an analysis of the content of supervision sessions’

Sheila Youngson, 'Adolescent girls in List D. setting; academic achievement and personality' (awarded under Psychology)

Gerard Rooney 'Attitudes of hospital staff and significant others perceived by deliberate self-poisoners' (awarded under Psychology)


Jean Jordan, 'The social and economic circumstances of a group of fatherless families in Dumfries' (awarded under Sociology)

James Strachan, 'Children who set fire' (awarded under Psychology)


Sheila Bannister, 'The work of local review committees in the Scottish parole system' (awarded under Sociology)


Artemis Pappa 'Disturbed and non-disturbed children's perceptions of their families' (awarded under Sociology)


James Anderson, 'A study of part-time youth workers employed by local education authorities and voluntary organisations catering for adolescents aged 14-21' (awarded under Sociology)


John Ferguson, 'How patients view psychiatric hospital; a study of expected, actual, and ideal hospital experience' (awarded under Sociology)

John De Courcy, 'Patients attitudes, and their perceptions of inter-personal relationships in three treatment settings' (awarded under Sociology)

John Cull, 'The rehabilitation of mentally handicapped men, a comparison of a group in sheltered work with one in open employment' (awarded under Sociology)


John White, 'Residential child care past and present; a study of different types of residential care for children in Edinburgh and Hull with a comparative historical background' (awarded under Sociology)


Wallace Jones, 'Community development and multiple deprivation; a case study of the Raploch estate' (awarded under Sociology)

M. Eds


Lesley Main, 'Foster care; trends and perceptions' (awarded under Sociology)



Katherine Stewart, 'Some aspects of accommodation used by voluntary organisations in two parts of the city of Edinburgh' (awarded under Sociology)

Joyce Roberts, 'Social work education for the probation service in Scotland' (awarded under Sociology)

Annabelle Gray, 'Consumer evaluation of a therapeutic milieu; a repertory grid study' (awarded under Sociology)

Catherine Carmichael, 'Borstal girls as a focus for studying anti-social deviance in women' (awarded under Sociology)


John Ebie, 'A study of Craigmillar health, welfare and advice centre with a method of family linkage' (awarded under Sociology)

Christopher Ross, 'A comparison of hospital and prison alcoholics' (awarded under Psychology)


Nigel Bruce, 'Delinquency and deprivation; a case study of approved school children who have been "in care"' (awarded under Psychology) 


Krishna Roy, 'A geographical study of social welfare and social pathology in Edinburgh, 1961' (awarded under Sociology)

Elizabeth Hassall, 'Young alcoholics; personal and social characteristics compared with those of older alcoholics' (awarded under Psychology)


James McCulloch, 'The social consequences of deliberate self-poisoning or self-injury' (awarded under Psychology)