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Social Work: People


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 I am currently working from home - please email to arrange a phone call
Research Interests
Rights, Law and Regulation, welfare systems, gender and public policy, disability, Social History, Socio-legal, Social care

Guidance and Feedback Hours

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I  am a socio-legal researcher and am interested in the ways in which social welfare law interacts with people's understandings and experiences of their rights. I have particular interests in how social welfare laws and policies affect people  in relation to gender, disability, age and other inequalities. I have particular expertise in social security law and in the real world of social care.

My research is mainly qualitative and I have used a variety of methods including interviews, focus groups and archives. I have expertise in using archives for social science research and in analysing qualitative data of all kinds.

My most recent research used archive materials to look at decision making on disability benefits over the last hundred years. This research was funded through a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship and has led to a research monograph 'Gender, Work and Social Control: a century of disability benefits' and several journal articles.

For more information on this project and further details of publications, see my research blog

I gained my PhD in Social Policy from the University of Edinburgh. This study involved detailed interviews with people who had made complaints about social care services and focus groups with service users of care services. My research questions concerned why people complained, what they hoped to achieve and how complaints mechanisms might be improved.

The key finding from the study points to the need to understand users of social services not just as individuals but as members of wider communities of interest.


I am a lecturer in social work and teach on the social work programme at all levels, including undergraduate and Masters. I also contribute to research methods teaching in the School of Social and Political Science.

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 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 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 Disability Research Edinburgh network - see our webpage here Disability Research Edinburgh

Follow me on twitter @JackieGulland



Gulland, J. (2019) Gender, Work and Social Control: A Century of Disability Benefits, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

e-book available at

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

Gulland, J., (2019 ) 'Conditionality and social security: lessons from the household duties test' Journal of Social Security Law 26, 60–76.

Open access copy available on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Gulland, J. (2017) 'Working while incapable to work?  Changing concepts of permitted work in the UK disability benefit system' in Disability Studies Quarterly 37, 4 (Open access)

Gulland, J. (2017) 'All under one umbrella? The Family Guide to National Insurance 1948' in Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 68, 3  (open access)

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 Policy; PhD in Social Work; MSc (R) Social Work