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Personal profile

Approach to teaching

I am a Social Work England registered social worker, Fellow of Advance HE, Senior Lecturer and the Course Leader of the BSc (Hons) Social Work.  I have worked at the University of Brighton since 2017.  At present I teach, module co-ordinate, assess, and act as a personal academic tutor and dissertation supervisor primarily on the BSc course.  This includes supporting students on their practice placements.  I also teach and assess on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Skills and Assessment course which enables qualified social workers (and nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists) to practise as a Best Interests Assessor.  In addition, I have taught and tutored on the MSc (PG Dip) Social Work and the PG Dip Approved Mental Health Practice, on which I co-ordinated the ‘Managing Mental Health Act Assessments and Interventions’ module. 

My current teaching, tutoring and course leadership draws on my 20 years of experience working in voluntary sector social care and statutory social work.  Before joining the University of Brighton I supported adults and their carers in my social work roles, including people living with dementia, long-term disabilities and short-term health problems.  My primary practice focus was, however, working with adults experiencing mental distress, particularly those in crisis, and adults unable to make decisions for themselves (‘lacking capacity’).  I practised as an Approved Mental Health Professional (under the Mental Health Act) and as a Best Interests Assessor (under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards).  This practice experience underpins my approach as an educator, which focuses on relationships and strengths.  Having worked in multi-disciplinary teams and in hospital settings in my direct practice, I am enthusiastic about the opportunities for inter-professional education offered to our social work students at the University of Brighton.  My additional experience as a Practice Supervisor / Educator for social work students on practice placements developed my interest in enabling student learning and led to my move into an academic social work role.  This experience underpins the active learning approaches I use in my teaching to support the deep learning students of social work need to prepare them for practice.  

Research interests

My areas of research interest draw on my own experiences as a student and social worker.  I am curious about how students develop ‘readiness for direct practice’ and skills for reflection, and how these can be effectively supported and assessed, including the role tutorials play in this.  I am also interested in social work students’ experiences of placement in multi-disciplinary (particularly mental health) practice settings.  As the first in my family to study beyond compulsory education, I have an additional interest in how students from ‘non-traditional’ groups experience their transition to professional education at University and how this can be supported in a way that develops their sense of belonging and competence. 

Education/Academic qualification

PG Cert Academic Practice, University of Brighton

Award Date: 13 Jun 2023

PG Dip Approved Mental Health Practice, University of Brighton

Award Date: 5 Sept 2016

PG Cert Specialist Social Work with Adults, University of Brighton

Award Date: 22 Feb 2012

Master, MSc Social Work, University of Brighton

Award Date: 2 Sept 2009

Bachelor, BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Nottingham

Award Date: 6 Jul 2001

External positions

External Examiner PG Best Interest Assessor Course, Birmingham City University

1 Nov 2023 → …

External Examiner BA (Hons) Social Work, Manchester Metropolitan University

Oct 2023 → …

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