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Dr Trish McCulloch is a Reader and Social Work Lead in the School of Education and Social Work.  Trish joined the University in 2003, having previously worked as a social worker within youth and adult justice settings.  Her  teaching and research activity lies principally in criminal justice social work and criminal justice sanctions, with a particular interest in participatory, community and progressive approaches.  Recent writing and research has focussed on questions of participation, co-production, compliance, desistance and the social and community contexts of change.   Trish's Doctoral research employed a participatory research design to explore the place and potential of co-production in the criminal justice context.

Trish is currently active in the following roles:

  • Chair of the Scottish Heads of Social Work Education Group
  • Co-chair of the Scottish Review of Social Work Education
  • Member of the Social Work Services Strategic Forum (Scotland)
  • Appointed member of the Scottish Advisory Panel on Offender Rehabilitation (SAPOR)
  • Member of the National Strategy for Community Justice steering group
  • Member of the ESC working group on Community Sanctions
  • Chair of a local community charity

In recent years Trish has also acted in a consultancy role with the Scottish Government, Dundee City Council, Falkirk City Council, and the Open University.


Research Funding

  • Scottish Government, 2018-. Measuring Justice: Defining Concepts, Developing Practice.
  • Social Work Scotland, 2018-, Criminal Justice: Exploring gender
  • Scottish Social Service Council, 2016-2021. Newly Qualified Social Workers, 5 year research study.
  • Social Work Scotland, 2016. What the public think about Scottish social services and why.
  • Scottish Universities Insight Insitute, 2015-2016. Creating Spaces for Change Knowledge Exchange project.
  • Scottish Social Services Council, 2015-2016.   An Integrated Learning Model for Social Work Education.
  • Scottish Social Services Council 2015-16. Philosophies of Learning in Social Work Education in Scotland.
  • Scottish Social Services Council 2015-16. Should qualifying social work education have a core curriculum?
  • Scottish Centre for Criminal Justice Research
  • Scottish Government
  • Dundee City Council, Justice Services
  • Dundee City Council, Children's Services
View full research profile and publications


  • Criminal Justice Social Work
  • Social Policy & Policy Development
  • Research Methods
  • Doctoral Supervision



Social work education and workforce development practice is being transformed across Scotland based on research undertaken by Dr Trish McCulloch in the School of Education and Social Work.

Published on 10 June 2021