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George Wilson

Photo of George Wilson
George Wilson

BA(Hons), MSc. Advanced Social Work (With Distinction), PhD (Queen's University)
CQSW/Diploma in Social Work, Practice Teaching Award, Diploma in Training Management
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Lecturer in Social Work
Room 2.09, 3 College Park East
Ext: 1490; Email:

Following qualification as a social worker, I worked in the Downshire Psychiatric Hospital in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland where I had responsibility for acute admission wards and secure unit. In addition, I had experience of working alongside other disciplines in running a group psychotherapy programme for patients in the hospital's alcohol treatment unit. Following this I was employed as a senior social worker in Craigavon Area Hospital with responsibility for all medical wards. I also acted as an approved social worker in the hospital's psychiatric unit.  I then became team leader in South Belfast, initially in a generic team and then in a team responsible for providing a social work service to older people. Before coming to Queens I worked as an assistant principle social worker for twelve years in the Southern Health and Social Services Board Training Department as lead trainer in mental health. Throughout this period, I continued to be involved in practice through my participation in the Board's 'Out of Hours' Emergency Social Work Service.

My research interests include mental health social work and critical social work pedagogy. Funded research has included projects focusing on Approved Social Work practice (Department of Health and Social Services, Northern Ireland) Service User Experience of Supported Housing (Northern Ireland Mental Health Association), Service User Involvement in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland (Social Care Institute for Excellence),  and various aspects of social work education (Higher Education Academy). I am interested in international comparative study of mental health social work and social work education and have completed cross-border studies in both these areas with colleagues in Trinity College Dublin. I am keen to support applications for postgraduate research in any of the above areas.


My main teaching interests include leadership and strategic thinking in social work, mental health and critically reflective practice. I am Programme Director for the postgraduate MSc Applied Social Studies Programme which incorporates a number of Pathways including Child Care, Mental Health and Systemic Practice. Within the MSc Programme I am Coordinator for the Leadership and Strategy Pathway. I am a member of the Assessment Panel of CORU, which is responsible for regulating health and social care professionals in the Republic of Ireland.  I am a member of the UK Joint Universities Learning and Teaching Committee (JUC –SWEC).

Recent Publications

Wilson, G. (2014) ‘Building partnerships in social work education: Towards achieving collaborative advantage for employers and universities’, Journal of Social Work,14: pp. 3-22.

Wilson, G. and Campbell, A. (2012) ‘Developing Social Work Education: Academic Perspectives', British Journal of Social Work, Available on advance access. DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcs038?

Wilson, G. (2011)‘Evidencing Reflective Practice in Social Work Education: Theoretical Uncertainties and Practical Challenges’, British Journal of Social Work, Available on advance access. DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcr170.

Wilson, G., & Kelly, B. (2010) ‘Evaluating the Effectiveness of Social Work Education: Preparing Students for Practice Learning’, British Journal of Social Work, 40(8), pp. 2431-2449.

Walsh, T., Wilson, G., O’Connor. E. (2010) ‘Local, European and Global: An Exploration of Migration Patterns of Social Workers into Ireland’, British Journal of Social Work, 40(6), pp. 1978-1995.

McCrystal, P. and Wilson, G. (2009) 'Research Training and Professional Social Work Education: Developing Research-Minded Practice' Social Work Education, 28 (8), pp. 856-872.

Wilson, G; O'Connor, E; Walsh, T. & Kirby, M. (2009) 'Reflections on Practice Learning in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland: Lessons from Student Experiences', Social Work Education, 28 (6) pp. 631-645.

Wilson, G; Walsh, T & Kirby, M. (2008) 'Developing practice learning: student perspectives', Social Work Education, 27 (1) pp. 35 – 50.

Wilson, G. and Daly. M. (2007) 'Shaping the Future of Mental Health Policy and Legislation in Northern Ireland: The Impact of Service User and Professional Social Work Discourses' British Journal of Social Work, 37(3), pp. 423-439.

Wilson, G. & Kirwan, G (2007) 'Mental health social work in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland: challenges and opportunities for empowering practice' European Journal of Social Work, 10(2), pp. 175-191.

Wilson, G; Walsh, T & Kirby, M. (2007) 'Reflective practice and workplace learning: The experience of MSW students', Reflective Practice, Volume 8(1), pp. 1-17.

Wilson, G. & McCrystal, P (2007) 'Motivations and Career Aspirations of MSW Students in Northern Ireland ', Social Work Education, 26(1), February, 2007, pp. 35-52.

Wilson, G. & Douglas, H. (2007) 'Developing a Culture of Evidence-Based Practice in Social Work Agencies', Practice, 19(1), pp. 19-33.

Wilson, G; Hamilton, B; Britton, F; Campbell, J; Hughes, P; Manktelow, (2005) 'Approved Social Work Training in Northern Ireland: Using Research to Examine Competence-Based Learning and Influence Policy Change', Social Work Education, 24(7),  pp. 721–736

Wilson, G., Davidson, G. and Park, J. eds. (2004) Shaping the Future of Mental Health Social Work (Belfast, DHSS&PS).

Wilson, G; Hamilton, B; Britton, F; Campbell, J; Hughes, P; Manktelow, R. (2002) 'Aspects Of Education And Training of Approved Social Workers In Northern Ireland' in Campbell, J, Manktelow, R & Park, J(eds) The Challenge of Change; Aspects of Policy and Best Practice in the Fields of Mental Health and Learning Disability, DHSS&PS.

Manktelow, R. & Hughes, P. & Britton, F. & Campbell, J. & Hamilton, B. & Wilson. G. (2002). 'The Experience and Practice of Approved Social Workers in Northern Ireland'. British Journal of Social Work, 32(4), pp. 443-461.

Campbell, J, Wilson, G; Britton, F; Hamilton, B; Hughes, P. and Manktelow, R. (2001) 'The Management and Supervision of ASWs: Aspects of Law, Policy and Practice,' The Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 23(2), pp.155-172.

Wilson, G (2000) 'Developing Practice Learning: the practice teacher's perspective,' Journal of Practice Teaching in Health and Social Work, 3(2), pp. 44-62.

Wilson (2000) 'Reflecting on Statutory Work in Mental Health' in Anderson & Rae. (eds.) Reflecting on Practice: Looking Back to Look Forward, Belfast: CCETSW

Britton, F, Campbell, J, Hamilton, B, Hughes, P, Manktelow, R, and Wilson, G. (1999) A study of Approved Social Work in Northern Ireland: DHSS (Northern Ireland).

Douglas, H. and Wilson , G. (1996) 'Developing Self-Evaluation', Journal of Practice & Staff Development, 5(3), October 1996.