The School of Applied Social Studies is a research active department which has a strong commitment to both applied and more theoretical research. The School has a wide research profile which focuses on research on specific groups and issues and the education/training of social professions.  As a School we continuously run conferences to bring leading national and international speakers to contribute to debates in areas such as mental health, social policy, disability studies and child welfare and protection, to name but a few. The menu here links to some annual and biennial conferences the School organises.


9 AND 10 NOVEMBER 2016



 A Two-Day Conference organised by the School of Applied Social Studies and the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, in association with the Critical Voices Network Ireland.


This conference, now in its eighth year, is unique as it is free for all participants and it involves people from diverse backgrounds (self-experience, survivors, professionals, academics, carers) presenting, discussing and debating critical and creative perspectives on and beyond the dominant bio-medical approach. The 2010 conference saw the launch of the Critical Voices Network Ireland (CVNI), a network of people interested in considering and developing responses to human distress, which are creative, enabling, respectful and firmly grounded in human rights.

The conference aims to explore and debate critical perspectives on:

  • Acts of resistance within and outside academic and service systems
  • The impact of activism on democratising mental health care
  • The importance of socio-political perspectives in understanding and responding to human distress
  • Co-option of resistance into dominant systems


Confirmed Keynote Speakers (in alphabetical order):

  • Kathryn Church is Director and Associate Professor in the School of Disability Studies, Canada
  • Jonathan Gadsby is a mental health nurse and a founder member of the Critical Mental Health Nurses’ Network, England
  • Lucy Johnstone is a consultant clinical psychologist, author and trainer, England
  • Mick McKeown is a mental health nurse, researcher and trade union activist working to build alliances with survivor groups, England
  • Brigit McWade is a sociologist researching and teaching aspects of mental health, England
  • Panel discussion with Cork activists: Rory Doody, Recovery Advocate; Joan Hamilton, Sli Eile; Mary Maddock, MindFreedomIreland; Pat Bracken, freelance critical psychiatrist

Concurrent Sessions: the conference also includes a series of workshops and oral presentations, related to the conference theme.


For further information, please click on the conference programme here:Critical Perspectives Conference 2016 (399kB)



To book a place, email Harry Gijbels at Give your name, and indicate the day(s) you wish to attend (either Wednesday 9 November, Thursday 10 November, or both days). Booking will be confirmed by return email. Please bring the booking confirmation slip with you to the conference registration desk on the day(s) you are attending.

Programme details regularly updated on  and and

The Conference organisers are Lydia Sapouna, School of Applied Social Studies and Harry Gijbels, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland.

Click here for all editions of the Critical Social Thinking journal and annual CST conference information. This journal and conference series is run by the School of Applied Social Studies.

The national child protection and welfare social work conference has taken place on a biennial basis at University College Cork since 2007. The aim of this conference series is to provide a space for practitioners in the area of child protection and welfare to hear about and debate new developments in the areas of research, policy and practice, and to network with colleagues.

The conference will be of interest to social workers, policy makers, researchers, legal professionals, social care workers, students and anyone with an interest in the field of child protection and welfare. This conference is a not-for-profit event and is a partnership between the Social Work Development Unit (UCC) School of Applied Social Studies, staff from child protection and welfare teams in the Child and Family Agency and the IASW Southern Branch. CLICK HERE for the full conference website, videos and resources.

Masters of Social Work students at the end of their research module present their study findings at our annual MSW postgraduate conference. The conference takes place in April/May each year.

The MSW Course Team has for several years shought to made the findings of the 2nd year research dissertations available to a wider audience. All the presenters are second year students who have successfully completed two fieldwork placements and are coming to the end of their course. The research dissertations offer students the opportunity to expand their own knowledge base in an area of social work which is of particular interest to them, often drawn from direct experience in their practice placements. The diversity of interests is reflected in the conference presentation themes which this year include: Inter-country Adoption, Mental Health recovery, Intellectual Disability, Children’s Rights, Cultural Diversity, Multi-disciplinary working relationships and many other areas relevant to contemporary social work practice.

The conference is attended by students, tutors and lecturers from both years on the course, and presenters are encouraged to invite those whose assistance was invaluable in the completion of their research process – fieldwork practice teachers, service users, research respondents and the general public. For more information click on the brochure and poster below, or contact the conference organiser Caroline Shore by email -

Research reports from Science Shop research projects undetaken by MSW students can be viewed here.

MSW Conference Poster (469kB)

MSW Conference Brochure 2013 (591kB)

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