Conferences organised by the School of Applied Social Studies

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.

Annual Critical Perspectives In Mental Health Conference


15 AND 16 NOVEMBER 2017


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.

The conference aims to explore and debate critical perspectives on and beyond:

  • What do we understand by ‘better’ mental health services? 
  • Do we need mental health services at all?  If so, what should they look like? If not, what other ways are there?
  • The politics of changing mental health services

Keynote Speakers (in alphabetical order):

Oor Mad History, a group of people with lived experience/mad identified, mad positive academics and mental health advocacy workers from Edinburgh, Scotland. (Link to presentation here: Oor Mad History)

Jim van Os, Professor of Psychiatry at Utrecht Medical Centre (UMC), The Netherlands, interested and active in mental health care reform. (Link to presentation here: Jim van Os)

Diana Rose, mental health service user and Professor of User-led Research at King’s College London. (Link to presentation here: Diana Rose

Jolijn Santegoeds, a user/survivor of psychiatry, and founder of a protest group in the Netherlands called "Rage against Isolation!" (Link to presentation here: Jolijn Santegoeds)

Iseult Twamley, Senior Clinical Psychologist and Open Dialogue Clinical Lead for Cork/Kerry, where she has been involved with the Irish Open Dialogue project.  (Link to presentation here: Iseult Twamley

Jay Watts is a consultant clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and activist, who has written widely about neoliberalism and the politics around mental health. (Link to presentation here: Jay Watts)

Concurrent Sessions: the conference also includes just under 50 workshops and oral presentations, related to the conference theme.


To book a place, email Harry Gijbels at  Please give your name and indicate the day(s) you wish to attend (either Wednesday 15 November, Thursday 16 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.

Full Conference programme can be found at Critical Perspectives Conference 2017 Programme Overview

Conference Book of Abstracts can be found at Critical Perspectives Conference 2017 (Book of Abstracts)

Registration details can be found at Registration Details 2017

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


Critical Social Thinking Conference and Journal

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.

National Child Protection and Welfare Social Work Conference

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.

Annual Master of Social Work Postgraduate Research Conference

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)

School of Applied Social Studies

Staidéar Sóisialta Feidhmeach

William Thompson House, Donovan's Road, Cork, Ireland.