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School of Health and Society

Helen Scholar

Lecturer in Social Work


I completed my social work qualification in 1985, and worked for Greater Manchester Probation Service until 2001, as a Probation Officer, Family Court Welfare Officer and latterly in Training and Staff Development.

I then moved into part time roles in social work and Probation education, as a social work practice tutor for the University of Manchester, as university teacher on the Community Justice programme at the University of Liverpool and Associate Lecturer in social work with The Open University. I joined the University of Salford as a part time member of the Practice Learning Team in 2005.

I have 20 years’ experience (1980 – 2000)working with a women’s refuge as volunteer, management committee member and trustee.

I am Deputy Editor of Social Work Education: The International Journal


Current teaching responsibilities include module leadership on the ‘Step Up to Social Work’ programme for Social Work & Society, and Research Mindedness in Practice.

I also undertake Masters level dissertation supervision.

Previously I have held responsibility for practice learning at final level on both BA and MA qualifying social work programmes, and led modules on Law and Social Policy, Professional Practice and Specialist Pathway Research Project.

Research Interests

Much of my research relates to social work education, its relationship with and contribution to a collective professional identity for social work, and to the destinations and experiences of qualified social workers inside and outside the statutory sector.

I am also interested in social work’s relationship with the material world and material culture; and in the history of social work.

Qualifications and Memberships

Registered Social Worker No: SW65665

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Ref: PR058645)


2010 National Certificate in Workplace Mediation, Open College Network.

2001 Post Graduate Certificate in Further, Higher & Adult Education, Bolton Institute of Higher Education.

2000 City & Guilds 7307 in Adult Education, Bolton College of Further Education.

1985 Certificate of Qualification in Social Work/Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work, University of Lancaster.

1981 MA Medieval English (by thesis) An edition of a 14th Century Lollard Tract on the Lord's Prayer, University of Manchester.

1979 BA (Hons) 2(1) English Language & Literature, University of Manchester.


My three most recent peer reviewed articles are:

Scholar, H. (2016). “A social worker first and foremost”: The motivation and experiences of recently qualified social workers in posts not requiring social work registration in England. Critical and Radical Social Work DOI: 10.1332/204986016X14604583499272 (epub ahead of print)

Scholar, H. (2016). The neglected paraphernalia of practice? Objects and artefacts in social work identity, practice and research. Qualitative Social Work DOI: 10.1177/1473325016637911 (epub ahead of print)

McLaughlin, H., Scholar, H., McCaughan, S., & Coleman, A. (2015). Are Non-Traditional Social Work Placements Second-Best Learning Opportunities for Social Work Qualifying Students? British Journal of Social Work (2015) 45(5), 1469-1488. DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcu021

For a full list of publications please see SEEK profile.