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Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

The Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing (SWECW) offers a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes with a particular focus on high quality professional education, research and innovation across multiple disciplines. These include social work, social care, public health, occupational therapy, childhood and early years and the many facets of education. In addition, the Department is a sector leader in increasing access to evidence based psychological therapies for children and young people (CYP-IAPT). 

In choosing to study in SWECW you become part of a multi-disciplinary community which actively engages with a wide range of organisations and agencies from the private, statutory and third sectors. As a consequence you will gain real world experience of both cutting edge practice and research.

Through teaching and research SWECW aims to challenge educational, social and health inequalities and focus on championing social justice. Our work is subsequently structured into three layers; firstly people and communities, secondly practice and practitioners and thirdly overarching systems. In doing so, the Department plays a significant role in aiding societal recovery and repair beyond the pandemic.

Within our department we’re ranked top 20 nationally for our education programmes (Complete University Guide 2023) and ranked 3rd in the UK for research power in Social Work and Social Policy, with 78% of our research activity rated as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.


Contact us

Head of Department, Dr Joanne Atkinson

Deputy Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor – Education:  Professor John Unsworth

Deputy Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor – Research and Knowledge Exchange: Professor Malcolm von Schantz

Research:  Professor Toby Brandon and Professor Katie Haighton and

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Launch of The Regeneration Shop in Chopwell. Sarah Cotton, Senior Programmes Manager at Chopwell Regeneration Group; Jennine Wilson, Lecturer in Fashion and Senior Technician at Northumbria University; Hal Convery, Shop Manager at The Regeneration Shop; Crystal Hicks, Executive Director of Chopwell Regeneration Group; Gayle Cantrell, Assistant Professor BA Fashion Communication at Northumbria University; Sophie Wetherell, Assistant Professor BA Fashion / MA Fashion Design at Northumbria University; Emma Jane Goldsmith Assistant Professor BA Fashion / MA Fashion Design at Northumbria University; Professor Anne Peirson-Smith, Head of Fashion at Northumbria University.
Professor Matthew Johnson.
A three-year research project, led by academics from Northumbria University, aims to better connect the care system and expand it include creative health approaches such as art, crafts, sports, gardening or cooking to provide holistic support tailored to individuals. Getty Images.
Research led by Northumbria academics shines a light on the impact of moving patients from hospitals to care homes during the pandemic. Photo - Getty Images
Researchers secure funds for brain health study on military veterans
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