Dr Sue Taplin

Senior Lecturer in Social Work/Practice Learning Co-Ordinator

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education

Department:School of Education & Social Care

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Social Work and Social Policy



Sue joined the Social Work teaching team at Chelmsford in March 2017, with extensive practice experience as a palliative care Social Worker and having held academic posts in further and higher education, in which she specialised in interprofessional learning and teaching, teaching about loss and change and in co-ordinating practice learning activity at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

In 2012 Sue was awarded a professional Doctorate in Social Work, for which she researched the experience of people living with cancer as a long-term condition, and she is a regular presenter at both national and international conferences on her doctoral studies as well as on aspects of pedagogic practice.  She is currently editing a textbook on Developing Skills in Social Work Practice.

Sue is an advocate of Service User and Carer Involvement, and is keen to promote the inclusion of service users and carers in all aspects of teaching and learning, research and assessment.

Research interests

  • Social Work with Adults, particularly people experiencing life-limiting illness 
  • Interprofessional Teaching and Learning
  • Research-mindedness in Social Work students and practitioners
  • Service User and Carer Involvement in Social Work training
  • Social Work Practice learning and teaching

Sue's research interests are inspired by her practice as a social worker and her experiences as a social work academic and trainer.  She enjoys the challenge of disseminating her research findings and her experiences as a social work academic through conference presentations and publications.


Sue teaches on the MA and BA (Hons) in Social Work, and on the Practice Education and Supervision in Social Work post-qualifying module for practitioners.  She is currently developing a Social Work Apprenticeship qualification, to start in September 2018.


  • Doctorate in Social Work, University of East Anglia
  • MA/Diploma in Social Work, University of Leicester
  • MA in Modern German Literature, University of Nottingham
  • BA in German and Russian (Joint Hons) University of Nottingham

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Active member of British Association of Social Workers
  • Regional Representative of Centre for Social Work Practice

Selected recent publications

Taplin, S (2016) ‘Living to tell the tale – Individual Experiences of Cancer Survival and the Social Work Response’ Journal of Social Work Practice vol 30, issue 2

Shaw, I and Taplin, S (2015) ‘Happiness and Mental Health Policy: a Sociological Critique’ in Pilgrim, D (ed) Common Mental Health Problems SAGE

Payne, M and Taplin, S (2014) ‘Social Work in Healthcare Settings’ in Teater B (ed) Contemporary Social Work Practice – a Handbook for Students Open University Press/McGraw Hill

Recent presentations and conferences

Taplin, S (2017) W(h)ither the Professional Doctorate in Social Work? Poster presented at ECSWR 2017 University of Aalborg, Denmark

Taplin. S (2016) ‘Positives from Negatives: Teaching and Working with Loss and Change in Social Work Practice’ Paper presented at Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference, The Open University , Milton Keynes

Taplin, S (2015) ‘Is there a place for Hope in End-of-life Care?’ Paper presented at British Sociological Association Medical Sociology Conference, University of York