Key Research Interests and Expertise

Neil Cooper’s scholarly work orients around qualitative approaches in psychology. Neil's PhD involved the application of traditional psychological concepts to the arena of child protection practice, and this involved tackling problems of knowledge and power within the research process. He has since tried to engage with social constructionist ideas and their implications for developing psychological accounts of meaning and experience.

Research which Neil is involved with aims to further the understanding of people as social actors, exploring subjective experience as it unfolds within and contributes to wider social meanings. Using methods such as grounded theory and narrative analysis he adopts a psychosocial stance to exploring the interconnections between an individual's lived experiences and their sociocultural environments.

Research projects have included; disciplinary boundaries, inter-professional practices, family relationships, and technological change, as well as methodological issues such as reflexivity and participatory approaches in research. Outputs from this work such as Digital Life Story Work (Hammond & Cooper 2013) have been cited as practice resources by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

Neil is also interested in student learning and the student experience in Higher Education, especially the psychosocial processes involved in the transition to university, performance, and confidence.

Current Research Students

Peter Jordan: Ethical decision making in safeguarding children work

Completed Research Students

Alexia Zinonos 2014 PhD: Migration and Community Formation: Narratives of Three Generations of Women Living in a Greek Diaspora Community.

Simon Hammond 2012 PhD: Exploring a role for digital technologies in life story work with adolescents in residential care: A discourse analysis. 

Holly Honeyman 2010 PhD: Constructing Designer Babies. (Supervised with Dr. Simon Hampton)

Laura Biggart 2010 PhD: Fathers and work family life: Psychosocial influences. (Supervised with Professor Margaret O’Brien)

Nadir Yalli  2008 PhD: Hospital social work in Saudi Arabia: An investigation of practitioners’ perceptions of the common workplace issues that influence their position and role in health care.

Lesley Dibley 2007 MPhil: Experience of Same Sex parents when their children require health care intervention. 

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