News and events

Amanda Taylor

Amanda Taylor-Beswick

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Work, Care and Community

Harrington Building, HA304

+44 (0) 1772 89 3468

Amanda’s previous employment background was mainly located within Adult Mental Health Services; as a psychiatric social worker within a large Hospital Community Trust in the North Down & Ards area of Northern Ireland. Amanda also has a specialist interest in Deaf Children and Mental Health Services for Deaf Adults. She has been involved in the development of services for both client groups. However, it is her interest in Social Work education that has led her to UCLan.

Full Profile

Amanda’s background is as a psychiatric social worker for a large Hospital and Community Trust in Northern Ireland; mainly within the field of adult mental health in acute and community services. A large proportion of her work and interest is around the issue of anxiety management and treatment of the same within a group work context.

In addition, she also has had a number of year’s experience, in Northern Ireland, as a social work practitioner with Deaf children and adults, the latter of whom were experiencing and presenting with severe and enduring mental ill health. She has developed a multi-disciplinary referral map and services for both Service-User groups and has left this legacy to be developed from a regional perspective.

Prior to her current position she has been a guest speaker and lectured to BA & MA social work students at Queens University Belfast and the University of Ulster; the latter students being located within outlying colleges.

Her current interests are creative teaching methodologies and engaging students in a dynamic, meaningful and informative manner, as they embark upon their learning and future careers. She is known for her work in the area of ‘Social Media in Social Work Education’ and is the founder of the ‘Use of Book Groups in Social Work Education’, which can be found on Twitter: @SWBookGroup.

Amanda has also recently been named named in the Jisc Top 50 HE Influencers on Social Media. Please also see

Professional Qualifications

  • PGCert in Higher Education / Fellowship of HEA & SEDA (2011)
  • Teaching Toolkit Certificate / Associate Fellowship of HEA & SEDA (2010)
  • BSc(Hons) in Professional Social Work Practice (2008)
  • Diploma in Social Work with Commendation (2006)
  • Diploma in Further & Higher Education Commendation (2006)
  • CACDP British Sign Language (Level Two) (2006)
  • CACDP British Sign Language (Level One) (2005)
  • Diploma in Community Mental Health (2000)


Kellsey, Deborah and Taylor-Beswick, Amanda M L (2016) The Learning Wheel. Critical Publishing. ISBN 9781911106388

Taylor-Beswick, A. (2014) Reading groups, libraries and social inclusion: experiences of blind and partially sighted people, Disability & Society, 29:7, 1172-1173, DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2014.919177

Taylor-Beswick, A. (2014). The use of book groups in social work education.

Taylor-Beswick, A. (2014). The social work book group: Using fiction to support learning, The Guardian, Available at

Taylor-Beswick, A. (2014). When actual meets virtual; social work book groups as a teaching and learning medium in social work education. In J. Westwood (Ed.) (2014). Social Media in Social Work Education. Hertfordshire: Critical Publishing.

More Publications

Post Qualifying Awards

  • Post Qualifying Award Social Work Practice (Full Award) (2007)
  • Post Qualifying Award Social Work Practice – (PQ 2-6) (2007)
  • Post Qualifying Award Social Work Practice – (PQ 1) (2006)

Memberships and External Activities

  • HCPC Registered Social Worker
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and SEDA
  • PROGRAMME RE-APPROVAL - University of Chichester Specialist External Adviser Social Work January 2014
  • External Examiner for BA (Hons) Social Work Glasgow Caledonian University Social Work Programme



"Everybody's changing and I don't feel the same" (Keane, 2004): Researching Digital Socialisation in Social Work Education AMLTaylor Social Work Academic UCLan

The first of Goldsmiths' Twilight Seminars for practicing social workers and students as a part of the Teaching Partnership Pilot. This is being hosted by Amanda Taylor from UCLan who runs innovative social work book group.


JSWEC 2015 17th Social Work Education Conference and the 9th UK Social Work Research Conference. Researching the contribution of social work education to the digital socialisation of students for practice.

Yorkshire and Humber Regional Annual Social Work Conference March 17th 2015 Seminar ‘Using Book Groups as a CPD Activity for Social Work Practitioners’

PSYCHOSOCIAL CONNECTIONS: PRACTICE POLICY AND RESEARCH 1st Annual Conference of the Association for Psychosocial Studies 16-17th December 2014 hosted by the Psychosocial Research Unit, University of Central Lancashire Preston PR12HE

Paper Presentation: Does Social Work Education Contribute to the Development of the Use of Self for Relationship Based Practice? Psychological Studies Content Upload

2014 Leeds ‘I am Social Work’ September Event
Guest Speaker ‘The Emerging Professional Self@iamsocialwork

6th World Congress on Mental Health and Deafness
Riddel Hall, Queen's University Belfast
16-19 September 2014
Pathways to Rights
Social Work Forum Risk Assessment in Mental Health & Deafness Social Work
Social Work Practice with people who are experiencing Mental Ill health; lessons from Inquiry reports that go beyond "Awareness". Taylor & McPherson View programme

2014 Lancaster CeDR Disabilities Conference ‘The Silent Corner of Mental Health and Deafness: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue’ Seminar.

2014 Seminar JSWEC Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference July 2014 ‘The Use of Book Groups in Social Work Education.

2013 Paper presentation JSWEC Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference July 2013 with Westwood, J. L. and McKendrick, D., “Social networking sites for learning? Engaging social work students in online learning: Findings from a cross national research project.

JSWEC | UK Joint Social Work Education & Research Conference 2013 Keynote: Collective Consciousness through Creative Connectivity Amanda Taylor.

C12 University of Dundee 2013: A dynamic and interesting social work professional development seminar which looks to the future of our profession. Social Work Education Book Club Seminars.

Mental Health and Distress: Collaborative Curriculum Development Symposium Lancaster University June 2013
The Role of Technology for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Presentation: Approaches to learning and teaching - Social media (Day One)
Presentation: Using book and film clubs in teaching (Day Two)

Teaching activities and responsibilities

Amanda teaches across the range of courses offered within the School of Social Work and fulfils her role as BA(Hons) Social Work Deputy Course Lead. Her teaching activities include:

  • Research Presentation Skills Teaching
  • Psychological Theories Relating To Human Development
  • Psychosocial Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Human Growth & Development
  • People Skills
  • Understanding Human Beings
  • Counselling and Developing Interpersonal Skills
  • AMHP (Allied Mental Health Professional)
  • Involved in Masters/ BA(Hons) & BACCC(Hons)
  • Teaching Programmes
  • Deafness and Mental Health

Current Post 2009 - Present

  • Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Central Lancashire
  • Admissions Tutor
  • BA Social Work 1st Year Lead
  • SD2 Mentor
  • BA (Hons) Social Work Deputy Course Lead
  • School Lead for Step-Up to Social Work Partnership

CPD Course:

  • Social Media in Social Work
  • Loss & Grief
  • Diversity training

Previous Appointments

  • 2000 - 2009 Psychiatric Social Worker (Community & Acute Services), Individual & Group Therapy (Northern Ireland)
  • 2006 - 2009 Specialist Social Worker for Deaf Children (Northern Ireland)
  • 2007 - 2009 Senior Social Worker – Residential Psychiatric Unit (Northern Ireland)
  • 2007 -2009 Lecturer – BSc(Hons) Social Work (UUJ) (Adhoc) (Northern Ireland)



July 2015 Educational Doctorate - Researching the contribution of social work education to the digital socialisation of students for practice:

Nov 2008 Professional Lead for the development of a Referral Pathway. Titled: Paediatric Audiology – Hospital Through to Community Services. The purpose of which was to achieve consistency and continuity of care as a result of standards detailed by the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme piloted in Belfast utilising a multi-disciplinary approach.

May 2008 Professional Lead in the development of Mental Health Services locally for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The purposes of which was to offer access and reasonable adjustment and to provide a service equal to that of their hearing counterparts.

May 2006 – Oct 2006 HQS (Health Quality Service) Project Lead for Physical Disability & Sensory Support Programme of Care. This role included reviewing the service provision based on specific HQS standards and ensuring that standards were being firstly being met and secondly being maintained. This included drafting of a Policy and Procedural Base for Practice across the Programmes and specific to each individual service provision.

Amanda has also founded a BA (Hons) Social Work Book Group that has attracted and achieved National attention in a recent Online Blog and within a high profile. Using J. K. Rowling's novel to boost social workers' learning. The use of book clubs in social work education. Amanda Taylor enthused social workers about book club and digital practice.


  • Students Union Golden Rose Awards: ‘We Heart You’ (2013)
  • Nominated for The Higher Education THE AWARDS Most Innovative Teacher (2013)
  • Awarded as the Best in Social Work 101 Top Twitter Accounts to Follow By the MSW Online Programmes in the USA (2013)
  • Nominated for the Higher Education Academy National teaching Fellowship Award (2013)
  • Students Union Golden Rose Awards: Most Innovative Teaching of The Year (2013)
  • Nominated in all six categories for Student Lead teaching Awards (2012)
  • Vice Chancellors Awards for Outstanding Practice in Teaching & Learning. Awarded: Excellence in teaching delivery and intellectual stimulation of students (2011)
  • School of Social Work Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (2011)