Matthew Graham

Matthew Graham

Senior Lecturer in Social Work

School of Social Work, Care and Community

Eden Building, ER105

+44 (0) 1772 89 3462

Subject Areas: Social Work, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Education, Health, Law and Social Care

Matt is a qualified and registered social worker who has been an academic in social work since 2007. Matt has extensive experience of working in local authority mental health services and academia. He has a passion for teaching, writing, and researching on the subjects of mental health, mental capacity and associated legislation.

Matt is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Social Media: Twitter / LinkedIn

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Matt started his social work training in 1997 following five years of working with adults with learning disabilities and mental health difficulties in a residential care home in Kent, Matt’s home county.

Since qualifying as a social worker in 1999 Matt has worked for three local authorities as a mental health social worker. Part of Matt’s role was undertaking duties under the Mental Health Act as an Approved Social Worker (ASW), the precursor of the Approved Mental Health Professional. Matt’s last role in social work was as a senior practitioner and practice supervisor where Matt supervised social work colleagues and assessed and supported social work students and ASW trainees on placement.

Matt has worked for three universities lecturing in social work and spent time working as a local authority training consultant delivering training on the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Matt’s passion for mental health and associated legislation means that Matt is heavily involved in delivering mental health related teaching as well as teaching on the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Matt is also interested in adult safeguarding and risk analysis and supports social workers in practice to develop their knowledge on these subjects through delivering a wide variety of continual professional development.

Matt is course leader for the MA in Professional Development and Practice and has a keen interest in supervising students undertaking their final year dissertations, all of which he has taken through to successful completion.

Since 2018 Matt has been an external examiner for the University of Birmingham on adult safeguarding and mental health modules.


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, University of Kent, 2016
  • MSc Mental Health Social Work with Children and Adults, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, 2005
  • Advanced Award in Social Work, King’s College London, 2006
  • Post-qualification Mental Health Award. Canterbury Christ Church University, 2001
  • Post-qualification Award in Social Work, Canterbury Christ Church University, 1999
  • Diploma of Higher Education (Social Work Studies), Canterbury Christ Church University, 1999
  • Diploma in Social Work (professional qualification), Canterbury Christ Church University, 1999
  • Institute of Welfare Officers’ Certificate in Welfare Studies, Canterbury College, 1996


Bressington, D., Wells, H & Graham, M (2010) A concept mapping exploration of social workers' and mental health nurses' understanding of the role of the Approved Mental Health Professional. Nurse Education Today. December 2010. 

Graham, M. and Cowley, J. (2015) A Practical Guide to the Mental Capacity Act. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Graham, M. (2015) Safeguarding Adults and the Law: The Significance of the Mental Capacity Act, in Koubel, G. (ed) (2015) Safeguarding Adults and Children: Dilemmas and Complex Practice. Maidenhead: OU Press.

Graham, M (2016). Understanding of the Mental Capacity Act in work with older adults exploring the “unintended consequences” for service users’ emotional wellbeing. Working with Older People. VOL. 20 NO. 3 2016, 151-156.

Graham, M (2012) Why DoLS have had their day: A critique of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. Social Work Matters. October 2012. London: The College of Social Work.


9th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health, University of York, July 2019. Symposium entitled: “Supporting Approved Mental Health Professional trainees' good practice. The challenges of teaching the tension that exists when upholding people's human rights when applying powerful legislation: A Practice Educator's perspective.”

Teaching activities

Matt teaches on various undergraduate and postgraduate modules and courses across the School of Social Work, Care and Community. 

External Affiliations

External Examiner at the University of Birmingham.