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Professor John Carpenter

Professor John Carpenter

Professor John Carpenter
B.Sc.(Bristol), Cert. App. Soc. Studies, C.Q.S.W., C.Psychol., AFBPsS, DSc

Emeritus Professor

Social Science Complex,
8 Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TZ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 6755


Over the last fifteen years John has carried out research for the Department of Health and the NHS on de-institutionalisation, community mental health services, violent mentally disordered offenders and assertive outreach teams. For the Department for Children Schools and Families (now Department of Education), he has researched the impact of Sure Start programmes, and the outcomes and costs of family support services and interagency training to safeguard children. He has also researched for the Department of Health and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the lives of disabled children and young people and their experiences of social care and health services.

John’s other longstanding research is in the evaluation of interprofessional education and social work education. He is one of the leading international experts on these topics and is co-editor with Hilary Burgess of The Outcomes of Social Work Education: developing evaluation methods (Higher education Academy, 2010) and of a forthcoming special issue of Social Work Education on outcomes research. John is currently leading a three-year longitudinal cohort study evaluating a national programme to support children’s social workers in their first years in practice after qualification.

He is also currently working on the mental health of women migrant workers in China with Prof. He Xuesong, Professor of Social Work at East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai.

Research projects




John Carpenter is a registered social worker, chartered psychologist and family therapist. He joined the School as Chair of Social Work and Applied Social Science in 2005.

John was Professor of Social Work and Director of the Centre for Applied Social and Community Studies at Durham University (1997-2005) and Senior Lecturer in the Applied Psychology of Mental Health at Kent University (1988-96). He previously worked at Bristol University as Lecturer in the Departments of Social Work and Mental Health 1979-87.

In 1999 he was elected as one of the founding Academicians of the Academy of Social Sciences in the UK.  In 2010 he was appointed as the first National School for Social Care Research (SSCR) Senior Visiting Research Fellow.


John is Programme Director of the MSc in Social Work Research and convenor of the dissertation module for the MSc in Social Work.

He supervises doctoral students researching topics including, the transition to adulthood for Deaf young people; the therapeutic alliance in family therapy; social work education in East Asia; time banks and the coproduction of welfare; North Korean migrants in South Korea; trafficking of women; carers of people with mental illness in Malaysia; and everyday decision making by people with learning disabilities.


  • Community mental health and learning disability services
  • disabled children and families
  • family therapy and family support services
  • outcomes of social work and interprofessional education.


Over the last eight years I have carried out research for the Department of Health and the NHS on de-institutionalisation, community mental health services, interprofessional education, family support services and disabled children. I am currently researching Sure Start programmes, custody diversion for violent mentally disordered offenders and assertive outreach teams.

  • de-institutionalisation
  • community mental health services
  • mental health
  • interprofessional education
  • family support services
  • disabled children
  • Sure Start
  • Memberships


    School for Policy Studies

    Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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