• Northlands Road, Magee Campus

    BT48 7JL Londonderry

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


Dr Denise MacDermott is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences and is based in the Magee campus.

Denise MacDermott completed her social work degree at the University of Strathclyde in 2003. During this time, Denise was employed by the Northern Ireland Association for the Resettlement of Offenders (NIACRO) as a Project Worker and later a Senior Practitioner for a regional Mentoring programme. In 2008, she took up the post of Practice Learning Centre Manager with Bryson Care. In 2012 she completed the MSc in Professional Development in Social Work from Ulster University.

Denise MacDermott joined Ulster University in 2013 as a lecturer in social work, she has held a number of leadership roles including course director for the BSc (Hons) Social Work, Chair of the Practice Assessment Panel and Employability Lead for social work. Dr MacDermott is currently the Subject Lead for social work and course director for the PG/Diploma in Professional Development in Social Work. She is Chair of the Collaborative Forum Management Board for undergraduate social work provision.

Denise is committed to promoting civic engagement, volunteering and social justice, she was Chairperson for Le Cheile Youth Justice Support Services a national charity based in Ireland from 2009-2015.  She is actively involved in fundraising projects to tackle food poverty in the North West in partnership with the Churches Trust and the Ulster University Stand Up for Social Work Society. In 2018 Denise was recognised as a Civic Ambassador by the Centre for Flexible Education at Ulster University for her involvement in widening access projects with the community and voluntary sector. More recently Dr MacDermott received two Access Ambassador funding awards (Ulster University). The first for the DOIRE (Discovering Opportunities in Returning to Education) project in partnership with Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum.  The second award for the Adults Learning Together (ALT Project) was delivered in partnership with St Peter's Immaculata Youth Club, Belfast.

Dr MacDermott holds the Leadership and Strategic Award in Social Work (2015) and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Dr Mac Dermott received the Senior Distinguished Educational Excellence Fellowship Award (2022).   Denise received an Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from Ulster University in 2019. She has extensive experience of External Examining of social work courses in the UK and Ireland. Denise is currently an External Examiner for the MSW at Atlantic Technological University (Sligo) and the University of Strathclyde MSW. Denise is an experienced peer reviewer for several leading social work journals including International Social Work, Practice, British Journal of Social Work and Social Work Education and Health Promotion International.

She has published articles and book chapters making important contributions to the field of social work education including collaborations with experts by experience, service users and the voluntary sector in Northern Ireland.

Research Interests

  • Service users, carers and survivors’ involvement within social work education.
  • Professional identity and social work education.
  • Flipped classroom pedagogies in social work.


  • Inclusive assessments within social work education.
  • No risk peer and lecturer feedback model.
  • Digital storytelling and living library initiatives with students and experts by experience
  • DOIRE (Discovering Opportunities in Returning to Education) project in partnership with Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum.
  • Adults Learning Together (ALT Project)  Community Engagement Project 2023.

Learning and Teaching

Dr MacDermott contributes to both undergraduate and post graduate learning, teaching and assessment in social work at Ulster.





Current and Recent Grants

Social work graduates exit survey with Queen's University, Belfast and Open University from 6 Apr 2022 - 5 Apr 2024 (Funded by the Department of Health).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Social work education in Northern Ireland; collaborations for learning

Award Date: 29 Jun 2022

Master, An examination of student and provider perceptions of voluntary sector social work placements in Northern Ireland

4 Sept 20108 May 2012

Award Date: 10 Jul 2014

Master, Leadership and Strategic Award in Social Work , Northern Ireland Social Care Council

Award Date: 7 Jun 2014

External positions

External Examiner, University of Strathclyde

1 Jul 2020 → …

External Examiner, Institute of Technology Sligo

1 Jun 2019 → …

External Examiner, University of South Wales

5 Apr 201530 Sept 2018


  • L Education (General)
  • social work education
  • practice educator
  • professional supervision
  • technology enhanced learning
  • practice learning
  • relationship based practice
  • Digital storytelling
  • voluntary sector


Dive into the research topics where Denise MacDermott is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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