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Dr Mark Hardy

BA (Hons), MA (Distinction), DipSW, PhD

  • Senior Lecturer in Social Work

Visit Mark Hardy's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications and browse his research related activities.


Areas of expertise

  • Risk and professional decision making
  • Evidence based practice
  • Work with involuntary service users, including offenders
  • Mental health, especially personality disorder
  • Research philosophy and method


Inspired by life experience and a first degree in social policy and criminology, I have not deviated from my ‘core interests’ in two decades. After qualifying as a social worker, I spent the majority of my career as a practitioner working with both young and adult offenders and in forensic mental health, working especially with people diagnosed as having a personality disorder.  My ongoing interests focus specifically on the intersections between social work and the criminal justice system and health service as they manifest in the policy and practice of risk assessment and risk management and more generally on clinical decision making and work in involuntary settings. I am also interested in research and evaluation methods and philosophy and their relationship to social work practice and research.

Professional activities

Associate editor, Qualitative social work

Fellow, Higher Education Academy



‘An evaluation of the ‘Bridging the Gap’ initiative for men with a diagnosis of personality disorder’ (with Martin Webber)

‘Music and mental health in Wetherby YOI’, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS trust (with Martin Webber)

My Phd (University of Leeds 2010) focused on ‘The micro-politics of control in contemporary social work'.

In 2001 I was a Cropwood Fellow at the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge, where I undertook practitioner research into the challenges of achieving effective practice with mentally disordered offenders’.

I am currently also interested in the role of compassion in work with high risk service users, and the ways in which biopolitics impact on contemporary service delivery.


Currently, I coordinate the ‘Knowledge’ stream of the BA and MA social work programmes. I also convene and contribute to the modules ‘Theory for social work’, ‘Knowledge for social work’ and ‘Applying knowledge in social work’, as well as contributing to various other qualifying modules.

I teach research methods and philosophy to postgraduate social policy and social work students, including Phd candidates.





Mark Hardy

Contact details

Mark Hardy
Lecturer in Social Work
School for Business and Society

Tel: 01904 32 1227

Social Work Research, 4 vol, Sage, 2015, Mark Hardy, Ian Shaw

Shaw, I., Hardy, M. and Marsh, J. (eds) (2015) - Social Work Research, Sage



Governing Risk, Mark Hardy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015

Hardy, M. (2015) Governing Risk: Care and control in contemporary social work, Palgrave Macmillan


Mark Hardy 2010 Evidence and knowledge for practice

Evans T. & Hardy M. (2010) Evidence & Knowledge for Practice, Polity