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Dr Nicola Moran

BA (Manchester); MA (Manchester); PhD (Manchester)

  • Lecturer and Module Leader (Practice Research), Think Ahead
  • Research Fellow, International Centre for Mental Health Social Research
  • Deputy Chair of the Ethics Committee

Visit Nicola Moran's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications and browse her research related activities.


Areas of expertise

  • Development of mental health training programmes for non-mental health professionals (including police officers and social workers)
  • Mental health social work
  • Improving social connections and mental wellbeing for people with mental health problems in the UK (Connecting People) and USA (Connecting People: pilot study in New Jersey)
  • Carers and mental health, and care provision within families
  • Youth mental health and transition from children’s to adults’ mental health services
  • Policing and mental health
  • Developing and delivering training on research methods
  • Individual Budgets / Personal Budgets in health and social care – outcomes for service users and informal carers
  • Transition from child to adult services for young people with disabilities, and in particular for young people on the autistic spectrum

Advisory positions

  • Deputy Chair of the SPSW Departmental Ethics Committee
  • Editorial board member of the Journal of Social Policy
  • Member of the ESRC Peer Review College
  • Awards Officer and Executive Committee member for the Social Policy Association (2010-2016)

Academic biography

Nicola is currently Lecturer and Module Lead for the Practice Research module on the Masters in Social Work Practice (Think Ahead). She is also the academic coordinator for Year Two of this fast-track programme for graduates seeking careers as social workers in mental health. Within this role Nicola supervises the empirical practice research projects of MA students employed in NHS and local authority mental health services and settings. To date, she has supervised 45 MA students on projects spanning AMHPs views on rising detentions under the Mental Health Act (now published as Bonnet and Moran, 2020), practitioner perspectives on tracking service users’ mental wellbeing through monitoring their social media posts, and psycho-education groups for the families and carers of people experiencing first episode psychosis.

Prior to and alongside her involvement with Think Ahead, Nicola has worked as a Research Fellow in the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research, hosted within the Department. During this time, Nicola worked with Professor Martin Webber on the Connecting People study to evaluate how practitioners in community mental health teams in England support service users to develop their social capital. This work was co-produced with mental health service users and practitioners. Nicola and Martin are working with collaborators in the USA to pilot Connecting People with homeless and prison populations in New Jersey.

Nicola co-designed and developed a mental health training programme for front-line police officers in North Yorkshire Police, delivered by mental health professionals from the local NHS Trust. The interactive full day training course focused on supporting police officers to better identify members of the public in mental distress, respond and communicate with those individuals in ways which minimised trauma, and better understand the role and remit of local and national mental health and non-mental health services which could provide support, thus minimising inappropriate referrals and thereby helping people to receive the appropriate support at the earliest opportunity. The training also includes a session for officers on looking after their own mental health. The training was evaluated and continues to be rolled out across the force. Nicola also adapted the training package for police staff in public-facing roles, and is developing the package for use by police forces nationally (with support from the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) unit at the University).

With 18 years research experience post-PhD, Nicola has also worked with colleagues in Health Sciences and the Institute for Effective Education to develop and deliver research methods training to police officers and staff to increase their capacity to undertake, commission and critically evaluate research to provide an evidence base for their work).

Nicola also has an interest in youth mental health. Working with the youth mental health charity YoungMinds, Nicola and colleagues developed a mental health awareness training course aimed at social workers and other practitioners working with children in and leaving care. The training was piloted with North Yorkshire County Council.

Nicola joined the School for Business and Society in 2006, spending the first nine years as a Research Fellow in the Social Policy Research Unit (SPRU). Nicola is a qualitative social science researcher with experience and expertise in evaluative work. She worked on the National Evaluation of Sure Start (NESS), the national evaluation of the Individual Budgets pilot projects in adult social care (IBSEN study), and the evaluation of the impact and outcomes of Individual budgets on carers (IBSEN-Carers study). She has also worked on studies exploring models of multi-agency transition services for young people with disabilities and complex health needs, and for those on the autistic spectrum focusing in particular on those with high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome, including transition from children’s to adult mental health services.


Current research projects

See here for a full list of previous research projects.


MA in Social Work Practice (Think Ahead)

Lecturer: Practice Research (60 credit empirical research module)
Module Leader: Practice research
Year Two Academic Coordinator (approx. 100 students per cohort)


Internal Examiner (University of York, 2019)
External Examiner (Ulster University, 2018)
BSc Criminology (University of Northampton, 2008-11)

Dr Nicola Moran

Contact details

Nicola Moran
Lecturer, Research Fellow
School for Business and Society

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 321246 +44 (0) 7384 239017 (mobile)