Dr Andrew Wills

Dr Andrew Wills

Associate Lecturer

School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)




 I currently lecture and act as study group leader / tutor to both graduate and undergraduate social work programmes. I am currently involved in developing a number of research and project themes.


BA (Hons) Fine Art
Teaching certificate
MA Systems in Management
Diploma in social work / CQSW
PhD 'Low risk offenders who re-offend seriously - some implications for risk analysis in probation practice

As a qualified social worker with wide experience in children & families, criminal justice social work, mental health, and older adults, in conjunction with other agencies such as NHS mental health teams, education, etc. I am keen to initiate, extend the development and the teaching of social work, including working in statutory and non-statutory settings; and extending the role os social work within the braoder defintion of intiaitng social change and social justice, addressing inequality of opportunity and developing communities and community projects. I am keen to develop concepts of sustainable community enterprise beuilding on  personal reflective developmental ‘training’ for young people;  young peoples’ needs in rural isolated communities; using 'nature' and outdoor experiences as a means of social intervention; and developing structured programmes of interventions, for e.g. parents of children affected by parental substance misuse (CAPSM), ‘leaving care’, child play project, family group conferencing, etc.

In addition to working in a variety of traditional setting on a one-to-one / family basis, I have experience as an independent community development manager working with a community trust in developing plans, raising funds, carrying out community consultation, and working with voluntary trusts and agencies in order to promote social change, and social and economic regeneration.

I have been a member of  the West of Scotland Medical Research Ethics Committee; and the editor of NOTA News (the newsletter for the national professional organisation for people involved in addressing sexually harmful behaviours).

I have substantial experience in the probation service and have worked as national  manager in the Public Protection Unit (PPU) of the National Probation Service based in the Home Office. I was responsible for the national policy in England & Wales for those cases supervised by the probation service that resulted in a serious further offence (e.g. murder, rape, child abuse); and for acting as the operational link between government ministers and probation areas supervising the high profile dangerous or notorious people known to the probation service (the ‘critical few’).  

As a practitioner and manager, I have been engaged in practitioner development in the probation service specialising in programmes for sex offenders, (including for children and for partners and secondary victims); domestic violence; anger replacement; general offending; Court work; parole, risk training; MAPPA (multi-agency public protection arrangements) development; and developed various projects such as intensive residential services, motor project, etc. I worked as a manager for court services; a residential unit; youth offending; victims; etc. I have worked in a number of muli-agency settings including a secondment to local police central intelligence bureau.


Professional membership

BASW, college of social work, international federation of social workers; registered with HCPC & SSSC



Teaching interests

Undergraduate and post graduate teaching on the social work course. I have interest in teaching issues surrounding risk in social work, resilience, social capital, mental health, child protection, criminal justice social work, addressing causes and intervention with victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse, violence, domestic violence, emerging organisational patterns of delivery in a postmoderm neoliberal society, systems thinking and approaches, experiential skills development, etc. I am keen to use local practitioners as guests to allow students to hear the authentic voice of practice.



Research interests

Continued professional interests are ‘risk’ and further post-PhD development of approaches to risk assessment, applying this to other groups of social work service users, relating this to social enterprise organisations, and concepts of desistance and resilience. I am interested the relationship between intuitive reasoning, emotional intelligence, risk identification / decision-making, and how patterns of organisational governance encourage or discourage professional decision-making. I have a developing interest in social contextualisation of diverse patterns of governance and its impact on professional social work practice, its purpose, ethics, values and vision within a complex diverse polyphony of competing social themes. I have continued invovlement in community development and soicla and economic sustainable regeneration. I have a continuing interest in such areas as addressing and assessing sexually harmful behaviours, mental health, substance misuse, domestic violence and its impact and its effects on young people as primary and secondary victims.