Dr. Fiona McSweeney


B.A. (Hons) Psychology, U.C.D.
M.A. (Hons) Psychology (by research), U.C.D.
M.Ed., The Open University
Ed. D., The Open University

Teaching Areas

Developmental Psychology, Organisational Psychology, Social Psychology, Research Methods Academic Skills; Social Care Tutor.

Have also taught psychology and research methods on the Higher Certificate in Arts in Literacy Development and B.A. in Adult Education with W.I.T. and on the Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Learning and Teaching with D.I.T.

Associate Lecturer with The Open University.

Research Interests

Assessment, Student Support, Students’ Views of Learning, Mature Students, Social Identities, Constructions of Supervision and Practice Teaching in Social Care, e-Learning.

Current research projects are:

Exploring how practice teachers in social care view their role using Q methodology.

Exploring the anticipations and experiences of social care student during the transition to work.


McSweeney, F., & Williams, D. (2018). Social care graduates’ judgements of their readiness and preparedness to practice. Social Work Education. [First published on: 23 September 2018. DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2018.1521792].

McSweeney, F., & Williams, D. (2018). Social care students’ learning on the practice placement in Ireland. Social Work Education, 37(5), 581-596. [First published on: 23 March 2018. DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2018.1450374]

McSweeney, F. (2018). Themes in the supervision of social care students in Ireland: building resilience. European Journal of Social Work 21(3), 374-388. [First published on: 21 August 2017. DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2017.1366428].

McSweeney, F. (2017). Supervision of students in social care education: Practice teachers’ views of their role. Social Work Education: The International Journal, 36(1), 26-47. [First published on: 26 October 2016. DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2016.1249837]. 

Jameson, A., McCarthy, A., McGuinness, C. & McSweeney, F. (2016). Emotional intelligence and graduates – employers’ perspectives. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 228, 515-522.

McSweeney, F., Smith, K. & Williams, D. (guest editors) (2016). Reflections on the provision, organisation and management of social care in Ireland. Administration, 64(2) (special issue).

McSweeney, F., Smith, K. & Williams, D. (2016). Introduction: Reflections on the provision, organisation and management of social care in Ireland. Administration, 64(2), 1-6.

McSweeney, F. (2014). Considerations in researching how practice teachers view their role: Choosing a design. In Patrick Brindle (Ed.) Sage Research Methods: Case Studies [DOI: 10.4135/978144627305014531368]

McSweeney, F. (2014). ‘Moving in’: Difficulties and support in the transition to higher education for in-service social care students. Social Work Education: The International Journal. 33(3), 317-337 [First published on: 12 February 2013 (iFirst). DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2013.770832].

McSweeney, F. (2012). Student, Practitioner, or Both? Separation and Integration of Identities in Professional Social Care Education. Social Work Education: The International Journal, 31(3), 364-382. [First published on: 12 March 2011 (iFirst). DOI:10.1080/02615479.2011.557428].

McSweeney, F. (2011). Learning for Work: Social Identities and Professional Education in Social Care. Saarbrucken: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller.

Donnelly, R. and McSweeney, F. (2011). From humble beginnings: evolving mentoring within professional development for academic staff.Professional Development in Education, 37(2), 259-274. [First published on: 08 September 2010 (iFirst). DOI: 10.1080/19415257.2010.509933]

Donnelly, R. & McSweeney, F. (Eds.) (2008). Applied e-Learning and e-Teaching in Higher Education. Hershey, PA: IGI (Idea Group Inc.).

Conference Presentations

Views of preparedness to practise in social care pre- and post-graduation. September 2018. 12th International Practice Teaching and Learning Conference, Oxford, England. (with Dave Williams)

Graduates’ expectations and experience of social care work: Strengths and abilities being nurtured?. March 2018. Social Care Ireland Conference, Athlone.

Themes in the supervision of social care students: Building resilience. March, 2017 Social Care Ireland Conference, Galway.

Recognising the complexity of the transition to practice: Social care students’ anticipations and preparedness for practice.’ April 2016 Social Care Ireland Conference, Naas, Co. Kildare (with Dave Williams).

Making the experiences of the emerging practitioner more visible: Social care students’ preparedness and anticipations for practice. April, 2016 FESET Conference, Strasbourg (with Dave Williams).

Relationships on placements: How do practice teachers and students view the role of the practice teacher? 2015 Social Care Ireland Conference, Sligo.

Research mindedness for health and social care professionals. June, 2015 Health and Social Care Inter-professional CPD Conference, Dublin (with Dave Williams).

Student, practitioner or both: Separation and integration of identities. 2009 Joint IASCE/IASCW Conference. Sligo.

Getting through with a little help: The experiences of first year in-service students. 2008 Joint IASCE/IASCW Conference. Dublin.


Founding editor of Journal of Social Care [arrow.dit.ie/jsoc]

Regular reviewer for Social Work Education: The International Journal. Has also reviewed articles for IJASS, AISHE, Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine and Mental Health Review