Life Before Ulster
Before becoming a lecturer at Ulster, Dr Maggie Long studied part-time for her PhD in Sociology and Social Studies on, ‘Self-Harm and Help Seeking: Client and Helper Perspectives’. Before her PhD, Maggie studied part-time for her Master’s in the then School of Communication at Ulster. She progressed to part-time PhD study to extend and develop her Master’s research.
While studying part-time at postgraduate level, during both her Master’s and PhD, Maggie worked full-time in the health and social care sector; as well as gaining experience as a counsellor on a part-time basis in the community-voluntary sector. During her PhD, Maggie gained experience of teaching in higher education, disseminating research to academic audiences through publishing and conference presentations, and civic engagement.
Maggie has an interactive teaching style, where she provides a supportive space for students to contribute to class activities and share their learning.
Maggie uses real-world examples to help students think about and understand how concepts and theories apply in practice when working with other people.
Maggie’s teaching is research informed; she draws upon up-to-date research to underpin her teaching on a range of topics and themes. Maggie’s teaching interests include: life course development; how we grow and change in different stages of life, and life transitions; relating to the psychological and social adjustments we go through in response to changes in our lives.
She teaches on personal development, for instance the importance of understanding how our attitudes and values shape the ways we relate to ourselves and others. Maggie also teaches on ethical issues in counselling, and on approaches to understanding professional issues such as trauma, bereavement or self-harm.
Maggie’s approach to research is shaped by her interdisciplinary background in sociology and counselling.
Drawing on both disciplines, she is interested in how social constructs and social theories help us to understand issues in mental health and wellbeing.
Maggie has published research on: help seeking, counselling, stigma, and identity, in relation to self-harm; help seeking in young people; and resilience in carers.
Maggie has published widely in international peer review journals including Qualitative Health Research, Journal of Mental Health, Health Sociology Review and Deviant Behaviour.
Additionally, Maggie was co-investigator for international, interdisciplinary research on capacity building in developing countries, applying social science to strengthen impact in engineering research via The ‘DOCC’ Project.
Maggie supervises PhD research at the intersections of social science and counselling, specifically on social justice, mental health in young people and minority ethnic groups, addictions, and wellbeing and resilience.
Maggie has established relationships with a range of community-voluntary sector organisations in Northern Ireland, with whom she has engaged prior to and during her role at Ulster. Maggie is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is a Director of Mental Health & the Arts, a cross-border, interdisciplinary initiative established in 2018, with colleagues Dr Noreen Giffney and Dr Jolene Mairs-Dyer. Maggie has secured funding to support her civic engagement work including: the design and delivery of CPD activities in collaboration with the community-voluntary sector and further education in Northern Ireland; and the design and conduct of widening participation research, which aimed to promote engagement in university life among students from a wide range of backgrounds.
Maggie has supervised students conducting award-winning research with community partners such as Lighthouse, through Science Shop.