Staff Profiles

Dr Alison J Cocks

MSc, PhD, PGCAP, RSW (00135), FHEA

Senior Lecturer

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Alison Cocks

Phone number:


Location: Martson Road Campus

Ali has been involved in Health and Social Care for more than 25 years, beginning as a night
care assistant working with adults with physical disabilities. She graduated from Oxford Brookes
University in 1995 with a Diploma in Social work. Following this she worked in the voluntary
sector for The Children’s Society, finally moving into statutory social work sometime later.
Working in the Children with Disabilities team in Oxfordshire spurred Ali on to undertake a
Masters in Disability Studies at Winchester University (was King Alfred’s), and then a PhD at the
University of Surrey, graduating in 2003. The focus of her thesis was the Peer Culture of
Disabled Children when visiting Specialist Respite Care Settings.
After completing her PhD Ali’s academic life truly began, firstly working as a Senior consultant
with Surrey County Council, responsible for supporting and delivering teaching to a group of
child care assistants qualifying as social workers at Reading University. A while later Ali
formally joined the team at Reading as a Lecturer and undertook the PG Cert in Academic
Practice. Whilst at Reading Ali was involved in a project aimed at Developing Social Work in
Jordan, which was supported by the British Council in Amman.
Since Reading, Ali has worked for a number of Universities, either as an associate lecturer or in
a more permanent role: Surrey, Winchester, Portsmouth and latterly Brunel. Whilst at Brunel
Ali was responsible for overseeing the BA in Social Work, was the Teaching and Learning lead
for Social Work and was investigator on cases of professional suitability; becoming involved in a
development group which created a new framework for managing fitness to practice across the