Working the Care-Policy Hyphen: Self- Directed Support and Policy Translation

Project reference number: HLSSW033


Self-­‚ÄźDirected Support (SDS) enshrined in the Social Care (SDS) Act 2013, is the Scottish Government’s flagship policy for social care, which “aims to support choice and control over one’s own life and which respects the person’s right to participate in society” (Scottish Government, 2015). Despite the centrality of the policy, there is very little empirical evidence. What evidence that there is (Audit Scotland, 2017, Health and Social Care Alliance, 2017) points to inconsistencies in, and barriers to implementation.

This proposal has the following objectives. It will:

  • Explore the process of implementation from the perspective of different actors, both human and non-human.
  • Identify drivers for, and barriers to, implementation of the policy.
  • Identify implications for practice at different levels.
  • Offer insights into the broader policy of policy translation.

By exploring the process of policy translation in relation to SDS this proposal will make a significant translation to the knowledge base around this important area. Consultation with key stakeholders (Scottish Government, Social Work Scotland) indicates broad support for this proposal and recognises that it has an important contribution to make to the knowledge base both around SDS and the process of policy translation.

Application deadline

The application deadline for October intake is 1st of July.

Research supervisors

Candidates are encouraged to contact the following researchers for further details:

Modes of study

This project is available as a:

  • PhD: 3 years full-time or 4.5 years part-time.
  • 1 + 3 route to PhD: Undertaking MRes [1 year full-time or 2 years part-time] + PhD as above


Applicants will normally hold a UK honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent); or a Masters degree in a subject relevant to the research project. Equivalent professional qualifications and any appropriate research experience may be considered. A minimum English language level of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required. Some research disciplines may require higher levels.

Specific requirements of the project

The successful applicant will have a broad understanding of Scottish Social Policy, with particular reference to social care. Experience of completing research to Masters Dissertation level is desirable.