Morag MacDonald

Morag McDonald Profile Picture 2

Director, SREU


Professor Morag MacDonald is an acknowledged expert in the fields of prisoner health, drugs and related health issues; she is also well known as a social research methodologist. She has managed and participated in a wide range of European research and development projects.

Morag’s consultancy includes work for HEUNI (the regional office for the United Nations for Central and Eastern Europe). She has been successful in obtaining funding for many European research grants in her field. She is currently researching vulnerable young people accessing and sustaining vocational training and apprenticeships, a project funded by Erasmus, as well as the Gender Based Violence on Campus project.

She has recently completed an EU Daphne project, The Daphne Street-to-Home project, that addresses the lack of an integrated approach to housing and on-going social support for women at highest risk of being victims of violence.

Her previous research has included a seminal comparative study: Police detention in Europe: A comparative Study of the Provision of Services for Problematic Drug and Alcohol Users.  She has also undertaken an evaluation of the Drug Demand Reduction Programme in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, an important element of the AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW) activities.

Morag has been editor of The International Journal of Prisoner Health since its inception in 2006.

Current Activity

Professor Morag MacDonald is Director of SREU and in this role, she project manages a wide range of funded research projects.

She is currently managing the vulnerable young people accessing and sustaining vocational training and apprenticeships project, funded by Erasmus. She is also managing a BCU funded project on Gender Based Violence on campus in partnership with student researchers.

Morag is also the joint editor of The International Journal of Prisoner Health. The journal is intended to facilitate an exchange of information among experts in the field of prisoner healthcare from different cultural interpretations and perspectives.

Areas of Expertise
  • Prisoner health
  • Vulnerable young people
  • Domestic violence and abuse
  • Research methodologies

PhD Prisoner Health - 2004 Birmingham City University
MA Health Research - 1995 University of Warwick
Diploma in Information Technology - 1990 University of Central England
Post Graduate Certificate Education - 1982 University of Leicester
BA (Hons) Sociology - 1972 Birmingham Polytechnic


1) The Vulnerable young people accessing and sustaining vocational training and apprenticeships project aims to provide resources for current VET providers and employers who are interested in implementing apprenticeships and other training placements for the most vulnerable young people in our society.

The project is based on the premise that there is a need for a multifaceted approach to supporting vulnerable young people through vocational education, training and apprenticeships, without which, this group are at particular risk of offending and reoffending. Although there are a number of initiatives to engage vulnerable people in self-development activities that lead to employment opportunities, a recurring issue is how to develop these initiatives into sustained placements and long-term and fulfilling employment.

2) The Street to Home project identified how expert services that offer joined-up accommodation and social support can be established and operated successfully across the EU, taking into account context-specific environments and cultural differences.

The project was based on the belief that women who wish to escape the threat of violence and address their often multiple needs, require access to safe and affordable accommodation and accompanying social support in a location away from previous activity and/or affiliations. A key output of the project was the creation of a cost benefit analysis tool that indicated that providing holistic support for women who have experienced domestic violence and abuse in a community setting is very cost effective.

3) The Throughcare project is designed to provide a toolkit to support prison staff and policy makers develop effective throughcare services for prisoners with problematic drug use. Throughcare is taken to mean all the services and support that can be made available to those in compulsory detention to improve their health, their educational and social skills and their mental health resilience so that they have a better chance of resettling into a crime-free satisfying life once back in the community.

The research drew particular attention to: (a) the importance of services and plans being based on the individual needs of prisoners; (b) the continuing need to provide good and accessible information to prisoners; and (c) the essential need for collaboration both within prisons and between prison and the community.

4) Daphne Strong is designed to support prison staff addressing issues facing women prisoners with experience of domestic abuse. The aim is to produce a training package for prison staff. SREU is responsible for developing a resource package. The packages are based on research carried out by the partners.

5) Health Promotion for Young Prisoners is designed to provide support for prison staff promoting health among a particularly vulnerable group. The aim is to produce a training package for prison staff. SREU is responsible for developing a section of the package. The package is based on research carried out by the partners.


The Throughcare Toolkit is now downloadable.