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Dr Sandy Maria Sieminski

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Social Work
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
  • Social Work
  • sandy.sieminski

Research interests

Sandy is a member of the Policy, Professionalism, Leadership and Lifelong Research Cluster within CREET and a member of the Social Work Research Group within the Faculty of Health and Social Care.

Her main expertise is in teaching and learning in further and higher education, with particular reference to professional development.

Her research has explored:

  • The pedagogy of work-based learning in professional settings
  • The development of professional identities, and the contribution of professional training and professional development opportunities in their formation.
  • personal and professional outcomes for students undertaking a Doctorate in Education
  • Internal and external factors shaping the implementation of curricular policies, and their effects.  


Research funding

2009 Project Title: Enhancing students’ ability to apply theory to practice

Funder: PBCETL

Grant: £1800

Collaborative research project with Dr Janet Seden. 

Current Research Project

Title: Public Sector Professional identities: information, maintenance and reconstructions

Funder: HSC Scholarship Fund and FELS 2011

Grant: £3000 (£1000 from HSC)

Collaborative research project with Roger Harrison (FELS)

Teaching interests

Current and recent teaching responsibilities include:

K319 Adulthood, Ageing, and the Life Course: author 

K(ZW)216 Applied Social Work Practice: team chair and author  

Contributions to course production in FELS 

FELS EdD Doctorate in Education: author 

E834 Leading Professional Development: author  

ED837 Education, Training and the Future of Work: author

EH266 Learning Through Life: Education and Training Beyond School: author 

E873 Making Experience Count: author  

P528 Accrediting Prior Learning: author               




Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Social Work Research GroupResearch GroupFaculty of Health and Social Care


Case study: what supports students to improve their grades? (2016-06-03)
Sieminski, Sandy; Messenger, Julie and Murphy, Sam
Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 31(2) (pp. 141-151)
An exploration of how some tutors use learning materials to enable student social workers to link theory to practice while learning in the workplace (2011)
Sieminski, Sandy and Seden, Janet
Social Work Education, 30(7) (pp. 797-810)
Enhancing professional self-esteem: learners' journeys on a distance-learning Doctorate in Education (EdD) (2009)
Butcher, John and Sieminski, Sandy
Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education, 1(1) (pp. 44-55)
The challenge of a distance learning professional doctorate in education (2006)
Sieminski, Sandy and Butcher, John
Open Learning, 21(1) (pp. 59-69)
Whose adulthood is it anyway (1993-09)
sieminski, sandy
Adults Learning, 5(1) (pp. 10-11)
The flexible solution to economic decline Journal of Further and Higher Education, Vol. 17. No.1, pp.92-100 (1993)
Sieminski, Sandy
Journal of Further and Higher Education, 17(1) (pp. 92-100)
Achieving Your Doctorate in Education (2006-03-01)
Burgess, Hilary; Sieminski, Sandy and Arthur, Lore
study skills
ISBN : 9781412911726 | Publisher : Sage in association with the Open University | Published : London, UK
Social work practice and the challenge of later life (2013-03-15)
Sieminski, Sandy
In: Davies, Martin ed. The Blackwell Companion to Social Work (4th edition) (pp. 267-274)
ISBN : 9781118451724 | Publisher : Wiley-Blackwell | Published : London
Globalization and health and social welfare: some key issues (2011-11-30)
Sieminski, Sandy
In: Katz, Jeanne; Peace, Sheila and Spurr, Sue eds. Adult Lives: A Life Course perspective (pp. 287-296)
ISBN : 9781447300441 | Publisher : Policy Press in association with the Open University | Published : Bristol, UK
Person-centred approaches to social work with older people: aspirations and contradictions (2010-09-03)
Sieminski, Sandy
In: McCormick, Mick; Matthews, Sarah; Morgan, Alun and Seden, Janet eds. Professional Development in Social Work: complex issues in practice . Post-qualifying Social Work (pp. 118-125)
ISBN : 9780415553360 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
The implementation of GNVQs in further education: a case study (1999)
Bird, Margaret; Esland, Geoff; Greenberg, Jane; Sieminski, Sandy and Yarrow, Karen
In: Flude, Mike and Sieminski, Sandy eds. Education, Training and the Future of Work II: Developments in vocational education and training (pp. 177-201)
ISBN : 415202108 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Education, Training and the Future of Work 11: Developments in Vocational Education and Training (1999-01-14)
Flude, Mike and Sieminski, Sandy eds.
ISBN : 0-415-20210-8 | Publisher : The Opern University/Routledge | Published : London, U.K. and New York, NY, U.S.
Adult Learners, Education and Training (1992-12-03)
Edwards, Richard; Sieminski, Sandy and Zeldin, David eds.
ISBN : 415089824 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, U.K.
Changing identities changing contexts: the roles and identities of expert patients, service users and volunteer school governors (2015-07-15)
Higgs, Alison; McCormick, Mick and Sieminski, Sandy
In : JSWEC Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference 2015: Social work education and research across boundaries (15 -17 July, Open University, Milton Keynes)
The influence of continuous policy change on the identity of FE lecturers (2011-09)
Sieminski, Sandy
In : British Educational Research Annual Conference (6-8 September 2011, Institute of Education, London)
Enhancing students’ ability to apply theory to practice (2009-07)
Sieminski, Sandy and Seden, Janet
In : 11th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference with the 3rd UK Social Work Research Conference (8-10 July 2009, University of Hertfordshire, UK)
Building a bridge to professional self-esteem: Learner transitions on a distance learning Doctorate in Education (EdD) (2009)
Butcher, John and Sieminski, Sandy
In : The University of Northampton Learning and Teaching Conference (13 May 2009, Northampton)
The Challenge of a Distance Learning Professional Doctorate (2004-06)
Butcher, John and Sieminski, Sandy
In : European Distance and E-Learning Network Conference (EDEN 2004) (16-19 June 2004, Budapest) (pp. 45-50)
Meeting professional development needs? Does the Doctorate in Education bridge the intellectual and professional development needs for teachers (2003)
Butcher, John; Burgess, Hilary and Sieminski, Sandy
In : 5th International Conference on Education (23-24 May 2003, Athens)
Adaptations to major curriculum change: the case of Further Education lecturers (2010-09)
Sieminski, Sandy
PhD thesis The Open University


Jenny Simpson

Learning from people: the training method bringing service users and social workers together

Jenny Simpson, Head of Social Work (England), as well as students and staff at the OU are involved in an exciting development in relation to social work education. Mend the Gap is a model for the effective involvement of people who are at the receiving end of services, together with those who provide professional support. Read more about Mend the Gap here

18th April 2018
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