Professor Kieran McCartan

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About me

Professor McCartan completed his first degree in Psychology at the Queens University of Belfast (2001), before moving to Leicester to do an MSc in Criminology at the Scarman centre (2002), and a PhD in the Department of Psychology (2008). Kieran joined UWE as a Lecturer in 2007 and was promoted to Professor of Criminology in 2018. While at UWE Kieran has been the Criminology Program leader (2010 - 2014), Deputy Director of the Criminal Justice Unit (2010 - 2012) and the Associate Head of Department for Sociology & Criminology (2015 - 2016). Currently, Kieran is the leader of the Social Science Research Group (2013 - ongoing) and joint coordinator of the Sexual Violence Research Network (2014 - ongoing) at UWE.

Professor McCartan has a track record of public, academic and professional engagement on criminological issues, including the origins and causes of sex offending, and societal responses to sex offenders. He has developed a wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary network around sex offender management and reintegration. He has experience of qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research from funders including Ministry of Justice, Cabinet Office, Public Health England, ESRC, The Leverhulme Trust, Bristol City Council & Wiltshire probation. He has previously co-lead an ESRC a nationally based ESRC funded Knowledge Exchange Network on the limited disclosure of sex offender information (2012) and an international Leverhulme Trust-funded network on sex offender management (2014 - 16). Currently, he is involved in a Council of Europe project examining, and developing recommendations, around the assessment, management, and integration of people who have committed sexual offenses (2019 - ongoing) & with colleagues was shortlisted for a Times Higher Education award in 2020.

Professor McCartan has a number of academic outputs, including, 120+ academic publications (Journal Articles, Books, Chapters, External Research Reports & Professional/Practitioner publications); 165+ blogs; received over 1/2 million pounds in external funding; & has given 185+ external presentations (Conference Papers & Keynotes); & has taken part in 40+ media interviews nationally as well as internationally.

Area of expertise


  • Adjunct Professor in Criminology, QUT (Australia),
  • Visiting Research Fellow, University of Huddersfield,
  • Advisor to the European Committee on Crime Problems, Council for Penological Co-operation, Council of Europe;
  • Chair of the sexual offenses working group, Confederation of European Probation;
  • Executive board member & chair of the research committee of Circles Europe;
  • Member of the editorial board of "Sexual Abuse" ;
  • Member of the ESRC peer review college;
  • Member of the ATSA executive board & chair of the International Committee;
  • Member of the NOTA executive board, Conference Chair & responsible for media, communication, impact; 
  • Member of the NOTA Prevention & Research committees;
  • Board member of Circles South West;
  • Member of the Executive Research Advisory Panel, Bravehearts Inc;
  • Lead Blogger on the SAJRT (USA) &  NOTA Blog (UK & Ireland),
  • Been a visiting scholar at the University of Minnesota (April 2013), San Jose State University (November 2014) & Griffith University (Summer 2015).

Research Areas

  • Community understandings of sexual harm.
  • Public health approaches to Crime, especially sexual harm.
  • Circles of Support & Accountability 
  • Sex offender registries & community disclosure
  • New technology & sexual harm.
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences & criminogenic behaviour
  • Trauma-informed care and criminology 
  • Sexual offender risk management & reintegration.

Selected funded research projects

  • An evaluation of Circles of Support and Accountability (South Australia) and the Reintegration of Indigenous Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act perpetrators (Queensland) . ANROWS. (Co-applicant)
  • Community engagement and partnership working in facilitating sex offender reintegration. Leverhulme International Networks Grant. (Principal Investigator)
  • Evaluation of the Lighthouse victim care pathway. Avon & Somerset Police. (Principle Investigator)
  • Evaluation of Predictive Analytics in Policing. A joint funded PhD with Avon & Somerset Police and UWE. (Co-applicant)
  • Circles of Support and Accountability: Volunteering and Social Action. Cabinet Office, Social Rehabilitation Fund. (Co-applicant – Lead Evaluator)
  • Domestic Violence University Bystander Intervention Resources Specification. Public Health England. (Co-applicant).
  • Evaluation of the Troubled Families initiative. Bristol City Council. (Co-applicant).
  • Circles of Support and Accountability - a qualitative analysis. Ministry of Justice. (Principal Investigator)
  • Public disclosure of sex offender information. ESRC Knowledge Impact Grant. (Principle Investigator).


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