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 a range of Criminological, Psyvchological and Public Health issues including, 

  • Community understandings of sexual harm.
  • Public health approaches to sexual harm.
  • Circles of Support and Accountability.
  • The use of registries and community disclosure schemes for people convicted of a sexual offence.
  • New technology and sexual harm..
  • The risk management and integration of people with have committed sexual abuse in to the community.
  • Developmental and life course pathways into offending behaviour (including, ACE's and trauma informed care approaches).
  • Trauma and Trauma informed practice in criminal justice.
  • Public health apparochres to criminal justice and risk management.

He has experience of qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research from funders including EU (Horizon 2020), 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 - 21) & with colleagues was shortlisted for a Times Higher Education award in 2020.

Professor McCartan has a number of academic outputs, including, 146+ academic publications (Journal Articles, Books, Chapters, External Research Reports & Professional/Practitioner publications); 240+ blogs; received approximately 1 million pounds in external funding; & has given 230+ external presentations (Conference Papers & Keynotes); & has taken part in 55+ 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.
  • Member of the Child Abuse Prevention network, Joint Research Committee, European Commission
  • Deputy Chair of NOTA,
  • Associate CSAAP member, HMPPS
  • Member of APPL, HMPPS
  • 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 boards of Sexual Abuse & Sexual Aggression ;
  • Member of the ESRC peer review college.
  • Chair & board member of Circles Southwest.
  • 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).

Selected funded research projects

  • Work package lead on Prevent to Protect project, Horizon 2020 funded (Co-applicant)
  • Feasibility study of the health and wellbeing outcomes of Operation Topaz, BNSSG ICB (Principal applicant)
  • Evaluation of Project Vanguard, BNSSG ICB (Principal investigator)
  • Evaluation of Rockpool trauma informed training, Avon & Somerset OPCC/VRU (Principal applicant)
  • Understanding the trauma informed practices and workplace of the People Department in South Gloucester Council, South Gloucester Council (Principal applicant)
  • Research into Violence Against Women and Girls in public spaces for North Somerset & Somerset Councils (Principal Applicant)
  • 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)
  • Evaluation of the Lighthouse victim care pathway. Avon & Somerset Police. (Principal Investigator)
  • Evaluation of Predictive Analytics in Policing. A joint-funded PhD with Avon & Somerset Police and UWE. (Co-applicant)


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