photo of Tish Marrable

Dr Tish Marrable

Post:Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Care (Social Work and Social Care)
Location:ESSEX HOUSE EH 226

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 678310
International:+44 1273 678310

Research expertise:
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I was a late starter at university but have been delighted to find myself here. I get to explore things I find fascinating, and try and pass that passion on to students in my teaching.

Before entering academia I worked in the music business as a press officer, band manager and sound engineer. This sounds more glamorous than it actually was. Over the years I have had wide experience of working in social roles, including counselling, teaching, nursing, and social care.

I completed a DPhil in Social Work at Sussex, funded by the ESRC, titled On needing ‘need': an exploration of the construction of children's ‘additional needs'. The study took a 'child outwards' qualitative methodology to explore the perspectives of children, parents/carers and practitioners from education, health, youth justice and social care. A key finding was that the emotions that arise in working with children and their families shape practitioners' views of the child, and therefore the support that they receive. Feelings of fear, anger and helplessness were strongly evident in practitioners accounts of their work.

My current research interests around autism, death and dying, and contemporary shamanic practices, are drawn from my own personal experience as well as from previous research work.


2011:  DPhil Social Work (University of Sussex)

2005:  MSc Social Research Methods (University of Sussex)

2001:  MSc Information Systems (University of Brighton)

2000:  BA (hons) Social Policy (University of Sussex)


I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.



I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Social Care and am active in research as well as teaching.  My current research centres on wellbeing in death and dying: looking at contemporary shamanic spirit work at the end of life, and practitioner practices and wellbeing when communicating about death with autistic adults. 

My teaching focuses around health and wellbeing, including spirituality, madness, and death and dying. I also teach social policy (with a particular interest in health and wellbeing) and research methods including evaluation practices. I teach and supervise undergraduates, postgraduates and research students. 

I lead the undergraduate elective Wellbeing Pathway, four elective modules in the first two years of undergraduate study:

  • Spirituality, Wellbeing and Health:understanding practices and connections
  • Mental health and madness: exploring socio-cultural approaches
  • Migrant and refugee wellbeing: theory and practice
  • Exploring death and dying: cultural, theoretical, and practice perspectives

I consult on the use of NVivo, a qualitative data analysis software package, to the research community.







2011 DPhil Social Work

2005 MSc Social Research Methods

2001 MSc Information Systems

1999 BA (hons) Social Policy

PG Cert Higher Education.