Researchers at UCD


Hilda Loughran

Senior Lecturer

School Of Soc Pol, Soc Wrk & Soc Justice
Sheehy-Skeffington Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168421


Senior Lecturer

Dr Hilda Loughran's areas of interest include;alcohol and drugs policy and practices, social work education, counselling and brief interventions and crisis interventions. She has been engaged in policy and practice research projects for many years. She has been instrumental in developing qualitative research approaches that focus on the inclusion of clients, service users perspectives.
Her most recent research projects include work in the areas of alcohol use, crisis pregnancy, community drugs issues and brief interventions. Her book on Crisis Therapies serves as an important publication for social work education. Her teaching commitments are primarily in the Masters in Social Work programme where she is responsible for courses on social counselling skills, group work, social work and addiction and brief interventions. She also teaches alcohol and drugs policy, and BSocSc students and supervises a number of PhD students.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2011.
Title: National Community Education Initiative Award
Year: 2009.
Title: Teaching and Learning Fellowship
Year: 2004.
Title: President's Teaching Award
Year: 2001.
Title: Presidents Teaching Grant


Association: Society for Reseach into Higher Education, Function/Role: member
Association: International Consortiuum for Social Development, Function/Role: Organization Committee for International Conferneces
Association: Society for Social Work Research , Function/Role:
Association: Irish Association of Alcohol and Addiction Counsellors, Function/Role: Education Officer 1998, Member
Association: Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, Function/Role: *
Association: Irish Association of Social Workers, Function/Role: Officer in journal publications, member

Conference Contributions

Loughran, H. & Lawson, A.; (2000) Marital Therapy and Alcoholism Treatment: Incompatible Bedfellows?. [Poster Presentation], American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, Denver, Colerado , 02-NOV-00 - 05-NOV-00.
Loughran, H; (2003) 'Applying Qualitative Research Methods to the Field of Alcoholism and Marriage'. [Poster Presentation (Refereed)], Advances in Qualitative Methods, Banff, Canada , 10-MAY-03 - 14-MAY-03.
Loughran, H.; (2004) Motivational Interviewing in Probation. [Invited Oral Presentation], Challanges to Probation North and South, Enniskillen, Norther Ireland , 10-DEC-04.
Loughran, H.; (2004) Social Work Challanges. [Keynote Address], Housing Welfare in Ireland, Sligo, Ireland , 19-MAY-04 - 21-MAY-04.
Loughran, H. and McCann, ME; (2005) 'Learning about the Experiences of Drug Problems in Three Irish Communities from 1996-2002 Employing a Community Participation Research Approach,. [International Refereed Conference], International Consortium for Social Development,, Recife, Brazil , 15-JUL-05.
Loughran, H.; (2005) Research and Clinical Practice : A detached relationship ?. [Keynote Address], Irish Association of Alcohol and Addiction Counsellors, Mullingar, Ireland , 22-MAY-05.
Loughran, H. and Quin, S; (2006) Developing a Model for Teaching Group Work. [N/A], European Social Development Conference, Warsaw , 28-JUN-06 - 02-JUL-06.
Loughran, H; (2006) International Organising Committee. [Conference Organising Committee Member], International Consortium for Social Development,, Hong Kong , 01-JAN-06 - 28-JUL-07.
Loughran, H and Quin, S.; (2007) Advances in Group Work Teaching. [International Refereed Conference], European Group Work, York, UK , 04-SEP-07.
Loughran, H. and McCann, ME; (2007) Community Drugs Study Developing Community Indicators of Drugs Problems. [Keynote Address], Community Drugs Indicators, Dublin , Ireleand , 02-MAR-07.
Loughran, H. and McCann, ME; (2007) Developing effective social policy : a lesson from community drugs issues. [International Refereed Conference], International Consortium on Social Development, Hong Kong , 24-JUL-07.
Loughran, H; McCann, M.E; (2008) MI in a Therapeutic Community. [Chaired Session], First International Conference on Motivational Interviewing, Interlaken, Switzerland , 09-JUN-08 - 11-JUN-08.
Loughran, H; McCann, M.E.; (2008) Community Drug Problems: a Lifespan Perspective. [Chaired Session], Addiction Across the Lifespan, York, England , 13-NOV-08 - 14-NOV-08.
Loughran, H; McCann, M.E; (2009) Harnessing the benefits of mixed methods research to explore community drug problems. [Chaired Session], 5th International Mixed Methods Conference, Harrogate, England , 07-JUL-09 - 09-JUL-09.
Forgey, MA. & Loughran, H.; (2010) advanced tecnology in higher education. [Oral Presentation], Education and Development, Valentia Spain , 08-MAR-10 - 11-MAR-10.
Forgey, MA and Loughran, H. (2010) Paper on employing video and conference link technology in teaching on MSW programme in Ireland and USA. [Refereed Abstracts], International Technology, Education and Development COnfernece, Velentia , 08-MAR-10 - 10-MAR-10.
Loughran, H; McCann, M.E; (2011) Social Work, Service Users and Communities: Developing Participatory Research Methods. [Chaired Session], First International Conference on Social Work Research, Oxford, England , 23-MAR-11 - 26-MAR-11.
Loughran, H; McCann, M.E; (2011) Civil society takes the lead in policy education initiative. [Chaired Session], International Consortium on Social Development Conference, Bangladesh , 03-JAN-11 - 08-JAN-11.


Committee : B.Soc. Sc. Programme Board
Committee : School workloads committee
Committee : Humand Sciences Ethics Committee for Taught Postgraduate Programmes
Committee : Organising Committee for the Consortiuum for Social Development Hong Kong 2007
Committee : Board of Directors Coolmine Theraputic COmmunity
Committee : Organising Committee of Consortiuum for Social Development , Bangladesh, 2011
Committee : School Management Committee
Committee : Irish Association for Alcohol and Addiction Counsellers
Committee : Organising Committee for the 16th International Consortium for Social Development, Mexico 2009
Committee : Human Science Research Ethics Committee
Committee : Moderator on Community Drugs Courses
Committee : Community Outreach Education Course Curriculum Committee
Committee : Outreach Management Committee
Committee : Ethics Committee School of Psychology Undergraduate Programme
Committee : School Committee for Teaching and Learning
Committee : Standing Committee on Teaching and Learning


Employer: Dublin County Council
Position: Housing Welfare Officer
Employer: Eastern Health Board, Stanhope Addiction Centre
Position: Director of Training and Supervision


Year 1980 Institution: Institute of Personnel Management UK
Qualification: Dip Management Subject: Human Resource Management
Year 1983 Institution: Institute for Adult Education
Qualification: AA Dipl Subject: Public Speaking
Year 1984 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: Dip APPSS Subject:
Year 1977 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: BSocSc Subject:
Year 1985 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: MSocSc Subject:
Year 1985 Institution: UCD
Qualification: M.Soc.Sc Subject: Grief and Loss
Year 2003 Institution: UCD
Qualification: PhD Subject: Alcohol Problems and Marriage


Client: Coolmine Theraputic Community
Client: Probation and Welfare Services
Client: HSE Addiction Services

Outreach Activities

Voluntary work with Stanhope Alcohol Treatment Centre

Work with community partners, Merchant's Quay, An Cosan and Urrus

Community Partners Education Outreach  1997 to date
Continuing Professional Development with services including : Probation, HSE, Focus Ireland, Addiction Services.
Continuing Professional Development 
With UCD affiliated hospitals

Journals Edited

Irish Journal Of Social Work Research: Editor.
Irish Social Worker: Editorial Board member.
: Reviewer.
British Journal Of Social Work: Reviewer.
Drugs: Education, Prevention, Policy : Reviewer.
Journal Of Social Work: Reviewer.
Irish Probation Journal: Reviewer.
Journal Of Youth Studies: Reviewer.

Other Activities

Outreach Work
Working in partnership with a number of communities in the greater Dublin area to provide and or consult about ongoing educational and prefessional development within the field of drug and alcohol policy and service provision.
Clinical Practice in Stanhope Addiction Treatment Centre, Dublin



Hilda Loughran; (2011) Understanding crisis therapies: An integrative approach to crisis intervention and post traumatic stress. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Available Online [Details]

Book Chapters

Hohman,M.,Loughran, H. & Mathiesen, E.; (2011) 'Motivational interviewing and the engagement and assessment process' In: Hohman,M.,Loughran, H. & Mathiesen, E.; (eds). Motivational interviewing and social work practice. New York: Guilford Press. [Details]
Loughran, H; (2006) 'Alcohol Problems, Marriage and Treatment: Developing a Theoretical Timeline'' In: Straussner, L. and Fewell, C (eds). Impact of Substance Abuse on Children and Families. New York: Haworth. , pp.31-48 [Details]
Loughran, H; (1995) 'Alcohol Problems in the Family Life Cycle' In: McCarthy, I (eds). Irish Family Studies. , pp.113-126 [Details]
Hohman, M, Kleinpeter, C and Loughran, H; (2005) 'Enhancing Motivation , Strengths and Skills of Parents in Child Welfare System' In: ed. J Corcoran (eds). Building Strengths and Skills. Oxford: Oxford University Press. , pp.268-292 [Details]
Loughran, H; (2005) 'Drug Policy in Ireland in the New Milleniuum' In: ed. P Kennedy, G Kiely, A Matthews and S Quin (eds). Contemporary Irish Social Policy, 2nd ed. Dublin: UCD Press. , pp.299-322 [Details]
Loughran, H; (1999) 'Drug Policy in Irealnd in the 1990's' In: Quin, S., Kennedy, P., O'Donnell, A. and Kiely, G (eds). Contemporary Irish Social Policy. , pp.306-330 [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Hohman, M,Loughran, H (2013) 'What Do Female Clients Want From Residential Treatment? The Relationship Between Expressed and Assessed Needs, Psychosocial Characteristics, and Program Outcome'. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 9 :3-10. [DOI] [Details]
Loughran, H.; (2010) 'Eighteen and celebrating: Birthday cards and drinking culture'. Journal of Youth Studies, 13 (6):631-645. [DOI] [Details]
Loughran, H.; (2010) 'Drunk Talk: A language of intoxication'. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 54 (1):7-13. [Details]
Hilda Loughran (2009) 'Group work in the context of alcohol treatment'. Journal of Teaching in the Addictions, 8 (1):125-141. [Details]
Loughran, H; (2006) 'Alcohol Problems, Marriage and Treatment: Developing a Theoretical Timeline'. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 6 (2):31-48. [Details]
Hilda Loughran; (2006) 'A Place for Motivational Interviewing in Probation ?'. Irish Probation Journal, 3 (1):17-28. [Details]
Loughran, H,Hohman, M,Finnegan, D; (2010) 'Predictors of Role Legitimacy and Role Adequacy of Social Workers Working with Substance-Using Clients'. British Journal of Social Work, 40 :239-256. [DOI] [Details]
Loughran, H; McCann, M.E; (2011) 'A Case for Developing Community Drug Indicators'. Social Indicators Research, 102 (2):229-244. [Details]
Hilda Loughran, Melinda Hohman, Dan Finnegan; (2008) 'Predictors of Role Legitimacy and Role Adequacy of Social Workers Working with Substance-Using ClientsBr. J. Soc. Work, Advance Access published on July 30, 2008; doi: doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcn106'. British Journal of Social Work, Advanced Access (doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcn). [Details]
Loughran, H. & McCann. M.E.; (2005) 'Escape From the Ivory Tower'. Professional Development The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 8 (2-3):116-124. [Details]
Hohman, M and Loughran H; (2003) 'Teaching Evidence Based Addiction Practice'. Journal of Teaching in the Addictions, 2 (1):1-16. [Details]

Other Journals

Loughran, H; (2003) 'Parents with Alcohol Problems and the Impact on Children' Child Links The Journal of Barnardos¿ National Children¿s Resource Centre :24-27. [Details]
Loughran, H; (2001) 'Drug Policy and Drug Courts' Irish Social Worker 19 (1) :12-14. [Details]
Loughran, H and Walsh, T; (1998) 'Newly Qualified Social Workers: What work worlds are they entering?' Irish Social Worker 16 (1) :4-7. [Details]
Loughran, H; (1997) 'Motivational Interviewing' Irish Social Worker 12 (1) . [Details]
Loughran, H. and Price, B.; (1994) 'Theoretical Models to Inform Practice Teaching' Irish Social Worker 12 (1) :12-13. [Details]

Conference Publications

Lougrhan,H. & McCann, M. E.; (2011) Social work, service users and communities:Developing participatory research methods European Social Work Research Conference , Oxford, UK [Details]
Loughran, H, & McCann, M.E.; (2011) Civil society takes the lead in policy education International Consortium for Social Development, Dhaka,Bangladesh [Details]
Loughran, H; McCann, M.E; (2008) Harnessing the Benefits of Mixed Methods Research to Explore Community Drug Problems 5th International Mixed Methods Conference Harrogate, England. July [Details]
Loughran, H; McCann, M.E; (2008) MI in a Therapeutic Community First International Conference on Motivational Interviewing Interlaken, Switzerland 9th ¿ 11th June [Details]
Loughran, H; McCann, M.E.; (2008) Community Drug Problems: a Lifespan Perspective Addiction Across the Lifespan Society for the Study of Addiction Annual Symposium York, England. 13th ¿ 14th Nov 2008 [Details]
Loughran, H & McCann, M.E.; (2007) Developing Effective Social Policy - A Lesson from A Community Drugs Study 15th Biennial ICSD Symposium Seeking Harmony and Promoting Social Development in a World of Conflict Hong Kong, China, , 16-JUL-07 - 20-JUL-07 [Details]
Loughran, H. & Quin, S.; (2007) Advances in Teaching Groupwork 2007 Groupwork Symposium [Details]
Hilda Loughran; (2006) Developing a Model for Teaching Group Work European Social Development Conference, Warsaw [Details]
Loughran, H & McCann, M.H; (2005) Escape from the Ivory Tower Social needs Global solutions: creative approaches for social development 14th International Symposium IUCISD Recife, Brazil, , 25-JUL-05 - 29-JUL-05 [Details]
Loughran, H; McCann, M.H; (2005) Learning about the Experiences of Drug Problems in Three Irish Communities from 1996 to 2002 Employing a Community Participatory Research Approach Social needs Global solutions: creative approaches for social development 14th International Symposium IUCISD Recife, Brazil, , 25-JUL-05 - 29-JUL-05 [Details]
Loughran, H McCann, M H; (2005) Learning about the Experiences of Drug Problems in Three Irish Communities from 1996 to 2002 Employing a Community Participatory Research Approach' 14 th International Symposium IUCISD Recife, Brazil, [Details]
Dunnion, J, Loughran, H., Purcell, P. ; (2011) Some examples of innovative practices at UCD for engaging large classes 5TH National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Annual Conference (NAIRTL 2011) National University of Ireland Galway, [Details]
Dunnion, J., Loughran, H., Purcell, P.; (2011) University College Dublin takes a lead inmodularisation reform and curriculum design Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 2011 University of Saskathewan, Saskatoon, Canada, [Details]
Dunnion, J. Loughran, H & Purcell, PJ.; (2011) Modularisation reform and curriculum design: Education Strategy at University College Dublin International Conference on Education, Saskatoon, Canada [Details]
Dunnion, J., Loughran, H., Purcell, P; (2011) Patterns of elective choice in the University College Dublin undergraduate curriculum 3rd International Conference on Engaging Pedagogy 2010 (ICEP 2010) NUI,Maynooth, Ireland, [Details]
Dunnion, J., Loughran,H. & Purcesll, PJ. ; (2011) General Electives in Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Social Science International Conference of Engineering Education, Belfast, Northern Ireland [Details]
Purcell, P., Loughran, H., Dunnion, J. ; (2010) Patterns of elective choice in the UCD undergraduate curriculum Society for Higher Education Annual Resreach Conference , Celtic Manor, Wales [Details]

Published Reports

Loughran, H. and McCann, ME; (2006) A Community Drugs Study: Developing Community Indicators of Drug Use. NACD, Dublin. [Details]
Loughran, H. and McCann, ME; (2006) Ballymun Community Case Study: Experiences and Perceptions of Problem Drug Use. NACD, Dublin. [Details]
Loughran, Hand McCann, ME; (2006) Bray Community Case Study: Experiences and Perceptions of Problem Drug Use. NACD, Dublin. [Details]
Loughran, H. and McCann, ME.; (2006) Crumlin Community Case Study: Experiences and Perceptions of Problem Drug Use. NACD, Dublin. [Details]
Loughran, H. and Richardson, V.; (2005) Mixed Method Adoption Research. Crisis Pregnancy Agency, Dublin. [Details]


Research Interests

Drug and alcohol policy, brief interventions and social work practice and policy.

Addiction and family dynamics, community perspectives on drug issues, social work practice and engagement of service users.


Teaching Philosophy

Learning is a journey not a destination. Teaching involves engaging students and being engaged oneself in this life-long process. Adoption of a partnership model supports student's achievement of learning milestones e.g . discipline/transferable knowledge/skills while respecting students as thinkers and learners. Widening participation is our ethical responsibilty.

Enhancement of Teaching

Teaching a range of programmes has enhanced my skills. I designed professional intervention skills modules employing multiple teaching/assessment methods informed by student feedback, learning styles and pedagogical research .I published related articles and presented at international conferences. Employing problem-based principles I developed a student led real-play group simulation methodology assessing student intervention design and reflective learning journals. Student feedback is typically very positive; course was excellent, I am confident about group work now. I established counselling skills video recorded role play and peer/teacher feedback which successfully develops professional excellence. I responded to student anxiety by establishing small study groups fostering independent learning. Student feedback records support of my ability to create a safe learning environment. A Fulbright Scholar joined me in class. Impressed with my effectiveness as a teacher she proposed continued collaboration leading to: a joint UCD Fordham skills class, invitation to teach in Fordham and an accepted journal article. I co-taught group work classes providing me with peer observation feedback commending my engagement with students, contribution to achievement of learning outcomes and teaching style. Teaching an elective to 180 (18 schools). In the first year the MCQ exam distorted grades. I conducted an analysis of responses, consulted with experts in MCQ design and changed; number/ range of questions, reduced to 50% of total grade. I researched critical thinking and designed assessment based on comparative analysis between UCD and NUIG alcohol policy. Students achieved critical analysis skills and active citizenship was fostered by eliciting interest in UCD's student environment.

Review and Enhancement of Curriculum

Head of Teaching/ Learning: I designed the Social Policy framework for implementing Pathways model which has attracted/engaged /retained students in Social Policy. Designed both social work modules in the most popular pathway, methods employed to build communication , professional skills, teamwork (interactive , employing cases, seminars providing experiential skills development; Assessment :exams and project). The Pathways makes explicit links with other subject areas /professional careers. I conducted major reviews of undergraduate curriculum with HoS e.g.: curriculum redesign following modularisation; 2011 restructured core/optional/elective module provision; prepared Quality Assurance Report. I conducted module enhancement analysis mapping learning outcomes and assessment across undergraduate programme: addressing the overemphasis on lower levels of learning and inconsistent engagement with e.g. critical thinking/ analysis/evaluation by; presenting findings to module co-ordinators, supporting descriptor revision; introducing assessment in line with recommendations of MEP; introducing a Capstone module (designed with HoSP fostering critical thinking, evaluation ,analysis and opportunity to apply learning to students area of interest). Postgraduate: Development of excellence in professional skills (required by MSW professional accreditation) requires intensive engagement/ diverse assessments. Since 1993 I have engaged in student summative and formative feedback, essential in this process. I model professional skills of reflection by inviting and responding to feedback and keeping students informed about changes that result from their input. From week 1 working with students developing skills/ confidence in reflective practice and giving / receiving feedback. These skills form basis for learning throughout the programme. Engaged in curriculum review for accreditation. I embedded formative feedback in teaching on group work module. Students demonstrate skills though simulated real-play. Students then engage with each other in providing feedback on successful achievement of learning, reflection on their own learning and commentary on the process including my contribution as a teacher. Students successfully demonstrate required skills (grades and external examiners)

Developing as a Teacher

I am influenced by pedagogical and education research emphasising the participatory nature of learning (Bruner), respecting students as thinkers (Honderick). I have developed as a teacher from engagement with outreach programmes. I employ my clinical skills including communication and engagement skills, self-reflection and ability to analyse process to enable me to engage and motivate students. Group process skills enable me to build active participation facilitating students to safely explore ideas, applying ideas to examples. These participatory methods deliver successful outcomes in professional education developing cognitive and social attributes evidenced by student assignments and external examiners reports. I successfully translate this approach to engaging large classes. I learned the importance of structure and coherence through researching curriculum design on Graduate Diploma and put energy into preparing interesting/ up to date content, employ diverse teaching and assessment methods attending to different learning styles. I apply my learning from workshops I organised for my school including: assessing learning styles; aligning levels of learning, assessment and student outcomes; employing problem- based learning. My next challenge is, with the help of modules in educational technology, to embed new technologies and social media in my modules and the school curriculum.

Innovation & Leadership

Loughran (2011) integrates research, teaching and clinical expertise. Chinese translation upcoming. Am the lead academic in Teaching and Learning in my school: Head of Teaching and Learning. I organise seminars, support T/L enhancement, advise on e.g assessment, student support. As Fellow in Teaching and Academic Development had the opportunity to research broader structural aspects of teaching and learning. I have published on teaching/learning in social work (publications), articles on curriculum design (under review), structural provision of electives( preparation).


Internal Collaborators

Dr. Mary Ellen McCann, School of Applied Social Science. Working on drug and alcohol research as part of the government funded education and research initiative.

Dr Dorren McMahon, UCD. Collaboration with RTI on BI and A and E  research.

External Collaborators

Prof Melinda Hohman, SDSU, California, USA. Motivational Interviewing research on training and education of social workers. Also publications on social policy  needs assessment and AOD research and domestic violence.
Dr MaryAnn Forgey, Fordham University, NY, USA.  Social Work Education research and curriculum development.

RTI USA on alcohol intervention research project