Prof Liz Walker UNI-8699

Professor Liz Walker

Professor of Social Work/ Chair Ethics Committee Faculty of Health Sciences

Faculty of Health Sciences

01482 463336

Professor Walker is Academic Lead for the Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research. She is also  lead researcher for the Social and Psychological Aspects of Research into Long-term health Conditions (SPARC) group and is Associate Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre.

Professor Walker has an international research profile within the field of the sociology of health and gender and its applicability to social work.

Her expertise in the area of HIV/AIDS in southern Africa has been influential in the areas of social inequality and stigma. Recent work focuses on living with chronic illness, specifically auto-immune conditions.

Professor Walker is lead researcher for the Social and Psychological Aspects of Research into Long-term health Conditions (SPARC) group and is Associate Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre.

Her research is based upon a long-term commitment to social justice and emancipatory research practice.


Research Interests

  • Professor Walker undertakes research into the sociology of chronic illness. She is currently researching service user experiences of the transition from children to adult1 diabetes services within Hull and East Yorkshire.

  • She is PI on a project that is exploring the impact of relapsing and remitting conditions, such as Lupus, on employment.

  • She has significant research expertise in HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa and has recently completed a project in the UK entitled 'Positively Different: Contemporary Understandings of HIV’.

  • Gender has always been a central feature of Professor Walker's health research. She has focused particularly on marginal masculinities, both in South Africa and the UK.

  • ·She is currently leading a PhD scholarship cluster: Bridging the Divide: Living with Multimorbidity.

Research groups

Professor Walker is Associate Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre, Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research, University of Hull.

She is also research lead for the research group, Social and Psychological Research into Long-term Health Conditions (SPARC), Faculty of Health Sciences.


Booth, S., Price, E and Walker, E (2018) ‘Fluctuation, invisibility, fatigue – the barriers to maintaining employment with systemic lupus erythematosus: results of an online survey.’ Lupus. Walker, L. (2017) ‘There’s no pill to help you deal with the guilt and shame’: Contemporary experiences of HIV in the United Kingdom, Health, vol23 (1) pp 97-113

Walker, L (2017), ‘Problematising the Discourse of Post-AIDS’, Journal of Medical Humanities, DOI 10.100/7/s10912-017-9433-9.

Price, L & Walker, L (2015), Chronic Illness, Vulnerability and Social Work: Auto-immunity and the Contemporary Disease Process. London: Routledge

Price, E. and Walker, L. (2014), ‘Diagnostic Vertigo: The Journey to Diagnosis in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus’, Health, 18 (3), pp 223-239.

Walker, L. (2010) ‘His Mam, My Dad, My Girlfriend, Loads of People Used to Bring Him Up: The Value of Social Support for (Ex) Offender Fathers’, Child and Family Social Work, 15, pp 238 – 247.

Walker, L. (2010) ‘"My Son Gave Birth to Me". Offender Fathers: Generative, Reflexive and Risky?', British Journal of Social Work, 40, pp 1402-1418.

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Social Work Research and Dissertation Module

  • Introduction to Social Work: Individuals, Families and Communities

  • Social Work and Society

Research PhDs

  • Chronic illness/long term conditions

  • Food practices

  • Gender and health

  • Marginal masculinities/fatherhood


Completed PhDs 

Mayeso Lazaro:  Grandfathers Caring for Orphaned Grandchildren in rural Southern Malawi: invisible in Plain Sight (2018)

Beverley Orton, Women and Resistance in South African Theatre (Completed February 2015)

Laurie Lynn Kelly, Steering an AIDS-Free Course: Successful Strategies for Young Men and Women in Southern Africa (Completed January 2014)

Geraldine Ogunleye, Being Disabled in Ondo State, Nigeria (completed December 2013)

Kate Wood, Gay and Lesbian Adoption and Fostering: Policy, Practice and Legislative Change (Completed 2013)

Gloria Likupe, The experiences of African Nurses in the United Kingdom (Completed September 2011)

Peter Burke, The Impact of Childhood Disability on the Family (by publication/mentor) (Completed 2011)

Current PhD supervisors

Urooj Aizad, Troubled Eating: Experiences of Overweight Young People

Emma Stevens, An Ethnography of Community Nursing

Gillian Wilson, Supporting Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis to Make Decisions About Treatment: Specialist Rheumatology Nurse Perspectives

Laura Shand, Gendered Experiences of Early Career Academics

Mo Aye, Osteoporotic Hip Fractures in Older People — The Perspectives of Service Users and Health Care Professionals on the Impact of Disease and Post-Fracture Intervention

Israa Faraj, Male Victims of Honour Violence

Kalia Kaparounaki, Child Carers in Malawi in the Context of HIV/AIDS

Mayeso Lazarus, Grandparenting in the Context of HIV/AIDS and Poverty in Rural Malawi

Marion Wilson, Prisoners' Experiences of Grief

Long Vu, Same Sex Identity in Vietnam

Vicky Burton, Children’s Perspectives of Violent Fathers

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Social Work), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

  • BA (Hons), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

  • MA (Sociology), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

  • PhD (Sociology), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

  • PGHE, University of Hull

External roles

Professor Walker is a referee for Social Science and Medicine, Sociology of Health and Illness, Culture, Health and Sexuality, British Journal of Social Work, Child and Family Social Work, Health, Health and Social Care in the Community.

Professor Walker has held visiting positions at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and continues to work in close international collaboration with colleagues in South Africa.

She has acted as external examiner for a number of social work/sociology programmes (undergraduate/postgraduate, including PhD) within the UK and South Africa.

Partnerships and collaborations

Professor Walker completed her PhD in 1999, which explored the experiences of women doctors through a study entitled South African Society of Medical Women.

In 2001, she joined the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), University of the Witwatersrand, where she continued her research on HIV/AIDS.

As Senior Researcher at WISER, she developed research projects in the area of masculinity, risk and resilience, specifically working with ex-perpetrators of domestic and criminal violence.

She took up her appointment at the University of Hull in 2004.

Awards and accolades

Shortlisted for the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness annual book prize (2016) for Chronic Illness Vulnerability and Social Work: Auto-immunity and the Contemporary Disease Experience.