Photo of Susan McCool
  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Willing to act as a second supervisor in projects relating to autism, intellectual disability, child mental health and speech, language or communication needs among complex or under-served paediatric populations; or in related areas, including professional development and practice.


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Since 2018, I have been Director of Learning and Teaching for the School of Psychological Sciences and Health.

In 2016, I was awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, and I have subsequently been an Assessor for applications for this prestigious recognition scheme from across the institution. I'm a member of Senate (the governing body of the University concered with academic matters). In 2019/20, I am part of a University-wide group developing the strategy for a Suicide-Safer Strathclyde. I'm a member of the Learning and Teaching Committee for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and am regularly asked to participate in Faculty Fitness to Practise procedures for other professional disciplines.

For over 12 years I have held key roles in the delivery, organisation and management of the BSc (Honours) Speech and Language Pathology programme, including six years as Programme Leader, during which time it achieved ranking as the Number 1 course of its type in the UK. I've been involved in developing national curriculum guidelines for the education of speech and language therapists. I'm an Education Representative of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, involved in the accreditation of programmes across the UK, and an experienced External Examiner.

As a Senior Teaching Fellow, I lead classes across all four years of the course, including Research Investigation 1 (dissertation) as well as two Honours Advanced Study Option classes. I deliver an innovative Honours class on Social Emotional and Mental Health (as it relates to communication development and disorders).  I design and deliver the course's input on Autism; Intellectually Disability; and Social, Emotional and Mental Health.

Having worked for many years as a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (in autism, child mental health and child disability services) before coming to work at the University, I'm enthusiastic about helping students develop their professional and therapeutic skills. I therefore contribute to a suite of classes developing students' clinical and professional capabilities, taking the lead for the important foundational class in this programme.

I have long-standing interests in communication in people from complex and under-served populations. I have authored a chapter on pragmatic language in Maltreated and Traumatized Children for a forthcoming (2020) book, and I have published innovative research on communication profiles of children and young people in residential care, as well as intervention research in autism.

I came to work at the University in 2006; working here on a full-time basis since 2012. I myself am a graduate of this course (in 1991) so I have a long-standing connection to it.  I gained a PhD from University of Strathclyde in 1997. The topic, concerned with relationships between professionals and the parents of the children we work with, relates to my sustained interest in making our practice useful and effective for the users of our services, and for the people with whom they interact and communicate.

Expertise & Capabilities

  • Learning, teaching and assessment within Psychological Sciences and Health
  • Communication impairments
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Autism
  • Intellectually disabled children, young people and adults
  • Hearing impairment, motor disorders and disorders of fluency in children
  • Clinical and professional practice in speech and language therapy

Teaching Interests

My teaching on the course reflects my years of clinical experience and expertise in children's speech and language services. I have a particular interest in autism and child mental health. All of my teaching is infused with the need to consider and develop the evidence base for practice, and to work within appropriate models that promote the individual's functioning within their communicative environment and relationships.

Healthcare in the 21st century faces a multitude of challenges, and speech and language therapy is no exception. I'm committed to preparing our students for these challenges, by fostering their development of a wide range of personal, professional, clinical and academic skills, attitudes and attributes. 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Strathclyde

Bachelor of Science, University of Glasgow

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Research Output

Commuting to placement: impact on student learning, well-being and finances

McCool, S., Cohen, W., Couper, J. & Madden, J., 7 Jun 2017, p. 1-11. 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Open Access
  • 120 Downloads (Pure)
  • 8 Citations (Scopus)


    • 2 Examination
    • 1 Membership of committee


    Susan McCool (Examiner)
    15 Apr 2019

    Activity: Examination typesExamination

    Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (External organisation)

    Susan McCool (Member)

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of committee