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Jennifer Hoolachan

Dr Jennifer Hoolachan


Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

+44 29208 76871
Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I was appointed as a Lecturer in September 2016 and I currently teach on the School's Criminology programme across all levels, as well as contributing to research methods modules which cut across several programmes in the School.  

I am an interdisciplinary qualitative researcher in the social sciences with a particular interest in ethnographic methodology.  I completed my Doctorate in 2016 which explored the drug and alcohol use of young people living in homeless accommodation.  My research interests include: homelessness and housing; marginalised groups and precarity; the sociology of deviance (with a focus on drug use); youth studies; and constructions of home and place.  Theoretically, my work has been informed by symbolic interactionism, deviancy theories, youth transitions, belonging and identity, and understandings of space and place.










Book sections



My most recent projects have included:

  • Tai Ffres Research and Evaluation (funded by the National Lottery)
  • Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) and Student Housing in Scotland (funded by Scottish Government)
  • Making a House a ‘Home’ in the Private Rented Sector: Good Practice Guidance for Landlords (funded by Safe Deposit Scotland)
  • An Evaluation of Homelessness Services for Young People Leaving the Secure Estate’.(funded by Welsh Government)
  • An Evaluation of Ty Tarian: A Pilot Homeless Service for Women Involved in Sex Work or at Risk of Sexual Exploitation (unfunded)


I currently teach on the following modules:

Year 1:

  • Foundations of Contemporary Criminology (SI0284)

Year 2:

  • Offending and Victimisation (SI0201)
  • Ethnography and Everyday Life (SI0309)

Year 3:

  • Drugs, Crime and Society (SI0603) - Module Co-convenor
  • Dissertation (SI0131) - supervision and teaching


  • Crime and Social Harms (SIT312) - Module Convenor
  • Dissertation (SIT725) - supervision



Career Overview:

  • Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University, 2022-present
  • Lecturer, Cardiff University, 2016-2022
  • Research Assistant, University of St Andrews, 2015-2016
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Stirling, 2011-2016
  • Research Assistant, University of Stirling, 2014-2016

Education and Qualifications:

  • PhD (Social Sciences) University of Stirling, 2016
  • MSc (Applied Social Research) University of Stirling, 2011
  • MSc (Alcohol and Drug Studies) University of the West of Scotland, 2010
  • MA(Hons) (Psychology) University of Glasgow, 2007

Honours and awards

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Urban Studies journal ‘Best Paper 2019’ (shortlisted) for Hoolachan, J. and McKee, K. (2019) Inter-generational housing inequalities: ‘Baby Boomers’ versus the ‘Millenials’. Urban Studies, 56(1), 210-225.

Professional memberships

Housing Studies Association (member of the Executive Board, former Treasurer and current Communications Officer)

European Network for Housing Research (member)

Committees and reviewing

Journal and Reviewer Activities

Editor for the Housing Studies journal

Former Policy Review Editor for the International Journal of Housing Policy (2019-2022)

Former International Advisory Board member for Housing Studies journal

Co-editor of special issue for People, Place and Policy - Devany, C., Formby, A., Hoolachan, J. and McKee, K. (2020) PPP Special Issue Editorial. Contemporary youth: precarity, resistance and (re)imagined futures, People, Place, Policy, 14(2), 85-89.

Peer reviewer for:

  • Ethnography
  • European Journal of Criminology
  • Housing Studies
  • Housing, Theory & Society
  • International Journal of Housing Policy
  • Journal of Organisational Ethnography
  • Qualitative Research

Grant reviewer: ESRC

SOCSI Committees and Administration Roles

Student Voice Champion (2023-present)

Climate Task and Finish Group (2021-present)

SOCSI Writing Club co-founder and co-convenor (2019-present)

Ethnography, Culture and Interpretive Analysis Research Group co-convenor (2019-present)

Inclusion in Teaching and Learning Committee (2018-2023)

Digital Education Committee member (2020-2022)


I am interested in supervising PGR students conducting qualitative and/or ethnographic research in the following areas:

  • Homelessness
  • Private rental housing
  • Subjective experiences of home
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Young people's issues
  • Deviance

I am currently supervising the following PhD/Professional Doctorate candidates:

Fiona Long (2019-present) 'Breaking down barriers: an ethnographic study into the barriers to exiting homelessness'

Kirsty Stuart Jepsen (2020-present) 'How is identity made sense of during a near-relapse experience of alcohol addiction?'

Melanie Brain (2018-present) 'The impact of homelessness on the identity of vulnerable women'

Rachael Walker (2022-present) 'A qualitative study of "gambling harms" in the UK'


I have previously supervised the following PhD/Professional Doctorate students:

Bethan Davies (2019-2022) 'Preventative approaches in radicalisation: a comparative study of early interventions for extreme far right and 'Islamist' ideologies'



Research themes


  • Criminology
  • Housing policy
  • Youth studies
  • Homelessness
  • Substance use