Dr Isabelle Brodie

Senior Research Fellow


I first came to the University of Bedfordshire in 1994, and worked as a full-time researcher – and part-time PhD student - in the Department of Applied Social Studies until 2003.

I then left to work first at Birkbeck College and then the National Children’s Bureau.

I returned to the University in 2007 to work part-time as a researcher in the Institute of Applied Social Research, followed by some time in Education Studies and a return to the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking – ongoing.


  • MA (Hons Sociology) University of Aberdeen 1993
  • PhD (University of Luton) 1999
    • Thesis title: Re-defining the problem: The exclusion from school of children living in children's homes.

Teaching Expertise

  • I co-ordinate research methods and dissertation units for the Masters programmes in the Department of Applied Social Studies.
  • I have taught at all levels of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, from access courses to doctoral study.
  • I have just completed my term as external examiner for the MA Child Studies programme at King’s College, University of London. I provide annual guest lectures to King’s College and Middlesex University.
  • I have supervised five Professional Doctorates to completion. I am currently Director of Studies for three doctoral students, and second supervisor for a further two.

Research Interests

  • Children in need and children in care
  • Educational experiences of children in need and children in care
  • Child sexual exploitation, especially as this affects children in care
  • Children missing from and excluded from school

Research Projects (Last Five Years)

  • 2018 – researcher, evaluation of the Centre for Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse
  • 2017-18 – researcher, responsible for literature review on joint UoB/IOM research into human trafficking into the UK from Albania, Vietnam and Nigeria.
  • 2017 – principal researcher, evaluation of Level Trust (Luton based charity providing support for the educational wellbeing of children living in poverty).
  • 2015-2017 - Senior Research Fellow (.5) – responsible for research into the participation of young people in services relating to child sexual exploitation, International Centre: Researching Child
  • 2014 Joint researcher (with Dr Kate D’Arcy) research into the abuse of children living in residential care and internationally (funded by SOS Children’s Villages International)
  • 2013/14 Joint principal investigator (with Dr Cherilyn Dance), research into out of area placements for London’s children in care (funded by London Councils)
  • 2013 Consultant, piloting of the University of Bedfordshire’s Assessment Checklist on Child Sexual Exploitation for the Scottish Executive (funded by the Scottish Executive)
  • 2013/14 Senior Researchers, Evaluation of the Families and Communities Against Child Sexual Exploitation project (funded by Barnardo’s)

External Roles

  • Local and national presentations relating to research interests identified above
  • Reviewer, Child Abuse Review and Child and Family Social Work journals

Publications (Last Five Years)

  • Brodie, I. (2018) The Level Trust Project: Final Report.  Luton: University of Bedfordshire.
  • Brodie, I. and Pearce, J. (2017) ‘Violence against children in alternative care in alternative care internationally: reviewing the evidence’, Psychology, Health and Medicine, 22, 1, special issue.
  • Brodie, I. (2016) ‘Vulnerable children in the early years’ in E. Slaughter (ed) Quality Practice in the Early Years. Sage.
  • Brodie, I. (2014) 'Looked after children: missing and child sexual exploitation', in Rahilly,T. and Hendry,E. (eds) Looked After Children, London, NSPCC.
  • Brodie, I., Christie, C., Cosis-Brown, H., Dance, C. and Prokop, J. (2014) Out of Borough Placements for London's Looked After Children. London: London Councils.  Available at: www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/publications/out-of-boroughplacementsforlondon'slookedafterchildren.htm
  • Brodie, I. (2013) 'Young people, trafficking and sexual exploitation – a view from Scotland', in Melrose, M. and Pearce, JJ. (eds.) Critical Perspectives on Child Sexual Exploitation and Related Trafficking, Basingstoke, Palgrave,Macmillan
  • Beckett, H. with Brodie, I., Factor, F., Melrose, M., Pearce, J., Pitts, J., Shuker, L. and Warrington, C. (2013) 'It's wrong but you get used to it': A qualitative study of gang associated sexual violence towards, and exploitation of, young people in England. Luton: University of Bedfordshire. Available at http://www.beds.ac.uk/ic
  • Bateman, T., Melrose, M. and Brodie, I. (2013) 'Nothing's really that hard, you can do it'. Agency and fatalism: the resettlement needs of girls in custody. Luton: University of Bedfordshire.
  • Melrose, M., Brodie, I. and Arocha, L. with Shuker, L. (2013) Child Sexual Exploitation in Luton: Scoping Report. Luton: University of Bedfordshire.
  • Brodie, I. and Pearce, J. (2012) Exploring the Scale and Nature of Child Sexual Exploitation in Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. Available at: www.gov.scot/Publications/2012/10/9300
  • Brodie, I. with Melrose, M., Pearce, J. And Warrington, C. (2011) Providing safe and supported accommodation for young people who are in the care system and who are at risk of, or experiencing, sexual exploitation or trafficking for sexual exploitation. Luton: University of Bedfordshire. Available at http://www.beds.ac.uk/ic
  • Jago, S. with Pearce, J., Arocha, L., Brodie, I., Melrose, M. and Warrington, C. (2011) What's going on to safeguard children and young people from sexual exploitation? Luton: University of Bedfordshire. Available at: http://www.beds.ac.uk/ic
  • Brodie, I., Goldmann, R. and Clapton, J. (2011) Mental Health Transitions for Young People. SCIE Research Briefing. London: SCIE. Available at: www.scie.org.uk/publications/briefings/briefing37/
  • Brodie, I. (2010) Knowledge Review: Improving educational outcomes for looked after children and young people. London: C4EO. Available at: www.c4eo.org.uk/themes/vulnerablechildren/knowledgereview01.aspx
  • Shaw, C., Brodie, I., Ellis, A., Graham, B., Mainey, A., de Sousa, S., Willmott, N. (2010). Research into Private Fostering. London: DCSF

Contact Details

T: +44 (0)1234 743040
E: isabelle.brodie@beds.ac.uk
Office: P1.15 Bedford campus
Office hours: Tuesdays 2-3pm and Thursdays 9.30-11.30am (or by appointment)

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