World’s first honorary professor in Mad Studies appointed

By Press Office

World’s first honorary professor in Mad Studies appointed by Queen Margaret University

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh has appointed the world’s first honorary professor in Mad Studies.  

Dr Kathryn Church, a world-leading scholar in Mad Studies and Disability Studies from Ryerson University in Canada, will play a key role in driving forward further development of Queen Margaret University’s (QMU) MSc Mad Studies, which launched in 2020.

Mad Studies is a recognised academic discipline that explores the knowledge and actions that have grown from the global mad movement. It cuts across the fields of social sciences, healthcare and humanities and expresses a radical new voice in academia about madness.  

In 2020, QMU offered the world’s first master’s degree in Mad Studies to students with lived experience of mental health issues. At the time, this progressive postgraduate degree was hailed by Dr Kathryn Church, and other experts, as the most exciting piece of curriculum development in the last 20 years! 

Dr Elaine Ballantyne, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at QMU, has worked tirelessly for a decade to create a unique offering of Mad Studies programmes in collaboration with CAPS Independent Advocacy and Thrive Edinburgh. Initially, the courses attracted people with lived experience from across Scotland, but the development of the online MSc Mad Studies is now attracting learners from across Europe, as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, America, Philippines and Hong Kong. 

Dr Elaine Ballantyne said: “We are delighted that Dr Kathryn Church, who is recognised as the international academic authority in Mad Studies, has accepted this appointment. She has led the development of Mad Studies at Ryerson University in Toronto and beyond, whilst also providing advice and encouragement in establishing our master’s programme at QMU. Her new position as Honorary Professor of Mad Studies will help strengthen the profile of Mad Studies as an academic discipline, and the important contribution that the mad community can make to the generation of knowledge about madness. Her vast knowledge and expertise in this specialist field will also enhance QMU’s reputation as a global trailblazer in Mad Studies education.” 

Read more about Dr Kathryn Church on the Toronto Metropolitan University website.

To find out more about the MSc Mad Studies at Queen Margaret University, visit MSc Mad Studies.  

Notes to Editor

MSc Mad Studies at Queen Margaret University 

This MSc Mad Studies course at Queen Margaret University is the first of its kind internationally. This course will be particularly suitable for you if you are a graduate with lived experience of mental health issues engaged in the mad movement and/or mental health organisations within the third or public sectors. You may be a student, volunteer, activist or employee who wants to learn how Mad Studies theory and research can meaningfully contribute to your academic skills, activism and work. It will also be suitable for you if you are a professional who is looking to expand your knowledge, skills and practice through single CPD modules in Mad Studies. 

For further media information, please contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E:; M: 07711 011239 or E: