Richard Machin

Job Title and Responsibilities

Senior Lecturer - Social Welfare Law, Policy and Advice Practice

I am the course leader and admissions tutor for the campus-based BA (Hons) Social Welfare Law, Policy and Advice Practice course.

About Me

I joined Staffordshire University in 2013. I have over fifteen years’ experience of working in the social welfare law sector as an adviser, tribunal representative and manager. I worked for over ten years at Derby City Council where I managed Derby Advice, the council’s welfare rights and money advice service. In this role I was responsible for recruitment/line management of staff, external funding and projects, budget and performance management, delivery of benefit take-up activities and liaison with local councillors and MPs.

I helped to develop the largest welfare benefits/money advice training programme in the East Midlands and taught on the Social Work and Youth Work/Community Development degrees at the University of Derby. I have been a practice assessor and work place supervisor for social work students.

I am a firm believer in the value of partnership work and have developed and managed services with a wide range of partners in local government (e.g. social services and housing departments) health (e.g. community mental health teams) and the voluntary sector (e.g.  YMCA, Citizens Advice). I was Derby City Council’s lead officer on a programme of redundancy support (delivered with the Department of Work and Pensions) to employees at companies including Toyota and Bombardier.


  • MA Education

  • Post Graduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education

  • University Diploma in Professional Development – Managing and Working in a Mobile Workforce

  • BA (Hons) Social Policy and Administration

  • Certificate in Counselling Skills

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Management committee member for  Church Action on Poverty,a national social justice charity committed to tacking poverty in the UK:

  • Senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

  • Editorial board member for Citizens Advice ‘Adviser’ magazine.

  • Freelance trainer for Child Poverty Action Group


Welfare benefits, welfare reform, housing rights, social policy, provision and delivery of advice services.

Enterprise and Commercial Activities

The Social Welfare Law, Policy and Advice Practice course has excellent links with agencies and professionals from the sector. Over the last few years I have worked in partnership, alongside academic colleagues and students, with organisations including the Institute of Money Advisers, Aspire Housing, Citizens Advice, National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (NAWRA), Stoke-on-Trent Food Bank, Age UK, Save the Children, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire Housing Association, British Red Cross, MIND, and Brighter Futures.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the impact of welfare reform and access to services for marginalised groups.

Current Teaching

I teach on the following modules on the BA (Hons) Social Welfare Law, Policy and Advice Practice course:

  • The Context of Advice

  • Welfare Benefits and Money Advice

  • Management of Advice Services

  • Immigration and Asylum

  • Modern Social Policy

Selected Publications

Machin, R (2017) The Professional and Ethical Dilemmas of the Two-child Limit for Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit.Ethics and Social Welfare, 11 (4). pp. 1-8. ISSN 1749-6535

Machin, R (2017) Made to measure? An analysis of the transition from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 39 (4). pp. 435-453. ISSN 0964-9069

Machin, R (2017) How do the general election manifestos compare on social security pledges? Adviser online.

Machin, R (2017) The two-child limit for Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit. Adviser, 180.

Machin, R (2016) Back to the future - 30 years of Adviser. Adviser, 179. pp. 9-11.

Machin, R (2016) Understanding Holiday Hunger. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 24 (3). pp. 311-319. ISSN 1759-8273

Machin, R. (2016). Social Security in the aftermath of the EU referendum. Legal Action – Journal of the Legal Action Group (June 2016).

Machin, R. (2016). Getting what you deserve? Discretionary support, eligibility and vulnerability in the light of ‘bedroom tax’ appeal cases. The Adviser 175 (May/June 2016).

Boath E, Machin R, Dixon M, Thomas N, O’Connell P, Taylor L. (2016). Stop with the FLO: using text messages to improve retention rates in University Students. Innovative Practice in Higher Education. Vol.2 (3) April 2016.

Machin, R (2016). Universal Credit - Alternative Payment Arrangements. Quarterly Account - The Journal of the Institute of Money Advisers, Issue 39 (Winter 2015/16)

Machin, R. (2015) Discretionary payment scheme is no answer to bedroom tax discrimination. Legal Action – Journal of the Legal Action Group (November 2015)

Machin, R., Tsaroucha A. & Boath, E. (2015) Staying put: the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’ on tenants in North Staffordshire.  Poverty – Journal of Child Poverty Action Group, Issue 152


Machin, R (2018). Personal Independence Payment – a fair deal for people with mental health problems? Social Policy Association 50th Anniversary Blog Series. 16.04.2018.

Machin, R (2018). The two-child limit for benefits – A move away from a ‘needs based’ system. Discover Society. 06.03.2108.

Machin, R (2017).  A welfare adviser’s view on Universal Credit: a flawed system that emphasises process over people, The Conversation, 16.10.2017.

Machin, R (2017). Four reasons why welfare reform is a delusion, London School of Economics British Policy and Politics Blog. 28.06.2017

Machin, R (2017). General Election 2017 gives voters a genuine choice when it comes to poverty and benefits, Staffordshire University Election Experts Blog. 30.05.2017

Machin, R (2016). Experts’ Views on EU Referendum. Evening Sentinel, 21.06.16.
Machin, R (2016). Brexit and Benefits. Staffordshire University EU Referendum Blog 2016, 03.05.2016.

Machin, R (2016). Bedroom tax and benefit sanctions: social workers must get to grips with welfare law. The Guardian, 06.04.16.


Fiona McCormack, Rachel Massie, Richard Machin, Penny Vincent, Judy Kurth, Jane Morton, Chris Gidlow. (2016). City Centre Rough Sleeping and Street Activity – Project Report.

Book Reviews

Machin, R (2016). Homes and places. A history of Nottingham’s council houses. Housing Studies. DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2016.1184903.


Richard Machin
Staffordshire University
School of Health and Social Care
Brindley Building
Leek Road
t: 01782 295965