Marjorie Alice Brown was born in Edinburgh on the 7th February 1907. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature in 1928 and later graduated with a Diploma in Social Studies in 1936. From Edinburgh Brown travelled down to London where she took the Mental Health Course at the London School of Economics in 1936-37. This was essentially a post-qualifying training course for Psychiatric Social Work (PSW), at that time a specialism within the profession.
Brown is noted as having worked at the Maudsley Hospital in London after qualifying as a PSW, before being posted to Westmorland in the Second World War to work with evacuated children. She carried out the Westmorland Evacuation Survey during this time and wrote about this in a book 'A Study of the Evacuation in Westmorland' alongside J. F. Dow in 1943.
After the war Brown went to work as the Senior Psychiatric Social Worker at the Crichton Royal Hospital, Dumfries. During her time there she worked with Dr Mayer-Gross on his Mental Health Survey of a Rural Area. She then went to work with Professor Alexander Kennedy at the Department for Psychological Medicine at Newcastle, before returning to Edinburgh to take up the post of Director of the Social Studies Department in 1951 when Nora Milnes retired.
Brown had a keen interest in international social work laboured to establish and maintain relationship with others in social work education around the world. She visited America in 1956 to form links with the American Council on Social Work Education, and in 1962 was the Chairman of the planning committee for the European Regional Seminar of the International Association of Schools of Social Work, which held its meeting in Edinburgh that year. Brown was invited to sit on a number of committees and councils including the Council for Training in Social Work, its Scottish Advisory Committee and the National Institute for Social Work Training.
Brown died in Edinburgh on 21st December 1964.
Sources: University of Edinburgh Calendar (1936-37); University of Edinburgh Journal (1965-66) vol 22(1), 80; University of Edinburgh Social Work Centenary website: http://www.socialwork.ed.ac.uk/centenary [accessed December 2018]; Waldron, F. E. (1965) 'Marjorie Brown 1909-1964' British Journal of Psychiatric Social Work, vol. 8 (1), 3-5.