Lavin has lectured at the University of Witwatersrand as well as Queen's University Belfast and was a Senior Associate of St Antony's College, Oxford. In 1980 she relocated to Durham where she was co-director of the Research Institute for the Study of Change and a lecturer in the Department of Modern History, as well as Principal of Trevelyan College from 1979–1995. She was President of the Howlands Trust and from 1995 to 1997 was Principal-elect of the new College to be developed at the Howlands Farm, which eventually became Josephine Butler College.
- South African Memories: Scraps of History, Ad. Donker, 1979 (co-author)
- From Empire to International Commonwealth: A Biography of Lionel Curtis, Oxford, 1995
- The Condominium Remembered:Proceedings of the Durham Sudan Historical Records Conference 1982, University of Durham, Centre for Middle Easte, 1993 
- Debretts profile
- Profile at timesonline.co.uk
- Martin, Susan TREVS A Celebration of 40 years of Trevelyan College Durham.
|Principal of Trevelyan College, Durham