Art and Design research


The School of Creative Arts is home to a wide range of research in art and design.

Research areas

abbey by nightAreas of specialism include art history and design history in film, media practice and theory, and music.

At the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), over 50 per cent of research in Art and Design was rated either 'internationally excellent' or 'world-leading' in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

The School has 3 research groups:

Our groups provide an intellectual and creative hub for the School's research in the wider field of art and design practice, in art and design history and theory. They focus on text-based interpretations of visual and material culture, and media research across a range of digital and analogue platforms.

Colleagues in the School of Creative Arts participate in the Social Sciences Arts and Humanities Research Institute's Creative Economy Research Centre (CERC), a centre dedicated to cross-disciplinary research in the social, economic, critical and creative dimensions to the Creative Economy. 

Areas of strength

Research at the School of Creative Arts has particular strengths in the fields of:

  • video and performance art
  • public sculpture
  • applied arts
  • practice led research into the arts
  • art, design and media history

Other areas of expertise include early 19th French and 20th century Soviet art; 20th century design and its mediation through text.

The School also comprises an internationally recognised Research into Practice group that explores the epistemological bases of art and design research. The group has advised governments and international agencies at home and abroad on practice-led research.

Our fine and applied artists and film-makers have worked in major national and private collections worldwide.

The School's art and design historians and media theorists make a sustained contribution to their respective disciplines through the publication of book and journals, contributions to a range of national and international conferences, and contributions to the discipline base through a range of scholarly publications.

The School is also home to a thriving community of research into film and media practice, in both fine and applied contexts.

Key concerns within the group are the convergence of discrete media, with our work ranging from games theory and design, to socially engaging film making in emerging economies.

Applying our research

Central to the School's interests is the application of its research and the public benefits of its scholarship.

Research within the School is carried out against the backdrop of a wide range of public institutions including hospitals, government organisations, museums and local industries.

The School's staff also work closely with UH Arts and UH Galleries - University organisations designed to promote the arts and to share its research among the local community.

Colleagues within the School are also active within a wide range of commercial and public organisations working on a range of knowledge exchange activities.

Researchers can reclaim their expenses via the following form, Creative Arts Research expenses  (DOC - 0.03 Mb) 

Visiting researchers

The School's research is additionally nourished by visiting researchers and professors from Universities in Brazil, Europe, UK and the US.

The School is also home to a thriving international community of doctoral and master students forming the next generation of artists, designers and academics. 

Sharing knowledge

Multi-disciplinary collaboration is central to our research interests. Staff and research students within the School are members of the Social Sciences Arts and Humanities Research Institute (SSAHRI).

Explore the research areas within SSAHRI


Researchers within the School of Creative Arts collaborate with colleagues at Oxford Brookes University and the University of Surrey as part of an AHRC Block Grant Partnership award.

Our researchers and research students also form part of a wider community of postgraduate students in the fine and applied arts, in fashion, product design and graphics, and in film, media and TV, and share modules in research skills training.