Research and innovation

Research and innovation

Our research takes a critical approach to exploring the role that performance and the arts play in the creative, cultural and social aspects of society.

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Our research

The academic expertise of our staff and research students form a diverse and welcoming community united by a passion for contemporary theatre and performance and the wider arts and cultural sector. 

We have a strong interdisciplinary ethos which leads us to collaborate with colleagues from across the University, as well as with universities and industry partners around the world.

Our vibrant and growing community of PhD researchers is an integral part of our research culture and reflects the rich diversity of our School’s research interests.

Research activity in the School is conducted under three interlocking themes which define our unique research identity: Cultural value, engagement and policy; Cultural places, spaces and environments; and Performance pedagogies, processes and practices. Our research centres and groups are each tied to one of these themes.

Research groups

Research in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries is represented by six research groups.

The Audience, Experience and Engagement research group investigates how audiences engage with and are engaged by a range of theatre forms, performance and the arts.

More on Audience, Experience and Engagement

The Bodies and Performance research group explores the way bodies are performed in their cultural, biological, philosophical, aesthetic and mediated contexts and manifestations.

More on Bodies and Performance

The Participation research group examines the nature of participation as both a process and a goal, in all its forms, from participatory practice, research and governance.

More on Participation

This research group examines how place functions beyond the theatre building, focusing on the reciprocal relationship between people and place in both built and natural environments.

More on Place and Performance

Positioning training within a larger context of performance practice this research group explores the processes of preparation in dramaturgy, composition, theatre directing and devising.

More on Performance Training, Preparation and Pedagogy

The Centre for Cultural Policy is dedicated to exploring and expanding the breadth of research in the field of cultural policy, regionally, nationally and internationally.

More on Centre for Cultural Policy

Impact and engagement

With industry in its name, the School’s research is rooted in strong local, regional, national and international collaborations with external partners ensuring that the impact of our work is felt on society locally and globally. We are proud of the deep relationships our researchers have forged with a broad range of industry partners in culture, environment, health, policymaking, economics and business and we are committed to engaging with the challenging opportunities for real-world change and transformation that these partners demand.