Our research activities underpin the quality of learning and teaching, fostering an atmosphere of critical enquiry and strengthening our academic profile nationally and internationally.
The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) confirmed our position as one of the top ten research communities in art and design, with 93% of our research designated as internationally recognised for quality, and 64% of our research submissions classed as world leading and internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
At UCA, we have a number of specialised and internationally acclaimed research centres. These centres bring researchers and academic staff together, often attracting external funding to undertake projects with industry, commerce and independent professionals
Established in 1995, the Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD) leads and participates in a range of externally commissioned research projects. It has organised over 100 conferences, workshops and training programmes focused on sustainable innovation and product sustainability, including its own Sustainable Innovation conference.
Working with business, policymaking and research communities in Europe, North America and Asia, the CfSD has considerable experience in global manufacturing industries, information and communication technologies and sustainable building products.
The International Textile Research Centre at UCA builds on the work of The Anglo-Japanese Textile Research Centre, which was established at UCA in 2004 to develop networks within and between the UK and Japan. These networks embraced contemporary textile practice, educational establishments, funding organisations and exhibition venues in the two countries. As projects have developed, networks and connections have extended beyond the UK and Japan to those countries where textile practice occupies a corresponding position.
In 2014, UCA decided that the research outcomes and interest of The Anglo-Japanese Textile Research Centre now encompass many different cultures and approaches - and The International Textile Research Centre at UCA was established. The Centre currently has nine PhD students, and its outstanding work has been acknowledged as world leading (4*) in REF 2014.
The Crafts Study Centre (CSC) is an internationally recognised museum of contemporary craft and a hub of crafts research, making it a high-profile resource centre for UK and international craft practitioners, historians and theorists.
The CSC has a unique collection of modern British craft that embraces calligraphy, ceramics, furniture, wood and textiles, with over 30,000 artefacts in total.
As a research centre of the University, hosted by the Library & Student Services, the Centre for Digital Scholarship pursues new knowledge and interpretations to resolve the challenges facing digital infrastructure, curation and engagement with digital resources in the visual arts.
As such it engages in institutional, disciplinary and cross-disciplinary, national and international collaborations and research projects that advance knowledge, secure resources and make a positive contribution to the University’s strategic objectives and operational needs.
Building upon excellence in the field of digital collections, particularly The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS), the Centre has expanded its role to include technology enhanced research and pedagogic practice. Within the University, the Centre explores the benefits and potential of new and emerging technologies to inform, enhance and embed innovative and outstanding practice within learning, teaching, research and knowledge transfer activities.
Externally, the Centre supports the Library & Student Services and University in developing a national and international reputation for excellence in the infrastructure, curation and engagement of digital resources to enhance scholarship in the visual arts and beyond.
The Centre for Digital Scholarship
Established in 2017 the School of Fine Art and Photography Research Centre (FAPRC) aims to support world leading research and pedagogy and to be at the forefront of critical dialogue through projects, exhibitions, symposia, conferences and lectures, that bring together artists and scholars in a research environment from fine art and photography. Its international research projects and initiatives encourage debate and scholarship around a series of specific research clusters, exhibitions and conferences. These include, ‘Fast Forward: Women in Photography’ with its international network and ‘The BookRoom’ with its publishing activities and an international exhibition and conference programme. Our initiatives capture and contribute to the pressing debates in the constantly evolving Fine Art and Photography disciplines.
At UCA, we provide targeted support for sustained research excellence whilst supporting the formulation and development of new research areas, and developing of early career and new staff. This scheme allows us to enhance the research culture and expertise across all disciplinary areas of the University, creating a platform for knowledge exchange.
Find out more about our open access research repository, run by the library in partnership with the Research Office.
At UCA, we are committed to maintaining high standards in all our research activity and offer targeted support to our research staff and students.