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 Exercise 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
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.
The researcher development programme (RDP) offers training and development opportunities for postgraduate research students and research staff.
We place great importance on maintaining the facilities and technical expertise for material (analogue) processes of making, including those in ceramics, glass and metals, constructed and printed textiles, wet photography, printmaking and letterpress, while at the same time investing extensively into state of the art digital technologies, including digital still and moving image production and post-production.
We support good practice in research and scholarly activity. Conducting research in accordance to the highest standards of rigour and integrity is very importance to us.
Five commitments as set out in the concordat:
Commitment no. 1
we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research.
Commitment no. 2
We are committed to ensuring that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards.
Commitment no. 3
We are committed to supporting a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers.
Commitment no. 4
We are committed to using transparent, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise.
Commitment no. 5
We are committed to working together to strengthen the integrity of research and to reviewing progress regularly and openly.
Research Governance main contact:
Professor Trevor Keeble
Please click on links below to view and/or download or policy documents:
REF 2014 – Definition of Research
1. For the purposes of the REF, research is defined as a process of investigation leading to new insights, effectively shared.
2. It includes work of direct relevance to the needs of commerce, industry, and to the public and voluntary sectors; scholarship; the invention and generation of ideas, images, performances, artefacts including design, where these lead to new or substantially improved insights; and the use of existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially improved materials, devices, products and processes, including design and construction. It excludes routine testing and routine analysis of materials, components and processes such as for the maintenance of national standards, as distinct from the development of new analytical techniques. It also excludes the development of teaching materials that do not embody original research
3. It includes research that is published, disseminated or made publicly available in the form of assessable research outputs, and confidential reports.