Research in the School of Communication and Media

Our staff members are active researchers and/or consultants

Our research is important, innovative and impactful. It demonstrates the central role communication plays in society, and that research is crucial to ensuring society's communication is successful, enabling and professional.

All staff in the school are active researchers and/or consultants. Alongside academic publication, a number of colleagues disseminate their work in communities and via social media. The reach of communication across all aspects of life is reflected in colleagues’ membership of four of the University’s research institutes:

The research of colleagues in each of the Research Institutes complements that of the others, providing a context ripe for interdisciplinary discussion, exploration and innovation.


A vibrant Linguistics group has interests encompassing both the structures and the functions of language(s).

Members of the group carry out research on syntax (Raffaella Folli and Christina Sevdali), historical syntax (Sevdali), semantics and pragmatics (Jacopo Romoli), and language acquisition (Juliana Gerard). The group also collaborates on projects about multilingualism and language disorders such as aphasia.

One of the ways in which the group members and their students apply their research is through a partnership project with the children's charity Barnardo’s called 'Language Made Fun'. The project enables children of refugees and asylum seekers to improve their English through play.

Other colleagues in the Linguistics group analyse how language is used in everyday and institutional, including political, contexts. They focus in particular on identity construction and identity management, from the perspectives of conversation analysis (Catrin S. Rhys), social psychological approaches (Karyn Stapleton), and discourse analysis (Anthea Irwin, Karyn Stapleton). These three colleagues form the local organising team for the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA) conference, which will come to Belfast in 2017.

Elsewhere in IRiSS, colleagues carry out work in the Counselling area which explores Emotional Intelligence and secondary impact (Jill Hendron) and mental health, in particular self-harm and help-seeking (Maggie Long) from psychological, sociological, and discursive perspectives.

Institute of Nursing and Health Research

Taking a health related focus, Anne Moorhead researches communication in healthcare, particularly communication technologies in healthcare in the areas of mental health and obesity.

Centre for Media Research

Members of the Centre for Media Research carry out research into lobbying, public affairs and public relations (Conor McGrath), and media policy and public service media in the UK (Phil Ramsey).

Business and Management Research Institute

Taking a business focused approach to communication, Aodheen McCartan’s research interests are in the fields of advertising, small firm marketing and financial services marketing.

In this section


Find out more about our Linguistics expertise and 2021 seminar series.

UCom - Ulster University Centre on Multilingualism

UCoM works to provide a local service to share current research on multilingualism.

Investigating Variation and Change

This project seeks to investigate two interrelated topics: how languages or dialects vary from each other, and why and how morphological expression of syntactic roles such as subject and object varies.

CARDS TalkDeck: Dealing with Spoken Language

English language resources for teachers and students.