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About Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies

Research Director: Dr Brian Bridges

Research at Ulster in subjects related to performing arts, creative technologies, museum and heritage studies and associated cultural contexts is combined within this unit. Individual subject areas include Cinematic Arts (film/moving image practice and associated theoretical/contextual studies), Creative Technologies, Drama, Heritage and Museum Studies and Music.

We are a research–intensive unit, with staff working in a wide range of areas within and across these disciplines. In REF2014, within this unit, nearly 60% of our research outputs and 100% of the impact of our work on policy and creative practice was rated 4* (world- leading) and 3* (internationally excellent). The impact of our research was judged to be 90% 4*, jointly ranked second in the UK, and one of only a handful of Units of Assessment to achieve this score across the whole sector.

Staff are prominent in their disciplines nationally and internationally, taking leadership roles in subject associations, networks and organisations such as Cinesonika, SCUDD (Standing Committee of University Drama Departments), TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association) and ISSTA (Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association). A number also serve on the Peer Review College for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and as assessors for the Europe-wide Horizon 2020 programme.

The range of subjects within this grouping contributes to a vibrant research culture which encompasses both individual subject areas and interdisciplinary opportunities. In addition to our work within the individual subjects above, the following interdisciplinary themes also support collaborative research:

  • Creative Arts and Health/Wellbeing
  • Creative Arts and Technologies
  • Creative Arts, Culture and Engaging with the Past
  • Creative Practice-as-Research

In addition to our collaborations across disciplines, our unit benefits from its connections with a range of partnerships with key arts and cultural organisations across the UK and Ireland, including the

  • BBC
  • RTÉ
  • National Museums Northern Ireland
  • the Contemporary Music Centre (IE)
  • Sound and Music (UK)
  • Nesta
  • the Abbey Theatre
  • the Playhouse Theatre
  • Cultúrlann uí Chanáin
  • Void Gallery
  • the Nerve Centre
  • FabLab NI
  • the Walled City Music Festival
  • City of Derry Jazz Festival.

The majority of our researchers are based at Magee campus in Derry/Londonderry, the inaugural UK City of Culture (2013).