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Over nearly four decades researchers in Media Studies at Ulster have been at the forefront of the development and growth of the discipline. Ulster pioneered research led teaching in Media Studies in the late 1970s, and since then Ulster researchers have played a key and direct role in the establishment of the first RAE panel in the subject in 1996 and in subsequent research exercises such as RAE 2008.

In its current form, The Centre For Media Research was established in 2004 with a £3.1 million grant under the Support Programme for University Research (SPUR2). Building on this significant success, Ulster research in Media was ranked tenth best in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) In the 2014 REF, the research profile for Media Studies showed that 60% of all work has been judged as being of ‘international excellence’; within this proportion, 21% is judged as having the highest accolade: ‘world leading’. The unit also scored highly in the Impact section of the REF, with 100% of its impact case studies scored at 4*/3*.

Looking forward to the next REF and beyond, The Centre For Media Research at Ulster is supporting and developing the work of a new generation of researchers in three related areas of activity: 1) emerging media, pedagogy and creative industries; 2) critical theory, critical regionalism, public culture and media policy; and, 3) the politics of the image in Ireland and beyond.