Research Themes, Research Groups, and Centre

Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies Research is organised within interdisciplinary and subject/discipline research groups, and we collaborate with colleagues across Ulster as part of the Creative Industries Institute (established in 2017). Current projects led by this unit include the £13 million AHRC Creative Cluster,  Future Screens NI, and the UKRI Covid Rapid Response project Museums, Crisis and Covid-19.

In REF2014, 90% of Research Impact was judged to be 90% 4* 'world leading', with the unit placed in the UK top 5, and the unit's overall profile saw it ranked alongside prominent research-intensive departments at other universities and in the conservatoire sector.

Our research addresses the interdisciplinary themes of:

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

A unique multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary environment for research within and between the fields of drama, film, music, heritage and museum studies.

People within Music, Drama, Dance and the Performing Arts research

Meet the staff behind our Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies research.

Visiting Professors

Visiting Professors within Music, Drama, Film and Heritage.

Music Research

Music at Ulster University has a vibrant community of practitioner-researchers, with interests in key areas of contemporary practice including composition, music technology, participatory/applied music, and improvisation and performance and soundtrack research.

Drama Research

Drama researchers at Ulster work as a research-intensive subject team within the field of drama and in interdisciplinary projects with collaborators across the creative arts; with staff in other subjects across the university; and, with a range of external partners.

Film and Screen Research

Film and Screen/Cinematic Arts at Ulster University is a new and vibrant area of research that combines theory and practice of moving image arts in the new digital media age.

Heritage and Museum Studies Research

The heritage and museum studies subject at Ulster University has been established since 2001 and has maintained a vibrant research culture ever since. Current research focuses around the theme Engaging the Past, which considers issues of memory, interpretation, representation, identity and political context of notions of heritage.

Creative Industries Institute

Bringing together our research and teaching expertise to collaborate with industry, government and communities.

PhD Research: application processes and topics

PhD research can be pursued in the following individual subject areas: Cinematic Arts (film/moving image practice and film and screen studies), Drama, Heritage and Museum Studies and Music.

PhD opportunities in Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies

Check our funded and self-funded PhD opportunities in Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies.

  View our PhD opportunities

Find out more about Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies Research

Facilities and Infrastructure

Our infrastructure includes specialist equipment and performance spaces at our Magee (Derry/Londonderry) and Belfast campuses, and we also have extensive experience partnering with arts organisations across NI.

Recent Articles and Book Chapters

Researchers in this unit have published in some of the leading journals in music, drama, film/screen and heritage/museum studies, and in volumes published by Springer, Palgrave, Rowman and Littlefield, Manchester University Press and Routledge.

Recent Practice Outputs

Recent creative practice-based research from the unit has included jazz albums, screen operas, electroacoustic and experimental music, installation art and voice work for a film.

Recent Books

Over the course of the REF 2021 cycle, this unit has published eight books, including three monographs and five edited collections, with publishers including Palgrave, Routledge, and Rowman and Littlefield.

Conferences and Symposia

Previous conferences, symposia and festivals of Music, Drama, Film and Screen and Heritage research

Current and Recent PhDs

Our PhDs are a key, and growing, part of our research community

Future Screens NI

Future Screens NI is a £13 million project within the AHRC/UKRI Creative Clusters programme, delivering expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across film and broadcast, animation, games and immersive technologies and industries in Northern Ireland.

Museums, Crisis and Covid19

This UKRI Rapid Response project focuses on how museums can contribute to community resilience and wellbeing in a time of crisis.

Inclusive Creativity

Inclusive Creativity aims to level the playing field in performance and composition for disabled musicians by developing new technologies and methodologies for their use.

Counting What Counts

Helping senior cultural decision-makers to understand the importance and potential of big data.