High quality research

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The scope of UCLan’s research activity is far-reaching - from working with NASA on solar dynamics, with the Department of Health on sector-leading stroke research, with industry on cutting-edge digital media projects and collaboration with the Football Association, Professional Golfers Association and International Olympic Committee on sport and exercise science research. Find out more about the world-leading research with real-world impact that our research staff undertake.

We have now developed 6 UCLan research themes, 2 UCLan research institutes and 11 UCLan research centres. Information about the institutes can be found on the Research Institutes webpage. Full details of the themes and centres are available on our new web pages. You can find some information on the new themes below, together with a list of the new centres.

Key achievements as mentioned on our homepage are :

  • Winners of the Times Higher Education Awards 2016 for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts for our Global Sound Movement Project
  • Winners of the Digital Innovation Award at the Guardian University Awards 2017 for our online resource that provides vital training to clinicians caring for stroke patients
  • Professor Lubaina Himid MBE wins the Turner Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious art awards.
  • A leading research institution whose 16 subject areas in which our research was assessed were judged to contain ‘world-leading’ elements in REF2014
  • Awarded a four-star rating out of a possible five in the distinguished QS World Rankings, which lists 850 elite universities around the globe
  • Our Head of Planning and Insight authored a report in January 2018 explaining the three main UK university rankings

New UCLan Research Themes

UCLan has developed 6 overarching research themes that highlight our research strengths, ambitions and expertise. Our academics working in these themes produce high quality international and world-leading research. The research web pages are currently being redeveloped and will showcase the new themes in more detail. The 6 new themes are:

Arts, Culture and Heritage

Led by world leading academics and practitioners in the fields of arts, culture and heritage, the University nurtures a thriving culture in fine arts, film, theatre, dance, music, humanities, languages, linguistics, cultural studies, heritage and global studies. Working in partnership with local, regional and international partners, ranging from museums to arts collectives and from community groups to international university partners, we are ideally positioned to deliver internationally outstanding research that draws on the uniquely comprehensive opportunities that interdisciplinary interaction across creative and critical disciplines offers.

Citizenship, Society and Justice

Our work brings together expertise from a range of fields to address problems of citizenship and social justice.  We engage with individuals, community groups, frontline service providers and policy makers to develop transdisciplinary research which identifies the complex chains of causality that produce social polarisation, inequality, disadvantage and exclusion.  Using innovative methodologies we develop solutions that will make a positive and sustained contribution regionally, nationally and globally.

Some of our most influential research is led by The Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change, which works in the areas of civic renewal, sustainability and culture as well as at the interface between the public and private spheres, where violence and exploitation meet public systems of regulation and protection. A commitment to social justice has its counterpart in  criminal justice where our Criminal Justice Partnership produces research in  Mental Health; Policing; Prisons; Youth Justice and Violence and Aggression.

Lifelong Health and Wellbeing

Our vision is to enable people from all communities to thrive in every aspect of their lives and at all stages of their lives. We work closely with individuals, groups and communities based in the UK and overseas to understand the factors that affect their quality of life in terms of their physical, mental and social health and wellbeing. We develop and evaluate evidence-based solutions to these issues, leading to innovations in practice and policy, including the development of new treatments and other interventions, which can have a transformational impact on people’s lives.

People, Place and Environment

Our research explores the ways in which people interact with, and are shaped by, the places in which they live and work. We undertake collaborative, multidisciplinary research spanning the fields of archaeology, environmental science, the built environment and art installation. This work incorporates architecture, urban cityscapes, law and the prison system, site-specific art and performance, and the history of place.

Major areas of research strength include migration (both historic and contemporary) and the Asia-Pacific region, where we are noted for our ground-breaking work on Korea, Taiwan and the South China Sea. This research is leading to new insights into how communities and organisations can thrive within their societies.

Sustainability, Business and Enterprise

As part of the UCLan ambitious objectives for research excellence, knowledge exchange and impact, Sustainability, Business and Enterprise has been identified as one of the strategic research priorities.
Through our research we drive business growth, champion enterprise and promote sustainability. This is achieved through multidisciplinary collaborations across the University, leading to the development of strong conceptual frameworks. Our work is relevant to the needs of business, the economy and wider society.
In particular we are engaged in collaborative research involving work and employment, tourism and hospitality, human wellbeing, gender equality, sustainable cities and communities, production and consumption, accounting, banking and finance, risk management and business development.

Transformative Sciences and Technology

We engage in world-leading scientific and technological research, advancing knowledge and practice. Our work is leading to the development of solutions to real-world problems across industry, the business community and the public sector.

We are also addressing significant global challenges to achieve a better, more sustainable future for all. Ongoing research at the interface of biology, chemistry and physics is exploiting the unique advantages of nanoscale structures for the treatment of disease, while our application-driven research in signal and image processing is leading to major advances in non-invasive medical diagnosis.

Our interdisciplinary research spans the fields of astrophysics, bioengineering, computer science, digital engineering, energy management, fire and hazard science, forensic science, materials science, nanotechnology, neuroscience, tribotechnology, waste management and other areas.

New UCLan Research Centres

Below is a list of the 11 new UCLan Research Centres – full details will be available on our new web pages soon.