Transformative Sciences and Technology

Our research is recognised internationally for the important contribution it makes to scientific advancement, technological development and addressing significant global challenges.

Our work is leading to solutions to problems experienced across industry, the business community and the public sector. In order to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, our ongoing research in biology, chemistry and physics is using 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. We have a range of expertise across many fields, such as astrophysics, bioengineering, computer science, digital engineering, energy management, fire and hazard science, forensic science, materials science, nanotechnology, neuroscience, tribotechnology and waste management.

Areas of Research Strength

Forensic computing students

Computer Science

This area focuses on research that aims to make a personal, societal and economic difference in relation to Child-Computer Interaction (ChiCI); Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Information Systems; and Games and Gaming. Academics focus on delivering better technologies for children, engaging in general HCI, user experience (UX), augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) and Interaction Design research, Agile systems development, and Security and Forensics.

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The UCLan Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC)


This research area covers a wide span of engineering applications and is driven by a mix of academics' thirst for knowledge and investigations within industry settings. We mix scientific and technological expertise that is focused on topics within Autonomy and Systems Integration, Digital Manufacturing, Intelligent Machines and Maintenance, Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis, Clean Growth (including Waste Management) and Human Factors. We have contributed to and made many important developments from improving the safety and competitiveness of European aircraft through signal and image processing technology, improving radiation therapy planning and delivery, to the creation of a dynamic 3D facial scan for face-based health monitoring and a breakthrough discovery of an acoustic emission-based biomarker linked to knee ageing and degeneration.

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Two people consult a chart at an archaeology dig site

Field Archaeology and Forensic Taphonomy

Research in this area has a firm emphasis on scientific analysis and encompasses work in archaeology, forensic anthropology and forensic genetics. Our academics undertake exciting global archaeological activity, in places such as world-renowned sites from Orkney to California, working with the police and pathologists, and DNA profiling.

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Abstract artwork depicting a strand of DNA alongside pills, medicines and other health technology

Health Technology Assessment

Our academics come from a wide range of research groups across the university, with expertise in the methodology and conduct of evidence syntheses – the process of bringing together information from a range of sources and disciplines to inform debates and decisions on specific issues. This includes systematic reviews, economic evaluations and information science, clinical trials and health implementation science. By working together we can support decision-making about the clinical and cost effectiveness and use of new and existing interventions in health and social care. We work with many NHS Trusts and are members of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) College of Experts and Clinical Studies groups.

Health technology research
Researchers working in a neuroscience lab


This encompasses a broad range of research from the molecular to clinical, from research into aptamers to concussion from sports. Our goal is to be internationally recognised in 3 areas: neuro-oncology, dementia and neurodegeneration; and molecular psychiatry. Our academics range from biomedical scientists through to pharmaceutics and clinicians. We do significant collaboration with Brain Tumour North West and are invited to give lectures at events and institutions around the world.

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Image of the sun taken from the University astronomy lab

Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics

This research area brings together theoretical and experimental work on topics relating to Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics and Mathematics, Materials Science, and Fire and Hazards Science. Our Jeremiah Horrocks Institute led a Space Act Agreement with NASA and pursues research into the Sun, stars, planets, galaxies and the universe. We have a broad range of physicists, mathematicians and chemists as well as leading experts in fire safety who have contributed to national and international fire safety regulations.

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Psychology researcher wearing test equipment while working at a computer


This area has a focus on both theory and evidence-based research and multidisciplinary collaboration. Key research strengths relate to the three broad topics of Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience; Forensic Psychology and Quality of Life, including the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (DCN) Research Laboratory. We have national and international links including NHS Trusts, allied health professionals, police forces, and Local Education Authorities.

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Female athlete on a couch talking to colleagues during sports rehabilitation

Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

Researchers in the area of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation can be lab-based or field-based, working in local practices in the UK or with large international organisations. Our multidisciplinary research teams are internationally renowned in the fields of health, rehabilitation, sports performance, sport and exercise, sports coaching, sport and humanities, physical education, and strength and conditioning. We develop and evaluate the effectiveness of products designed to interact with the body, and the effectiveness of surgical and therapeutic treatments. We work with institutions at home and abroad to ensure quantifiable impact and outcomes, working with a variety of sports teams such as Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club and British Cycling.

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Scientist looking into a microscope in neuroscience lab

Translational Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical sciences encompasses various disciplines including pathology, medical microbiology, clinical biochemistry and haematology and transfusion sciences. To address such disciplines different applied and translational sciences have emerged and we have several active research teams working at the cutting edge of these areas. Our main focus is to take laboratory research into applications which will benefit medical professionals in the clinic and in healthcare.

Biomedical sciences research
Lab work with microscopes

Translational Clinical Sciences

Here we support collaborative research between the University and health care organisations. We have internationally recognised expertise in Clinical Sciences, Dental Sciences and Clinical Medicine. Research topics include: dental sciences, concussion, cancer, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary diseases, infectious diseases, genetics, gastroenterology, intellectual disability and education. We have new groups – Dental Research Team and Biomedical Evidence Synthesis and Translation (BEST) – which are a contributor to two international networks, Cochrane and Best Evidence Medical Education Collaboration

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