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Our Research

Arts & Digital Industries has an enviable track record of delivering high quality research, with world-leading outputs and impact statements acknowledged in the last Research Excellence Framework Review of 2014. Much of the School’s research culture takes shape through its research centres and group projects – including those listed below.

Our Research Centres

This page contains recent projects. To see what the Centres and teams are currently working please on click on the links or mail the lead contacts below. and group projects – including those listed below. 

Centre for Cultural Studies Research (CCSR)

CCSR is an international centre for research in contemporary cultural studies, cultural theory and cultural production. The centre supports research into political and theoretical issues in cultural studies and cultural practice, involving a number of keynote conference events, networks and publications.

Recent activities include commissioning Radical Cultural Studies book series (pub. Rowman & Littlefield International) to examine the culturopolitical, sociopolitical, aesthetic and ethical implications of international cultures.

Moving Image Research Centre (MIRC)

MIRC specialises in new film practices and theory. It cultivates and presents film art practice and new research relating to the moving image, involving leading film makers, scholars, artists and organisations. The centre provides a unique context for inter-disciplinary research. This involves screenings, residencies and a cycle of guest lecture series, in parallel with the university’s BA, MA and PhD programmes in film & video. Theses include:
  • multicultural film narratives, including Indian and Arabic film cultures
  • migration and refugees
  • auteur filmmakers narratives
Contact: Johannes Maier-

Rix Research and Media (RIX)

The RIX centre (f.2008) explores and develops ways of using new technologies to transform the lives of people with learning disabilities. With partners in the uk and overseas the RIX centre are currently
  • delivering an innovative Multimedia Advocacy approach to enable people with learning difficulties to communicate effectively by using digital photography, video, audio and computers.
  • a personalised Wiki approach, running successfully in the uk and now being developed for use in the US and Australasia 

Centre for Performing Arts and Development (CPAD)

CPAD delivers innovative research in Performing Arts. Their outputs impact on subjects such as Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies, Music, Dance and Creative Writing. More recently CPAD instigated initiatives that explore
  • socially engaged practices, 
  • performance philosophy and cultures, 
  • practice-based research, 
  • digital and interdisciplinary research.
Contact: Ananda Breed -

Directional Forces / Art & Design

Directional Forces  is a group formed to support the development of creative artists and designers and writers in their  practice. Activities include exhibition platforms, curated events, community arts projects  and a programme of keynote speakers involving artists, designers, photographers, animators, illustrators, agencies, curators, events programmers and gallery owners. Recent activities:
  • guest speakers in 2016 have so far included Grayson Perry and Jonathan Barnbrook (designer of Bowie album covers)
  • an artist-residency programme in Italy to support Prof Doc practiser-development

Contact: Hedley Roberts -

Public Engagement Projects

Hopping Down in Kent

This project will create an exhibition to celebrate the history of hop picking at the listed ‘Hoppers’. 

Hospital’ in Kent. Staff and students will work with local charity trustees, volunteers, and former hop pickers now living in Tower Hamlets.

Eastlife: An Anthology of Life Writing

The project aims to create an online anthology of the lives and experiences of older members of east London’s communities. UEL students will work with local people from all backgrounds, races, classes, genders and ethnicities to gather stories.

Breaking Down Barriers

A collaboration between UEL sports journalism, Kick it Out and the Football Supporters’ Federation, this project considers the barriers and discrimination in sports and sports journalism and how to overcome these. UEL staff and students will run outreach sports journalism workshops with sixth-form students in east London schools, giving insights into working in football writing while helping them reflect on equality and diversity issues.

Demand the Impossible

Lower-income London teenagers will spend a week at UEL, learning about politics and activism and how to get involved with social and political change. Activities will include seminars, external speakers and guidance on self-directed political campaigning.

Newham Speech Bubbles

UEL students undertaking applied theatre, health, psychosocial studies and education will deliver weekly drama workshops in partnership with the London Bubble Theatre Company to help children in three local schools improve their social and communication skills.

FeMM Use Tech

A series of events aimed at promoting positive female role models and encouraging women to engage with composition, music technology and leadership. Among other activities, UEL music students spent weeks at St John’s Church in Stratford teaching children to write gospel music based on the bible.

Stop and…

Exploring civic engagement through active integration of Drama, Applied Theatre and Performance staff and students with the east London community with staged day-to-day encounters.

PGR Opportunities

The School of Arts and Digital Industries offer a range of exciting and creative postgraduate degrees. We have many internationally acknowledge specialists who contribute to the teaching programmes, including world renowned artists such as Richard Wilson, Turner Prize-winner Grenville Davey and noted film-maker John Smith.  Postgraduate students have use of our extensive range of facilities and the school regularly hosts exhibitions and installations of students' work.