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 - Toby Heys

Manchester School of Art
Research Centre

Manchester School of Art Research Centre supports research in the School, and embodies Manchester Metropolitan University’s strengths in art, design, media and architecture research.

In the most recent REF, art and design research at Manchester Metropolitan University was ranked 6th in the UK for overall research power, with two thirds of our research rated internationally excellent.

The Research Centre comprises of researchers and practitioners in contemporary art practice, visual culture, design, arts for health, media theory and practice, craft, and architecture.

Ongoing research is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and other funding bodies; staff have had particular success with Arts Council funding, which backed the Asia Triennial festival based in the School of Art; ongoing collaborations with the North West Film Archive have had direct impact on the communities of Greater Manchester. The School of Art has founding partner status with HOME, Manchester’s innovative arts centre, where three of the creative directors also hold professorships in the School. Staff in the Centre have an international reach with ongoing projects in China, Brazil, India and many other countries.

Manchester is a major centre for design and the creative industries, particularly new media design, and Manchester School of Art is well connected with design companies in the Northern Quarter and elsewhere. The Manchester design festival, Design Manchester was co-founded by the School of Art and the Centre also has strong relationships with other galleries and cultural organisations in the city.

There are over 100 research active staff supported by the Research Centre and it delivers one of the largest art and design research degree programmes in the UK.

Particular strengths are in arts and health, asian cultures, digital arts and contemporary ceramics and textile arts practice. Manchester School of Art’s research is often disseminated within large public events, exhibitions and displays that become a focus around which we generate creative and knowledge exchange activities.

Research Organisation

Research is organised and supported through five Department linked Research Hubs

The hubs and centre provide resources to support project development, encourage trans-discipline dialogue and ensure a close relationship between teaching and research within the linked Departments.

The structure also allows individual researchers to move across and between research areas, and encourages cross-fertilization and exchange of ideas from outside the Centre.

Arts for Health, the UK's longest established arts and health organisation, is also based within the School of Art.

Thematic Research Groups

Impact Case Studies

Manchester School of Art has worked with over 300 national and international organisations including galleries and museums, libraries, schools, community groups, businesses and arts and civic organisations.

Staff contribute to the programming of large-scale public events and international festivals, inform UK and international government policy, contribute to the regeneration of cities and regions through public art and creative interventions and undertake public engagement and development projects.

Recent examples include

Researchers at Manchester School of Art have created social and cultural impacts by enhancing public understanding and professional awareness of the visual culture of conflict and social change.

Asia Triennial Manchester is the only contemporary visual arts and crafts festival that presents new work by international Asian artists.

The Arts for Health unit is a global leader in arts and health research, building an evidence base around the effectiveness of culture and the arts on health outcomes that has influenced policy and improved the quality of life for thousands of people across the UK and beyond.

A ten-year programme of research has influenced attitudes to traditional crafts and cultural heritage in India and led to sustainable economic and social benefits including the launch of the Ahmedabad International Arts Festival.

Further Information

Details of current research, staff interests and activities can also be found on the Research Hub pages.

Find out more about Research at Manchester Met.