Creative and

Creative and Cultural Industries is one of our six research themes. Our research in this area is helping to build a socially-responsive and engaged creative and cultural sector — locally, nationally, and globally.

Why this research matters

The research around creative and cultural industries goes beyond what would normally be considered as the arts and humanities. Our research brings to life in visual ways key topics and concepts that spark conversations and highlight their significance within society. It is about enriching lives and communities. We develop ways for partners to commercialise ideas and enable the making and sharing of research in a cultural, dynamic and impactful way. 

Our vision and approach 

We are working to build a creatively and culturally connected Derby, which has regional, national and international relevance and significance. Covering a breadth of expertise from arts to media, to journalism and the humanities, and design and entrepreneurship, we are making significant contributions to research, cultural policy, agenda and practice. Our trans-, inter-, and multi-disciplinary research community aims to build a socially responsive and engaged creative and cultural sector. 

Our research spans many subjects and themes of inquiry, such as the creative approaches to climate change, ethics, animal studies, the making and dissemination of contemporary and historic artefacts, and the curation of historic collections. We are offering new approaches and inspiring and innovative ideas to these knowledges to inform contemporary discourses and debates. 

As a research team, we have extensive expertise in a range of areas, and we often work with colleagues and partners in areas such as technology, medicine, and the natural sciences to enhance our research community and research solutions. As this wider community, we creatively engage with local and national civic agendas and deliver impact and knowledge exchange through partnerships and networks. 

Our research

Learn how our research within the creative and cultural industries research theme interacts with other research areas, and discover how an enhanced approach can be met through this interaction. 

Discover our current research: 

Defining freedom of the press

The project investigates press regulation and ethics in twelve European countries and the UK in order to examine the role and function of journalism ethics in formulations of press freedom. The project will provide evidence-based recommendations for the development of press regulation in the UK.

Find out more about our researchFind out more about our research
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Long exposure: Developing the UK's leading international photography festival

Making a significant and cultural impact on the city of Derby, FORMAT has grown to become the UK’s leading international photography festival. Organised as a collaboration with QUAD arts and media centre and drawing from the research and curation expertise of the University of Derby, it engages audiences worldwide with the power of the photographic image in all its forms.

Find out more about FORMATFind out more about FORMAT
a man sat in a room with Virtual Reality headwear on. He is sat on a deckchair with a tree behind him. On the walls is a repeated pattern

Protecting and promoting our urban parks and heritage

At a time where our public parks and urban trees are under threat, research from the University of Derby is playing a pivotal role in efforts to safeguard, restore and manage these invaluable features of our cities and towns for the benefit and wellbeing of future generations.

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Research theme leads

Ang Bartram reading book about dog theory to Oscar the dog
Professor of Contemporary Art

Ang works as an artist and artistic researcher. Her research focuses on documentation as an act of ephemeral art process, and with animality and empathy (as acted and/or intuitively behaved) in human-animal companion-species relationships.

John Steel
Research Professor in Journalism

John is Research Professor in Journalism and his role is to support research activities across the School and wider university. He has interests in a variety of research areas including journalism ethics and regulation, political communication, media history and journalism education.

Members of the academic theme steering group

Robert Burstow
Associate Professor of History and Theory of Art

As Associate Professor of History and Theory of Art, Dr Robert Burstow leads students undertaking post-graduate research in Arts and supervises PhD students researching the history and theory of art and/or contemporary Fine Art practice. He also teaches on the BA (Hons) Fine Art and MA Fine Art programmes. He has published extensively on the history of twentieth-century British art.

Huw Davies at the Degree Show 2016
Professor of Lens Media

Huw Davies is a researcher and PhD supervisor in the School of Arts. He is especially interested in the creative and cultural industries and conducts a professional practice as a filmmaker, photographer and curator.

Paul Elliott
Professor of Modern History

Paul is a Professor of Modern History and Research Lead for the Humanities.

Cath Feely
Senior Lecturer in History

Cath is a lecturer in modern British and European history and heritage, with research interests in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British Cultural, Social and Intellectual History.

Daithi McMahon
Senior Lecturer in Media

Daithí is senior lecturer in media, teaching across both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. 

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Our research students

Find out about some of our postgraduate research students and the projects they are working on.

Our research student profilesOur research student profiles
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Explore our academic themes

Discover our innovation and research across our five other academic themes.

Explore our academic themesExplore our academic themes