Skip navigation


Peak of Research Excellence

Pushing the boundaries of excellence in practice-led research to tackle society’s biggest challenges 

The Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) are among the fastest growing industries in the world. In the UK they are included within the domain of the most innovative economic sectors.  Northumbria’s dynamic, ambitious and world leading research in this area focuses on the cultural, civic, and economic value of these industries regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Our researchers in CCI have extensive expertise across a range of areas including film, television, media, art, photography, music, museums and heritage, fashion, design, history of art, art conservation, creative writing, cultural policy, and theatre and performance. 

Research in this CCI Peak of Excellence leverages interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches and practice-based enquiry to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today including sustainability, equity and social justice and the use of technology.


Northumbria’s CCI research has had significant impact nationally and internationally. Our research has led to a major shift in strategic thinking and practice among the leading UK publishing houses (including the two largest, Penguin Random House and Hachette), resulting in new policies and the creation of three new literary development businesses.

Our creative industries research has led to a parliamentary report and a new £1.3 million UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Creative Communities programme which has drawn on the rapid rise of collaboration and connectivity to release the potential of arts and culture post the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the US, our work has led to the embedding of policy changes that ensure the inclusion of cultural leadership in long term strategic emergency planning within the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. 

In the field of design, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research on culturally specific design approaches helped establish the Design and Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific (DESIAP) network. This supported nearly 600 social innovation practitioners from 100 organisations in 14 countries and improved social outcomes for marginalised and excluded communities. 

Northumbria design researchers also developed a Multiple Perspective Problem Framing (MPPF) approach that provided a design-led innovation process to help deliver economically sustainable, self-administered healthcare for those affected by diabetic retinopathy, a degenerative eye-condition which is the leading cause of blindness among working age adults, and which affects all Type 1 diabetics and 60% of Type 2 diabetics.


We have internationally recognised experts in the history of horror and exploitation film and UKRI funded research, led by Northumbria, and including national and international collaborators, has led to the development of a counter history of popular British horror cinema and what this genre reveals about contemporaneous film culture and British society.

Research from drama and performance scholars funded by the AHRC, in collaboration with several cultural organisations in the UK, will provide the first major study of how the UK and Scottish government's Gender Recognition Act (GRA) consultations in 2017-20 impacted the commissioning, production, and reception of trans-led cultural practices.

Click below to view our CCI Flagship Projects

Flagship Projects Link Images


Our creative writing researchers have won esteemed playwriting awards from the BBC, and produced plays shown at prestigious venues such as the Royal Opera House and National Theatre of Scotland. 

Our arts researchers have been nominated for influential national awards such as the Turner Prize and their works have been held or exhibited at celebrated museum collections nationally and internationally including at Tate Britain and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal. Arts researchers’ works have also been commissioned and exhibited at festivals and galleries including at the renowned Venice Biennale, and at the respected National Gallery of Canada.


The CCI Research Peak of Excellence leads on Northumbria’s established cultural partnerships with the British Film Institute (BFI), the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Live Theatre, New Writing North and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM), responding to new training and skills needs and producing co-created research and development interventions around key areas of opportunity and challenge in the UK creative economy. 

Our CCI researchers are pushing the boundaries of excellence in practice led research. In all our work, we bring industry partners and communities from a range of regional, national, and international locales together to shape our creative ecologies and economies for the future. 


Professor Donna Chambers

Dr Patrick Duggan



Back to top