Our research

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Student research - Staff research - Research clusters

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, our Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory research was awarded world-leading status.

Student research

If you are interested in taking a research degree with us you can choose from: 

Your application will be very welcome.

Our recent research student topics have included:

  • A practice‐led investigation into humour in picturebooks
  • Chinese children's picturebooks for the 2000s
  • Cross‐culture design in graphic identities: integrating Arabic and Latin writing systems
  • Darkness visible: disturbing undercurrents in contemporary animation
  • Flux in the City: The Spectacle of movement in modern cities, new narrative structures and possibilities in video installation art practice
  • Moving Image Urban Inventions ‐ Reclaiming territories through trans‐disciplinary collaborative art practices

Staff research

Our academic staff are active in both theoretical and practice-based research, and publish their research through exhibitions, books, journal articles and conference papers:

David Ryan - abstraction and indeterminacy in painting and music, and the relationship of sound and image in recent video work.
Benet Spencer - Contemporary attitudes in painting; relation of painting to architectural practices.
Robert Holyhead - Recent abstract painting; relationship of painting to exhibition practices and installation.
Dr Véronique Chance - Photography, video and print media and intermedial/performative approaches to these, through shared language and the deployment of technology.
Paul Marris - Film, narrative and sociological and interpretative methodologies.
Dr Nina Lübbren - Nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century art, Art and the Fantastic, Bollywood cinema, visual narratives.

Will Hill - Typography and graphic design, use of visual language, design of experimental display typefaces and revivals and historic references in type design.
Jon Melton - categorising and contextualising of display and ornamented types of the 19th century; 18th and 19th century applied arts, furniture, interiors and architecture.

Martin Salisbury - Children's book illustration, painting for exhibition, the study of theory and practice in illustration.
Pam Smy - Narrative drawing, history and contemporary use of black and white artwork, the lyrical and natural.

Shreepali Patel - documentary; creative tools of production in storytelling across genres; audience/user engagement in site specific, multi-platform and interactive audio-visual projects; cross-disciplinary collaborations between audiovisual art, science and politics.
Catherine Elliot - social history and film; the documentary; gender and television; current trends in the British television industry; the history of educational television.
Sophie Jackson - Alternative storytelling in both fiction and non fiction films; the changing landscape of financing and distribution of independent films.
Mick Gowar - Contextual studies, creative writing and images, folklore & Fairytales, storytelling, and the history and practice of creative writing. Principal investigator of the World Wide Story Web project, developing resources to encourage children to tell stories using digital means.

Research clusters

Our research clusters reflect the traditional strengths of the Cambridge School of Art as well as more recently established areas of expertise. Staff in these groups undertake exhibitions, screenings, articles and commissioned illustrations in international venues and publications on a regular basis:

Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE)
Centre for Children’s Book Studies
Fine Art Research Unit
Typographic Research Group