Art History

The research specialisms of the Art History team stretch from the Medieval to the Modern era. Europe is a key focus but we also have specialist knowledge in American art of the 19th and 20th centuries, and in transatlantic exchange. Our work is characterised by our interest in the social history of art, the role of art in the staging of national, political and sexual identities, the reception of art, and the history of exhibition practices and display strategies. We work as guest curators for galleries and museums in the UK and in Europe, and this means we also contribute to cultural debates generated by exhibitions of the present day.

Visit the Art History website

Art and Sound

The Art and Sound research cluster specialises in practice-led and practice-based artistic research. We are particularly interested in research projects within the overarching theme of art-science and technology with specific reference to neuroscience, astrophysics and the history and philosophy of scientific ideas.

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Artistic Research Cluster (ARC) supports practice led research that is generated through experimental art practice. Our main areas of interest are

Painting: gesture, philosophy and calligraphy: exploring questions of context, symbols and meaning, ontology and temporality.

Radix: trans-disciplinary research exploring questions related to environmental change in areas that include: aquatic ecologies, technologies, experimental systems, sited-ness, noise and evolutionary theory.

Creativity and mental health: embodied methodologies that include re-enactment, performativity, and equivalence as a means to investigate disorders of self.

~hotwire~: research exploring questions of creativity in relation to playful making/thinking playful through development of collaborative methods that emerge where art and technology meet.

Visit the ARC Website

Culture, Theory, Space

Research in Culture Theory Space currently revolves around three main interests: 

  • Critical urbanism - theories and practices of urban change from the early modern period to the present, seen through cultural, social and political frameworks.
  • Digital cities - new technologies of communication, social media and their effects in changing urban and social environments and on spatial practices.
  • Sustainable architecture - building design and technologies for low-impact living, especially in relation to housing, in Europe and south Asia.

For more information please visit the Culture Theory Space website

Computer music (ICCMR)

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR) is devoted to developing musical research at the crossroads of art and science. Our research expertise ranges from musicology and composition to biomedical applications of music and development of new music technologies.

For more information please visit the ICCMR website. 

Design knowledge

Research in design revolves around four main interests. The intention is to conduct research with and for people, products, places and their interactions. We work with a variety of organisations to provide fresh perspectives on real-world issues. These can be characterized thematically: people /spaces /products /experiences.

Visit the Design Knowledge website

Meet the team

The research interests of the English and creative writing department at Plymouth range from the early modern period to the present, and cover a diverse set of approaches and priorities based primarily in imagination, judgement and representation. We are particularly interested in developing interdisciplinary projects across a range of themes and topics, including: the transnational and the transatlantic, environmental literatures, poetry and poetics, and scientific discourses. Through our world-leading and internationally recognised research, we are making significant interventions in local, national and international cultural and creative industries.

Visit the English and Creative Writing website 


The history department at Plymouth has an established tradition of internationally recognised research excellence in British and Irish, European, US and world history from the late medieval to modern periods. Our strengths lie in social, cultural, political and maritime history, and encompass expertise in early modern religion, women and gender; Victorian and modern British social, political and cultural history; twentieth century crime and law; labour history and popular politics; modern US and civil rights; material culture and architectural history; military and diplomatic, and naval and maritime history; India and the British Empire; modern Japan; gender and sexuality; and digital humanities.

Visit the History website


i-DAT is an open research lab for playful experimentation with creative technology:


Land/Water and The Visual Arts Research Group consists of artists, writers and curators who embrace a diversity of creative and critical practices. As a research group it operates as a forum for interrogation of nature and culture, aesthetics and representation. We generate work that addresses a range of issues that include environmental change, sustainability, journey and site.

For more information please visit the Land/Water website


Message, a communication arts research cluster, is dedicated to the development and discussion of contemporary visual communication messages through research, particularly, but not exclusively, within graphic design, typography, illustration, fine art and publishing.

For more information please visit the Message website

Moving image

A transdisciplinary research hub focused on practice-based enquiry into moving image. We provide a critical forum for presentation and discussion, and PhD supervisory support.

For more information please visit the Moving Image website


The music research group concerns itself with music as a reflection of culture and with analytical insights into musical works and repertoires. Themes which we find significant include questions of proprietorship and interpretation, dialogues across cultures and between genres, and what music may be able teach us about the experience of consciousness.

Visit the Music Website

Performance. Experience. Presence.

The P.E.P research group focuses on issues of embodiment, representation, culture and identity through the making, training for and analysis of performance in a wide variety of genres (including theatre, dance, somatic practice, live art and popular performance forms).

Visit the P.E.P website


The Photography Research Group is concerned primarily with the production and study of the photographic image. It encompasses practice-led research, as well as curatorial, historical and theoretical work, which situates photography in its wider cultural, social and political contexts.

Visit the Photography research website

Planetary Collegium

Within a transcultural, transdisciplinary perspective, the Planetary Collegium is concerned with the advancement of emergent forms of art and architecture, in the context of telematic, interactive and technoetic media, and their integration with science, technology, and consciousness research. The Collegium's hub (CAiiA-Hub) is located in the School of Art, Design and Architecture, with nodes in Trento, Lucerne and Shanghai. Since its inception, over 80 doctoral candidates have graduated from the programme with the University of Plymouth PhD.

Visit the Planetary Collegium website


University of Plymouth Media Arts research. Exploring pedagogy for a changing media. Integrating creative research practice into commercial and community media, through relationships between academics, students, community, audience and industry.

For more information please visit the PUMAr website


University of Plymouth Nineteenth Century Studies is a research group designed to foster opportunities for collaboration, including doctoral research and digital humanities projects. Academic members come from the disciplines of English literature, historical geography, history, art history, law and criminology. 

For more information please visit the PUNCS website

Transtechnology Research

Transtechnology Research is a transdisciplinary research group situated in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business. Its constituency is drawn from historians, philosophers, anthropologists, artists and designers and is led from a historical and theoretical perspective with the objective of understanding science and technology as a manifestation of a range of human desires and cultural imperatives. Its aim is to provide a doctoral and post-doctoral environment for researchers who need to undertake academic research informed by their own and others creative practice. Its overarching research project concerns the historical and philosophical aspects of science and technology and the popular arts.

For more information please visit the Transtechnology Research website