School of Arts and Cultures

Our Research


Our research is dynamic, interdisciplinary and international in scope.

Students holding museum exhibits.

Newcastle University's research in media, culture, heritage is dynamic, interdisciplinary and international in scope. We are ranked among the top universities in our fields.


Our overarching research strategy is to produce excellent research that advances critical, theoretical and interdisciplinary knowledge and has an impact on the academy, policy and/or people

We aim to provide an enabling research environment in which staff can be creative and critical researchers and where we recognise the importance of working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders at local, regional and global level.

Current Projects

A sample of some current high-profile research projects our academics lead on include:

The CoHere Project. Set up to investigate European Heritages and Identities, working with 11 other organisations across Europe.  (Funded by the EU Horizon 2020, value €2.5million)

Co-orindated by Professor Chris Whitehead, the CoHERE project seeks to identify, understand and valorise European heritages, engaging with their socio-political and cultural significance and their potential for developing communitarian identities. CoHERE addresses an intensifying EU Crisis through a study of relations between identities and representations and performances of history. It explores the ways in which heritages can be used for division and isolation, or to find common ground and ‘encourage modern visions and uses of its past.’ The research covers a carefully selected range of European territories and realities comparatively and in depth; it focuses on heritage practices in official and non-official spheres and engages with various cultural forms, from the living arts to museum displays, food culture, education, protest, commemorations and online/digital practice, among others. CoHERE is funded through Horizon 2020, and responds to the Reflective Societies programme.

The Katip-Celebi Newton fund project Plural Heritages of Istanbul: the case of the Land Walls 

Also co-ordinated by Professor Chris Whitehead, this project seeks to develop new valorisations of the Istanbul Land (Theodosian) Walls, working with communities to co-produce both situated and web-based, public-facing digital heritage interpretation resources that reflect non-official, hitherto unauthorised understandings of the Walls and their environs.

The project also builds capacity, in line with the aims of the Newton Fund, through modelling heritage management/interpretation practice, digital technologies and community engagement within the heritage sector.

Digital Interfaces, Credit and Debt. (Funded by ESRC, value £202,657, 2016-18)

Led by Dr James Ash, with co-investigators: Dr Ben Anderson and Dr Paul Langley, this 18 month project seeks to understand how consumers access HCSTC (High Cost Short Term Credit), such as cash and pay day loans through digital interfaces, on personal computers and mobile devices and in turn how these interfaces shape decision making processes regarding the purchasing of credit.

The project proposes a novel approach to debt as an everyday phenomenon that is mediated through the relationship between technology and embodied practice. Understanding how people become indebted through digital interfaces is critical to analyzing and explaining contemporary indebtedness because 82% of cash and pay day loans, a key form of HCSTC, are now applied for and managed via digital interfaces on laptops, tablets and smart phones, according to the Competition and Markets Authority (2015).

Dementia and Imagination (funded by funded by the AHRC and ESRC as a part of the Cross-Council Connected Communities Programme)

Professor Andrew Newman is a lead investigator on this project, that aims to explore how the vision for dementia supportive communities might benefit from creative activities.

The project asks if art can improve life for people with dementia and their carers? And:

  • If so, how does it do this?
  • And can it help people with dementia stay connected to their communities?
  • Can it help their communities become more dementia friendly?
  • Might there even be financial benefits for the UK?

REF 2014

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014 82% of our research was classified as ‘World Leading’ and ‘Internationally Excellent’.

The REF 2014 also showed that 80% of our work has global and international significance and impact. An example of this is Professor Peter Stone's work on improving the protection of cultural property during armed conflict. 

We submitted research alongside the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies.

For the Unit of Assessment: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies we were ranked 12th out of 67 in the country.

Research themes

We are currently updating our research pages. Please check back later for new information.


Our research environment is rated as world-leading and internationally significant. An important part is its impact beyond academia.

Case Studies

We have some case studies featured in the Northern Bridge Toolkit. Read more about European museums in an age of migration and about protecting cultural property in armed conflict.