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About Us


The Creative Industries Research Unit is one of the largest, most multidisciplinary at the University of South Wales (USW). Based in central Cardiff, in one of the UK’s largest creative hubs outside London, the Unit has established major collaborative partnerships with the creative industries and policymakers. In REF 2014, 65% of the Unit's research (D35) Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts (including media and cultural studies) was rated either internationally excellent (3*) or world-leading (4*). Our leadership of creative industries research is made possible by our collaborative ethos of working with external organisations. Unit members are trusted points of leadership and expertise for both the creative industries and policymakers seeking to advance the role of creativity in Welsh economic and cultural life. The Unit has distinctive strengths in multidisciplinary, collaborative research with impact, especially in the areas of Arts and Health, Screen Media and Practice-Research.

Arts and Health 

We have played a leading national and international role in the field of creative arts and health research. This research has led directly to enhanced training provision for front-line workers in NHS Wales and NHS England.  This collaborative, storytelling research shines a light on community, as well as individual, wellbeing and embodies the spirit of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015. The research directly collaborates with and benefits disadvantaged communities and disempowered individuals, many of whom are experiencing trauma and social exclusion.

Creative clusters and screen media  

The Unit has accelerated its capacity for innovation-led research and development with industrial impact in the screen sector. In 2018, USW was one of only two universities in the UK to win both a creative cluster grant Clwstwr and an Audience of the Future (AoF) demonstrator grant through UKRI’s Creative Economy programme. These major collaborative, industrial awards leverage the Unit’s expertise into industry-led innovation projects to benefit Wales’ bilingual screen sector. 

Practice-Research (P-R)  

World-leading Practice-Research is integral to the Unit’s cultural and artistic impact. It includes internationally-acclaimed exhibitions and publications, award-winning films, selected by festivals worldwide, and practice which is at the cutting edge of Welsh theatre and performance. The emergence and contextualisation of this work in a P-R context provides a rich interface between industry and research environment which enhances the social and cultural impact of the work.