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Art and Design Research at Middlesex rated �internationally excellent� and �world leading�.
Results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework

Art and Design Research at Middlesex rated internationally excellent and world leading.

In the top 20 for 'research power'

In the results of the UK audit of higher education research, the Research Excellence Framework, published in December 2014, art and design research at Middlesex University was rated “internationally excellent” or “world leading” in over 75% of its submission. It means that Middlesex is in the top 20 for UK institutions for art and design research in terms of our research outputs, and in terms of research power, a key measure of capacity and critical mass.



The REF exercise assessed research in art and design at Middlesex undertaken by artists, designers and scholars working in our established and evolving research clusters. These clusters bring established research together with new and emerging talents.


Highlights up to 2014 include:

-       A major survey of ‘The Independent Group’, a radical collective of fine artists who met at the ICA in London during the early 1950s, by Prof Anne Massey.


-       A series of film and video works engaging with society and culture, including the Olympic movement, endangered animals, and the conditions of art production.


-       Installation, animation and production design exploring contemporary social issues, experiences and sensations, including work in sound in art, relationships and civility, and the reinterpretation of classic film.



The REF2014 assessment represents only a snapshot of our ongoing research. New and exciting work currently emerging from our clusters include:


-       An exhibition in fashion design exploring the concept of ‘beauty in design’.


-       New research on street art and graffiti as part of our work on creative cities.


-       A new production at the Young Vic exploring society and mobile technologies.


This research reflects our vibrant community and ‘art school’ ethos, with internationally excellent and world leading research embedded in our BA and MA programmes, research degrees and ArtsD programme.


Prospective students can explore our research on these pages, and find out about our team of doctoral supervisors.




The national results listed in this research audit, which looks at all institutions and all subjects, reveals a buoyant art and design sector strengthened by its considerable impact socially, culturally and economically. The impact of research at Middlesex was rated as “internationally excellent” or “world leading” for the whole submission. Our impact case studies include:


-       An important artistic intervention in flood management and coastal erosion, bringing together professionals, catchment communities and policymakers. Middlesex are now involved in significant projects on ‘hydrocitizenship’ and river communities, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Western Riverside Environmental Fund.


-       A comprehensive curatorial project on the work of painter Leon Golub, which drew on critical legacy at Middlesex of visual cultural studies, emphasizing works of art as social, material and expressive cultural objects. A significant new show, emerging from this research, will be held at the National Portrait Gallery in 2016.


-       A significant new method for the production of silver for jewellery manufacture and craft design. Middlesex continues to lead the field and has recently validated a new BA (Hons) Design Crafts degree with newly appointed staff.



Performance in the REF can be measured in two ways: 

.    Power ranking, which weights the quality of research by the number of people conducting it and provides a good indicator for future quality-related research funding which is estimated to be £1.6 billion a year for the next six years; and

.    Grade Point Average (GPA) - average of the overall quality profile, based on output (65%), impact (20%) and environment (15%) and is how the Times Higher has primarily ranked the data. The GPA for Middlesex research in art and design was 2.98.