Pencil drawing of beetle


LICA is committed to leading interdisciplinary and international research in contemporary arts and rigorous enquiry into the relationship between creative practice, theory and criticism

The UK government's recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) placed our research 7th in the UK on intensity-weighted GPA (grade point average) with 82% of our research classed as world (4*) or internationally (3*) leading. Our research environment was particularly highly rated, with 100% deemed internationally excellent or world leading. Our research environment reflects a unique dynamic, which has consolidated staff strengths whilst being further enhanced by new members of staff.

Our research is organised across two research centres — Imagination and Insight. You can read more about our research on the web pages for these centres:


Insight is a creative research centre with disciplinary bases in Fine Art, Theatre, Film, Dance and Sound. It focuses on making meaning in the arts.

Insight is a creative research centre at Lancaster University. Our disciplinary bases are Fine Art, Theatre, Film, Dance and Sound, and our practical and theoretical research draws upon expertise in these areas, extending across and beyond them to engage with arts audiences of all kinds.

Working with a range of organisations, we take critical and cross-disciplinary approaches to creative research questions. Our focus on ‘making meaning’ reflects the importance of practice in our work, and highlights our interest in the ways in which the arts take on significance and value in society.



ImaginationLancaster is an open and exploratory research lab that investigates emerging issues, technologies and practices to advance knowledge and develop solutions that contribute to the common good.

We conduct applied and theoretical research into products, places and systems – using innovative strategies including disruptive design techniques that combine traditional and social science methods with practice-based methods arising from the arts.

We emphasise productive collaborations to create desirable and sustainable design interventions that break the cycle of well-formed opinions, strategies, mindsets, and ways-of-doing, that tend to remain unchallenged.

Our areas of research span education, health and social care, well-being, culture, the leisure sector, media, transport, manufacturing and the environment.