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 three research centres — Imagination, Cultures and Practices. You can read more about our research on the web pages for these centres:


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.



Creative Cultures and Contexts (Cultures) is a research centre based in the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) at Lancaster University. It features scholars who carry research into the history and theory of Fine Art, Dance, Theatre and Performance, Film, Digital Art and Design. Collaboration occurs with scholars from History, and those involved in research into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin American and Spanish cultures.




The Centre for Practice features scholars pursuing research-based practice across the disciplines of Art, Design, Film, and Performance. The Centre is based at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) at Lancaster University, and includes scholars working in the (inter)disciplines of Fine Art, Drama, Dance, Theatre and Performance, Design, and Film.