Research Themes

Our interdisciplinary academic research is guided by the ethos “Research in to Action”, the cross-cutting theme of “Futures” and six interlocking research themes.

Digital & Marketing Futures

A strong theme running through the School of Business Marketing Stream is digital marketing, and the capacity to embrace new trends in marketing; this is reflected in our mix of full time, part time, and online offerings. Current research areas include mobile marketing, social media, eWOM, crowd funding, on-line retailing, and value co-creation in the digital space. Opportunities are continuously available to participate in these research areas, with expert supervision. Strong linkages with local organisations have allowed the development of graduates and current learners through placement opportunities.

Operations & Supply Chain

The domain of Operations and Supply Chain (OSC) covers the management and optimisation of all processes from product/ service development to the planning, control of production and delivery, as well as quality and sustainability aspects. Developing innovative business models that harness the potential of Industry 4.0, can support and enhance competitiveness. Using lean processes, companies can reduce their operational risk and increase their profitability. Engaging with industry and research partners, we aim to identify research gaps and develop innovative solutions that companies can implement in order to stay competitive.

Entrepreneurial & Innovative Futures

This group is for people interested in the latest research findings regarding innovation and entrepreneurship. We are a team of multidisciplinary researchers who focus on leading innovation and exploring entrepreneurial futures. We are actively working to identify and exploit new opportunities by connecting academics, creative individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses, investors, educators and government agencies. We host regular presentations and discussions with local and visiting international scholars. This research group explores a wide range of topics including: creativity; innovation networks; alliances and teams; innovation policy design; new business development; social entrepreneurship; family-owned enterprises; and entrepreneurial ecosystems. We are active participants in the Erasmus + and Postgraduate research programmes which focus on building entrepreneurial capacity in our region.

Learning & Skills Futures

Across a broad range of disciplines, transferable skills are our key graduate attributes and this is reflected in our experiential teaching, culture of reflective practice and work-based-learning dissertations which embody a rich and diverse range of reflective, action-research led topics.

We develop cross-sectoral pedagogical research which enables action learning, taking creativity from classroom to lecture hall and back again. Thus a community of practice, comprising student-centred leaders in education across all three sectors has developed, enabling the development of a rich action –learning culture across a range of relevant pedagogical topics including assessment, digital learning, educational leadership, enhancing creativity and scholarship.

Human Performance Futures

Human performance today has many facets and pervades a range of areas, from our everyday lifestyle and working environments to high performance in fitness and sports activities. Our specialists are in wide range of areas such as exercise physiology, sports nutrition, physical education, health & fitness promotion, coaching practice and leadership. Our research agenda is also significantly supported by our high performance gym and Performance Lab called SportsLab which brings together the best technologies and methodologies for testing and evaluating human performance in all facets of human activities. This promotes and encourages the trajectory of performing to optimum levels and at a sustainable level across all walks of life.

We have established extensive links both within the Northwest region and beyond, both nationally and internationally, with numerous stakeholders aligned to our key research themes. These longstanding links with external stakeholders within both the performance sport environment and education sector provide students with placement opportunities, inform teaching and develop research capacity, and ultimately provide very tangible and transformative impacts to our stakeholders and partners.

Social Change Futures

We harness the opportunity to develop legal knowledge as a tool for social change through our innovative suite of clinical legal modules and, in particular, our Street Law programme which delivers interactive public legal education in community settings. Thus, students learn through engaging in real cases and a pro bono service provides a solution for unmet legal need. Academics become mentors and develop community, all the while developing transferable skills and reflective practice. Building capacity, community and belief within the community we serve.