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Research in the School of Communication is informed by its position as one of the premier schools in the discipline in Australia. Within a dynamic research environment of creativity and innovation we produce a diverse range of world class research — ranging from blue sky research, through theoretical and experimental work, to creative and practice based research — that aims to solve the myriad broad and complex issues confronting the world today.

Our research falls broadly into the following research themes:

Writing and History

Research in Creative Writing at the School of Communication is focused on narrative, poetics, reading and literary theory as well as the areas of new writing and Australia’s literary culture. History research in the School locates itself uniquely across academic and public discourses. It seeks to critically inform the ways in which our society’s past is presented and interpreted to itself and the rest of the world and to generate more complex community understandings of the relationship between collective memory and identity. Both areas also focus on how different ways of writing are deployed to engage, analyse and think through critical social, cultural and historical concepts.

Cultural Diversity

Scholars in this research area deal with key theoretical questions around the emergence of transnational identities and their contestation/performance in the media, the transformation of the Indigenous presence in the Australian imaginary, and youth and transgressive ethno-political identities. Many researchers are interested in the role of media and education in the constitution of the nation during a period of ultra-diversity and their scholarship contributes to professional media practices, debates on civil society and relevant areas of policy and practice development.

Journalism, Communication and Media Studies

Researchers in journalism interrogate multiplatform journalism in a range of styles and genres including investigative, political and environmental reporting in the contexts in which it is practised in Australia and internationally and the relationship of journalism to political, social and cultural democracy. Scholars in Communication Studies research the ethics and responsibilities of communication practices, processes and industries, and their social, economic and political frames. Media Studies academics investigate the role of media in people’s lives and in globalised social environments. Major foci are media debates and nuanced understanding of media influence, the relationships between media and society, the use of media in daily life and the shaping of identity through social media. In the 2015 ERA assessment, Language, Communication and Culture at UTS (and specifically Cultural Studies and Communication and Media Studies) received a 4 (Above World Standard).

Digital Media, Screen and Sound Studies

Scholars in this area research the digital communications, screen and sound industries, focusing on imaginative, synthetic and analytical concepts and practice across diverse technological platforms. Themes include the exploration of complex collaborative digital environments (especially social media contexts), the challenges of continuous transformation in the digital arena and the role of technology in contemporary social life. Other areas of interest are the new emerging domains of music, sound and screen (film, TV, internet, games, online) that require confluence in design and interaction. There is also an established range of research interests in the history and theory of media and cultures as well as the changing techniques and concepts in film, video, new media and sound. In the 2015 ERA assessment, Language, Communication and Culture at UTS (and specifically Cultural Studies and Communication and Media Studies) received a 4 (Above World Standard).

Politics, Society and the Environment

Scholars in this research group combine internationally comparative and grounded research with clear normative purpose and intended impact focus on the study of social, political and environmental justice in the contemporary world and the implications of change and progress in local and global contexts. Researchers aim to advance such debates across wider publics and drive these agendas into an expanding realm of policy and issue fields. Using social, political, historical and philosophical perspectives, academics focus on how societies work, how social change occurs and how social justice can be achieved. Researchers in this area are also particularly interested in how social change is mediated through communication — interpersonal and community, and more widely in society and the global public sphere. In the 2015 ERA assessment, Political Science at UTS received a 4 (Above World Standard).

Postgraduate research degrees

Find out more about postgraduate research in the School of Communication.