Clusters and Specialisms

We are proud of the high degree of collegiality and mutual support that we have developed within the Conservatoire, across an impressively broad spectrum of practice-based and scholarly research.

Much of our research work, beyond the major Funded Projects, is grouped into clusters, which provide the opportunity for specialists to interact with and enrich each other's work, as well as collaborating with other researchers, performers and organisations across the UK and internationally:

  • Conservatoire Composition Cluster
  • Early Music Theory (Musicology)
  • French Music Research Hub (Musicology)
  • Forum for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Music (Musicology)
  • Integra Lab (Music Technology)
  • Performance Research Hub (Music, Theatre, Dance and Performing Arts)


Our historical, critical, editorial and analytical research in music extends over an unusually broad range for the conservatoire sector (with its main activities grouped into three clusters):

Other notable areas of staff research expertise include:

Jazz Research (shared with the School of Media: BCMCR)

Another innovative, expanding area of the Conservatoire’s research is in jazz (in close collaboration with the School of Media), with the interaction of composition, performance and jazz theory being explored through practice by Andrew Bain and John O’Gallagher. This research also intersects with a monograph project of Prof Deborah Mawer on relations between French music and jazz in both inter-war and post-war eras.

Birmingham Music Education Research Group (BMERG, based in the Faculty of Education: CPSACE)
Centre for Interdisciplinary Performative Arts (CIPA)

This is a recently established practice-led research entity for the study of innovative and multi-media performative practices. It aims to connect interdisciplinary performing arts and to link with faculty staff, creative industries, research funders, partner institutions and universities at a regional, national and international level.

Led by Prof Aleksandar Dundjerović, CIPA works across many areas of live performance, particularly theatre, drama and applied arts such as music, dance, visual arts, multimedia, digital arts, scenography and installation. Its members are committed to making a significant contribution to Birmingham City University, Birmingham and the wider society, using their artistry and scholarship to produce new knowledge in interdisciplinary performative practices.