UOA 33: Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies

REF Highlights 2021

Our impact

100% of impact assessed was judged to have outstanding or very considerable reach and significance.

Our outputs

The considerable increase in both quality and volume improved the research power ranking by 10 places.

Our performance

Amongst UK Conservatoires, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire was ranked 2nd by overall quality and 1st by research power

Our REF submission

Between REF 2014 and REF 2021, we saw substantial growth in the scale of our research activity, almost tripling the number of staff submitted for assessment and quadrupling the number of PhD students, with a significant rise in doctoral awards.

Our submission to this unit of assessment featured contributions from 35 people, 74 outputs and three impact case studies:

This area of our work also saw 49 doctoral awards and £1.2m research income during the REF2021 period.

Our research

Research in Music and Drama takes place within Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, a vibrant and wide-ranging centre for education and research in Music and Performing Arts, formed from the merging of Birmingham Conservatoire and Birmingham School of Acting in 2017. RBC’s new title and award-winning new building at the heart of BCU’s City Centre Campus reflect its increasing profile as an international centre of excellence.

RBC builds on well-established traditions of research with a history in practice research (composition) stretching back to the foundation of Birmingham School of Music in 1886.

Our research is focused through eight research clusters:

  • Conservatoire Composition Cluster, which covers a wide aesthetic and performative spectrum, from score-based and improvisational work through to advanced computer-based research into the live interaction of digital technologies with human performers.
  • Early Music Theory, which derives from two major AHRC-funded projects focused on the late-medieval theorist Johannes Tinctoris.
  • French Music Research Hub, which brings together world-leading expertise in specific areas of French music studies.
  • Integra Lab, which is a music technology research group.
  • Forum for 17th and 18th Century Music, which brings together leading musicologists and performers in the field of Baroque music.
  • Jazz Studies, which is an interdisciplinary research group bringing together researchers from music, drama, communication, culture, and media studies.
  • Performance Research Hub, which is an interdisciplinary, cross-faculty cluster, integrating researchers from art and design, music, drama, communication, culture, and media studies.
  • Birmingham Music Education Research Group, which is a cross-university cluster, led by the School of Education and Social Work and including researchers from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Our results in detail

Figures relate to the percentage of the submission meeting each standard:

Overall 35 46 17 3.14
Outputs 29.7 39.2 27 2.95
Impact 33.3 66.7 0 3.33
Environment 57.5 42.5 0

See our full results on the REF 2021 website.