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School of Arts

About our research

We have a long tradition of original hands-on research and our School is home to an active, innovative and diverse research practice.

Approximately half of our research programs focus on education - encompassing lifelong learning - including early education, primary, secondary, vocational education and training, as well as adult and community education.

Broadly half of the remaining programs investigate issues to do with history, culture and society. The remaining studies seek new understandings and pathways in the fields of the visual and performing arts.

Regardless of the field of study, our approach to research is primarily critical in nature. We challenge the status quo, ask the hard questions, and question commonly-held assertions such as the belief that 'schools work'. Our approach is to critically interrogate the nature of practice in a particular field of endeavour - in our region and beyond - to seek new answers and drive change to achieve positive and progressive outcomes.

We believe that a key role of the research faculty is to foster a spirit of rigorous critical enquiry throughout the school. Therefore, our students are given unprecedented opportunities to work with peers and experienced faculty mentors on projects that inspire them - thereby expanding upon the exemplary research work conducted by faculty staff.

As a group we recognise that often the best new research takes place at the boundaries between fields. Consequently much our current research explores issues at the intersections between

  • education and the arts
  • education and the community
  • art and the region
  • culture and the community
  • social issues and education
  • pedagogy and society

Community engagement is also a vital aspect of our work. It is natural for both students and staff to identify and relate to educational and social issues that affect our region and local communities. These studies tend to require local field-based research and are often formed around community partnerships.

While much of what we do has a regional focus of specific benefit to Ballarat and surrounding areas, we also conduct significant research on an international scale. Our study into 'men's learning and wellbeing', for instance, has research partners in England, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, China and New Zealand.

Beyond the formal research program, the university has a strong history of scholarly activity and research that predates its accreditation as a university in 1994. As the research department of a comparatively small university, we have established a level of expertise well beyond our scale. With a total of six professors on staff, our sphere of influence and level of achievement is disproportionate to our size.

The results of our various research programs offer an alternative prism through which to view the world with new insights across the broad categories of the arts, culture and education.

Resources and general research information such as:

  • funding opportunities
  • support for research writing
  • research ethics
  • online research repository
  • general forms

can be found on the Research website.