five performers walking at speed across a stage


56% of School’s research activity classed as world-leading in national assessment, including 100% of its research impact.


Research Strategy

Considerable investment in research at the Guildhall School has brought substantial returns in expanded activity and clear resulting benefits.

Apart from consistent successes in research grant capture, there have been positive effects far beyond the Research Department, on colleagues’ vocation for the generation of new knowledge through creativity, and the institution’s reputation for progressive thinking and action. In particular, the School’s concern for how the performing arts relate to social issues has been nourished by research activity, as have the expanded possibilities for partnerships that feed into teaching and other activities. 

Our priorities for the next five years aim to address the precise role research has to play in the performing arts, what kinds of research will be the most appropriate in the near future, and how they will feed into the School’s overall strategy.

A group of drummers perform in the Milton Court Foyers under low lighting

Institute for Social Impact Research in the Performing Arts

In 2020 we launched the Institute for Social Impact Research in the Performing Arts – a hub designed to bring together like-minded colleagues working on projects with the potential to bring positive effects to the community.

Projects, Funding & Outputs

Our research staff investigate fundamental questions about the creative industries, and their research can even lead to the develop of new, ground-breaking operas, compositions and performances. Many of these projects are supported by competitive external funding from organisations such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, and Help Musicians UK, in addition to smaller-scale internal incubation funding. Much of this work can be found in our repository of research outputs.

Singer performing on stage in Milton Court

Funded Projects

Guildhall School’s research department develops, supports and champions important and unique research projects across subject areas that feed into creative knowledge and practice. Our research projects approach music and drama through a wide spectrum of novel discourses, which offer new insights into the arts and society.

Wide shot of the cast on stage for Mamzer, with live video projection of them enlarged on the background of the stage

Repository of Outputs

Guildhall School of Music & Drama is committed to ensuring the widest possible access to its research. The School has adopted an Open Access for Research Policy, enabling us to achieve compliance with funder requirements as well as to enhance the profile and reputation of our research.

Milton Court exterior in the evening

Guildhall Innovation Funding

The Guildhall Innovation Fund is able to support new projects and develop new ideas within the School. This provides the School’s staff with an opportunity to grow initial research ideas, pilot their projects, or take the first steps in exploring their research concepts.

A room full of doctoral students and staff during a research presentation

Governance & Ethics

Research governance at Guildhall is the responsibility of the Research & Knowledge Exchange Committee, which reports via Academic Board to the School Governors, and delegates specific functions (notably the drafting of its REF2021 Code of Practice) to its own sub-committees.

Doctoral & Postdoctoral Study

A student gesturing during a discussion

Doctoral Research

Guildhall School’s doctoral programme is a unique research programme supported by world-class supervisors across a range of disciplines and expertise. The Research Department supports and develops its students as they work on their own research projects, and it provides an opportunity to meet and collaborate with doctoral students from other disciplines.

Archive image of the Barbican Centre under construction

Postdoctoral Research

Postdoctoral Research is an increasingly important part of the research environment of the School. Postdoctoral Fellows receive mentoring from established staff, supervise doctoral research, and contribute to research-orientated teaching, forming a vital bridge between these different areas of research activity.

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