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our research areas of expertise

Explore the research work we're doing in our areas of research expertise

Our research aims to make a difference to the world

Collaborative, multi-disciplinary and always relevant, our work seeks answers to big questions shaping the future of the planet and society.

We're already making an impact with several recent major breakthroughs – from the discovery of a new mutant enzyme that could help defeat plastic pollution, to pioneering work exploring the mysteries of the earliest moments of the Universe.

Browse our areas of expertise below and learn more about our research, our publication highlights and our research projects.


Accountability, risk and rights

Our accountability risk & rights research feeds into governmental & parliamentary inquiries, such as employment & data protection.

Accounting education

We're conducting accounting education research, to enhance the quality of accounting education worldwide.

Accounting history

We're exploring the past of accountancy, through archives and historical documentation, to learn about the issues experienced by previous generations.

Acute and emergency care

We're researching how new technologies can help alleviate demands on acute and emergency care.

Advertising and branding

We're researching advertising agency management, creative processes, ethics and sustainability, gender stereotypes, health advertising and more.

African studies

We're researching the pressures of development and security in the West African Sahel, and working on solutions to the problems of development and security in the region.

American studies

We're researching the historical concerns and trajectory of the USA to better understand the pressures facing our own society.

Animation and CGI

We're researching techniques, practices and concepts in CGI film, including motion capture, animation and VFX.

Applied accounting and financial management

We're investigating the behaviours, actions and responses of both providers and users of accounting information.

Applied health informatics

We're working to find new ways to help clinicians and patients find and interpret data, and apply best practice guidelines.

Applied mathematics, nonlinear and complex systems

We're studying how complexity and order arise from the simple underlying rules of physics.

Applied theatre

We're investigating theatre as a tool for community engagement, conflict resolution, and social justice.

Architectural and urban history and theory

We're doing research into the history and theory behind how we conceptualise and produce architecture and urban spaces on different scales.


We're working to better understand the basic building blocks of our Universe, the origin of stars, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and stellar population models.

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Banking and financial markets

Our banking and financial markets research examines the functioning of financial markets and the institutions that operate in those markets.

Behavioural and experimental economics

We're researching how psychological, emotional and social factors affect economic decision making.

Biodiversity and evolution

We're cataloging new species, and creating a basis for assessing and reversing the extinction of species.

Biomedical engineering

We're exploring musculoskeletal biomechanics, cardiovascular engineering and biomedical imaging.

Body politics

We're exploring the role of bodies in shaping concepts such as national identity and political populism.

British social and cultural history

We're exploring the experiences and lives of ordinary people in Britain across the social spectrum.

Building design, construction management and surveying

We're researching areas such as brief management, project organisation, procurement and health and safety.

Business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR)

We're conducting research into corporate responsibility, business ethics, and how we can promote a more responsible business culture.

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Citizenship and civil society

We're exploring aspects of citizenship, including identity politics, questions of sovereignty, and how they impact individuals.

Clinical innovation

In this area of research expertise, we're researching advancing dental technology and models of dental care to improve patient outcomes.

Clinical outcome modelling

We're developing and evaluating mathematical and computer models to help make accurate healthcare predictions .

Comparative and evolutionary psychology

We're exploring evolutionary processes underpinning human behaviour and comparing human and animal psychology.

Computational intelligence

We're conducting research into theoretical computational challenges and practical systems development.

Computer games design and technology

We're researching gaming design theory and development to produce relevant and practical outputs for people working in the industry.

Condensed matter physics

We're looking for solutions to issues around energy harvesting, efficiency and storage, medical technologies, security, and the environment.

Conflict and culture

We're doing research into the critical analysis and artistic treatment of social and political crisis, and military conflict.

Corporate finance

We're researching the allocation of capital, and ensuring it's done efficiently and without waste.

Corpus linguistics

We're studying the way that language is used in different regions, genres and situations.

Counter fraud

We're researching the growing scale, impact and cost of economic crime, to help improve detection, prevention and prosecution.

Creative writing

We're exploring the reasons that people write, what they say, and how their meaning is conveyed.

Cross platform storytelling

We're researching storytelling which crosses platforms and mediums, bringing together experts from multiple disciplines.

Cross reality applications

We're researching how cross reality (XR) systems influence human experience & how their design affects perception and behaviour.

Crustal evolution

We're exploring the long-term and large-scale processes that shaped how the Earth developed through time.

Culture, community and heritage

We're researching how communities are formed (or destroyed) through the sharing of writing, reading, performance and ideas.

Cyber security

We're researching improving the security of the systems used to access assets, and studying the psychology of users.


We're researching how crime takes place using technology, and studying the impact such crimes have on society and individuals.

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Decision and data analytics

We're doing research into analysing complex data, to help decision makers in sectors such as transport, logistics and healthcare.

Dental education

We're researching the development and evaluation of innovative education for the dental team.

Dental public health

We're researching the monitoring and improvement of oral health, and investigating barriers to dental care.

Design education

We're researching issues related to teaching and learning within creative and design disciplines.

Development theory, policy and practice

We're researching reducing poverty, tackling gender and ethnic inequality and shielding the most vulnerable from the devastation caused by disasters and civil turmoil.

Development, wellbeing and justice

We're exploring the best tools for communities that are evolving fast, and increasingly reliant on technology such as computers and smart phones.

Digital design and new technologies

Take part in our exploration of the best tools for communities that are evolving fast, & reliant on technology such as computers & smart phones. Learn more about digital design & new technologies research with us, today.

Digital heritage

We're researching into helping cultural heritage organisations plan for the implementation of digital technology.

Digital marketing

We're helping businesses improve their digital marketing, online experience and market share.

Digital user experience

We're researching how humans interact with digital technology and improving the way in which such technology is used.

Digital wellbeing

We're researching increasing the wellbeing of elderly and vulnerable people through new digital solutions.

Discourse analysis

We're researching how language is used in real life contexts, such as mental health, as well as gender and sexuality.

Drug delivery

We're investigating bioactive molecules and biocompatible materials for use as drug carriers, bioadhesives, and many other clinical purposes.

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Early modern history

We're researching how people in Europe experienced and responded to the disruption and challenge of early modern history.

Early years education

We're exploring the experiences and opportunities that play a role in the development of young people.

Ecotoxicology and environmental monitoring

We're researching how humans impact upon marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems.

Efficiency and productivity

We're investigating efficiency and productivity through quantitative methods, such as regression analysis.

Employment relations

We're exploring how governments, employers and other agencies influence employment relations.

Engineering geology and natural hazards

We're exploring the causes, impacts and management of natural phenomena such as hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides and volcanoes.

Environmental analysis and design

We're doing research into building cities that can better prevent environmental problems.

Environmental change

Our research examines the changing environment and how to avoid crises in the future. Find out more about our physical and human geography research.

Environmental microbiology and biotechnology

We're researching the vast number of unknown microbes in the world to solve issues such as food security and climate change.

Environmental process and impacts

We're exploring the influence of human activity on the Earth's climate and environment, and how to avoid crises in the future.

Environmental technology and management

We're researching how civil engineering and surveying can help solve current environmental problems, and prevent those in the future.

Epigenetics and developmental biology

We're researching changes in how genes are expressed and how cells read them, rather than more traditional methods.

Exact and metaheuristic solution methods

We're using our expertise to help solve real logistical challenges, from creating a train timetable to developing an efficient nursing roster.

Extreme environments

We're simulating extreme environments to investigate physiological and psychological responses to them.

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Fashion and textiles

We're working towards positive change and responsible approaches to designing fashion and textiles in the future.

Film studies

We're exploring the relationship between film, screen studies and communities.

Fintech and microfinance

Join us in our work in helping individuals, firms, and governments learn to use FinTech to meet their needs.

Forensic accounting, management control and governance

We're researching issues and challenges around forensic accounting, management control and governance.

Forensic interviewing

We're researching issues affecting how we detect and prevent crime.

Forensic psychology

We're conducting research into the intersection between psychology and the law. Explore our forensic psychology research.


We're using science to identify, eliminate, reconstruct and inform how crime is investigated.

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Gender, race and education

We're working to identify, explore and engage with subtler forms of discrimination in gender, race and education.

Global governance

We're researching the complex political challenges of a highly-interconnected world.

Graphic and communication design

We're researching the theories, practice and process that relate to solving problems through visual communication.

Gravitational waves

We've been conducting research into developing increasingly sensitive ways to detect gravitational waves, and more.

Green infrastructures

We're researching into the methods needed to plan cities that are better for humans and the environment.

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Health, wellbeing and social care

We're researching health and social care interventions, with a particular emphasis on people with complex health and care needs.

Healthcare analytics

We're researching into providing decision makers in the healthcare sector with better treatment strategies.

Higher education

We're researching into issues in higher education, and finding solutions to them.

Historic environments and conservation

We're researching how architecture, community and creative technologies can play a role in enhancing historic environments.

History and theory of art and design

We're researching the historical production and consumption of art and design, and the wider social, cultural, political and economic contexts around it.

Human resource (HR) management and leadership

We're researching the nature of leadership and management, and the cultures and practices which influence how people are led and work.

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Identities and inequalities

We're exploring how developing understanding of identities and inequalities can contribute to improving inequality, structural violence and social suffering.

Illustration and art of the book

We're researching into how self-publishing can allow a more diverse range of authors to communicate with an audience.

Industrial mathematics

We're delivering insight into roles of different physical mechanisms within a process to develop practical solutions and guidance in science and industry.

Innovation management

We're looking into how organisations in low technology & process industries can optimise the management of their product & process development.

Interior design theory and practice

We're exploring how buildings are used by people by mapping and documenting their activity as they interact with them.

International and European law

We're investigating transnational laws and examining comparatively foreign national law to better understand them.

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Journalism and media writing

We're using analytical, theoretical & methodoligal approaches to research media, politics & its impact on politics & society.

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Marine sciences

We're working to improve the marine environment for future generations & make marine activities sustainable.

Marketing and society

We're discovering the macro trends influencing consumer decision making such as sustainability, pollution & health, and the relationship between marketing & society.

Materials engineering

We're exploring how manufacturing could be made more sustainable.

Media cultures

We're exploring new cultures of production and consumption to understand how media audiences are becoming content creators.

Mental health in childhood and education

We're working to eradicate the stigma, bias, labels & misconceptions around mental illness and to shape the policies & practices used to help vulnerable children.


We're working to find solutions to the problem of antibiotic resistance & help us in working to save lives in the process.

Missing persons

We're researching patterns of behaviour that may precede a person going missing & working to change the policies & practices that determine how cases are handled.

Modern literature

We're investigating how texts are interpreted in different ways in different contexts & how reading critically is significant to how we think about the world and our place within it.

Molecular biophysics

We're exploring the composition, function & behaviour of biomolecules so they can have societally, industrially and medically useful functions.

Molecular mechanisms of diseases

We're studying the fundamental processes underpinning diseases to explore the normal molecular life processes keeping us healthy.

Monetary policy

We're developing new financial & economic theories to assess the impacts of monetary policy measures on & via the financial markets.

Multiple criteria decision aid

We're using multiple criteria decisions to help people, such as business managers & public administrators, make better-informed decisions.

Music: composition, practices and technology

We're exploring the role of musical creativity across different forms, including musical theatre, western classic music, electroacoustic music, audio software programming & instrument design.

Musical theatre

We're researching the practical and technical concerns of musical theatre, as well as the historical, social, economic and educational contexts.

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We're exploring the structural & molecular makeup of the nervous system & the difference between how health & diseased nervous systems function.

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Observational cosmology

We're measuring large-scale structures in the Universe and researching supernovae and the appearance of galaxies to understand the source of gravitational lensing.

Occupational and organisational performance

We're evaluating and enhancing working environments & operational conditions to improve performance and organisational structures.

Optimisation modelling

We use critical analysis & interpretation of potential solutions to model & solve problems for organisations in the public & private sectors.

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Palaeontology and stratigraphy

We're exploring how fossil records can help us understand past climates & environments and using this knowledge to effectively predict & model climate change and its impact on the Earth’s ecosystems.

Patient and user experience

We're helping to make a positive impact on patients' and users' lives by studying the experiences, challenges and needs of under-represented, vulnerable or isolated groups in society.


We're working to better understand the role of punishment & how this links with processes of justice and rehabilitation to promote change.

Performance practices

We're looking for solutions to philosophical & political problems to suggest experiential, knowledge-based & affective alternatives to current issues.

Pharmacy practice

We're working to improve patient-centred healthcare delivery by finding evidence-based solutions to the demands of patients.


We're using photographic art practice as an investigative tool, to look into the medium of photography & how photographic practices can be formative to individual subjectivity and modernity.

Physical activity, health and rehabilitation

Discover how research into Human Performance from the University of Portsmouth is helping to evaluate and enhance performance, for sport, exercise, work and health.


We're looking into the policing environment & organisations, & the social, economic and political context in which policing operates.

Politics of states and regions

We're working to foster citizen engagement in politics, improve the effectiveness & responsiveness of public institutions as well as the educational experience of students.

Professional communication

We're exploring how spoken & written language is used in workplaces with the aim to develop relationships & achieve institutional objectives.

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Quality of life, health and wellbeing

We're working to understand psychological & behavioural processes involved in health & wellbeing to produce practical solutions such as lifestyle changes.

Quantum information and sensing technologies

We're developing new technologies using quantum information including applications for high-precision measurements, exponential computational speed-up, & secure communication.

Quantum optics and quantum foundations

We're researching how photons interact with each other & other particles to test phenomena at the foundation of quantum mechanics.

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Renewable energy and sustainability analytics

We're exploring how operational research & analytical modelling can help deliver renewable energy & sustainability solutions for the long term.

Resource economics and environmental policy

In this area of research expertise, we're identifying the economic, social & legal factors influencing the preservation & sustainability of aquatic ecosystems & natural resources.

Risk and security analytics

We're analysing risks and major disasters to learn how to cope faster and make failures rarer and at less cost.

Risk and security management

We're helping organisations and individuals think of alternative ways of identifying, understanding & overcoming risk & security challenges.

Russian studies

We're investigating the nature of the current Russian political system, how Russia sees itself on the world stage & problems in relations with the EU to understand current difficulties in relation to Russia.

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Security and defence

We're exploring how we can reduce the impact of war, encourage peace, improve the lives of citizens around the world & create a safer, more peaceful world.

Services marketing and tourism

We're conducting research that addresses current challenges in businesses that provides a service such as tourism, hospitality, car rental and restaurants.

Situated action and communication

We're researching development psychology, autism, disabilities & empowerment, language & communication, & human movement in relation to their context.

Small business and entrepreneurship

We're looking into how entrepreneurial behaviours, capabilities, strategies & public policies affect the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Social research methods

We're investigating different methods, tools & techniques for studying social phenomena & for generating information & data about all aspects of social life.

Social theory

We're analysing social processes, issues & concerns at group, institutional, societal, system, & global levels.


We're exploring the relationship between language and power, the role language ideology plays in social identity, or how language varies according to class, region or ethnicity.

Sociology of culture

We're exploring the symbolic boundaries, identities, conflicts, and modes of being and belonging among dominant and dominated groups.

Sustainability and business

In this area of research expertise, we're integrating sustainability principles with business to achieve sustainable development.

Sustainable urbanism

In this area of research expertise, we're exploring ways for people, businesses, communities & systems in a city to adapt to global challenges including environmental degradation. Explore our sustainable urbanism research.

Systems and information systems

We're exploring how information systems (IS) can help organisations address complex problems & move their organisational practices towards business excellence.

Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL)

We're researching how people learn languages (particularly English) & how classroom practices as well as learner & practitioner beliefs affect how people learn.

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Theoretical cosmology

We're exploring the inflation of the very early Universe, monitor the expansion of the Universe, and investigate the impact of dark energy on its geometry.

Time, space and environment

We're exploring the representations of time, space & the environment in literature & culture from the eighteenth century to the present day.


We're analysing written translations & studing the translation industry to show the continued need for professional linguists and their role in new technologies.

Transportation and maritime systems

We're developing new optimisation models & decision support systems to improve the mobility of people, goods and services.

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Urban cultures

We're exploring the relationship between the urban environment, individual and collective agency, and the rich and complex cultures that develop within cities.

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Visual and material culture

We're exploring how images, visualisations & objects mediate between historical, social and political issues.

Visual computing

We're researching technology which improves the efficiency & reduces the cost of generating facial images to help monitor treatment of Parkinson's and autism patients.

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Well-being, legal education and the legal profession

We're investigating ways to engage students in the learning journey to promote their success & contribute to the literature on sustainable graduate employability.

Women and development, women and war

We're exploring how the Cold War and migration in East Asia may be experienced differently by women and men.

Workplace learning and development

We're developing productive ways of learning-in-action and researching how adults learn best in workplace settings.

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Youth and digital networking

We're exploring the factors behind cyberbullying, young people's perceptions of it and the issues caused by the breakdown of relationships online.

Research themes, centres and culture

Find out more about research at the University of Portsmouth.

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