Research Strategy and Structure

Research Strategy

Abertay is a compact, focused University with an established reputation for working well across traditional research boundaries, as well as within new and emerging disciplines and sectors.

We are committed to high quality research that delivers real impact for society. From environmental research into sustainable businesses and food production, to using computer games as creative and critical tools to understand the behaviours and structures that drive and influence individuals in the societies in which they exist, our researchers are solving complex real-world problems to fuel innovation-led growth and sustainable development.

Society faces unprecedented socio-economic and environmental challenges, the continual emergence of sector disruptors, and the problems as well as benefits afforded by global connectivity and competition – these are truly wicked, complex challenges often requiring mixed discipline approaches.

The solutions to these challenges require the application of excellent fundamental research and creative cross- and inter-disciplinary approaches that consider the interplay amongst a mix of social, economic, environmental and technological concerns.

Our Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy 2020-25 integrates our research into a single University-wide initiative where expertise from a range of subject areas is integrated and used to support discovery, innovation and applied research within and across traditional disciplinary boundaries. We have drawn on our industry-facing heritage and effective interdisciplinary practice, to enhance our existing expertise and internationally recognised successes; our research culture is inculcated into everything we do as a University.

Our structure promotes collaborative and interdisciplinary working, to break away from traditional academic models and address real-world challenges. Our academics and research staff focus and build excellence within diverse Research Groups, interact and innovate to build strength in our ways of working within Pooled Excellence areas, and collaborate with other discipline experts through our Challenge Spaces to deliver impact for society and the economy.

The Graduate School is central to our research community. The School grants membership to all students engaged in postgraduate study at Abertay.  Our purpose-designed forum, where researchers and postgraduates come together to work, learn, collaborate and socialise, supports a unique postgraduate community operating in a multi-disciplinary and creative environment. From projects developing novel and sustainable foods, to computer games programmes used for anti-cancer drug design, the School supports the University’s research community as a whole. In addition to providing a physical workspace, the Graduate School offers a comprehensive and integrated training and professional development programme to our research students and academics, to enhance research excellence, impact and individual employability.

Pooled Excellence

Emerging from the academic strengths of our Research Groups are Abertay’s Pools of Excellence, where researchers are brought together through shared methodologies and approaches, and can integrate our expertise in order to advance the core methodologies that drive our research and knowledge exchange forward.

We recognise that complex real-world problems cannot be solved by single disciplines alone. Our Pooled Excellence embodies characteristic ways of working that transcend problem spaces, to support discovery, innovation and applied research within and across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Challenge Spaces

Strategic RKE activity is focused within and across Challenge Spaces addressing key local, national and international priorities that our research base best positions us to respond to. To address these Challenge Spaces we will draw on our research group expertise that is encapsulated in our Pooled Excellence, which represent cross-institutional of working. 

School Research

Our three academic schools: School of Business, Law and Social Science, School of Applied Sciences and the School of Design and Informatics have an outstanding record of conducting world-leading and internationally excellent research. Staff collaborate across divisions and with external partners to produce research that sparks new conversations, informs government policies and impacts lives for the better. Explore each school for a more detailed overview of what we are working on.


Research in the School of Business, Law & Social Science

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Division of Accounting, Business and Management

All aspects of business learning from management to accounting, HR to marketing. We train you thoroughly for the world of business.

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Division of Sociology

Degrees in Sociology, Criminology and Social Science give you the knowledge you need to make sense of the modern world.

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Division of Law

With work placements and overseas studies, our legal degrees are LLB accredited.

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Research in the School of Design and Informatics

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Division of Games and Arts

Internationally recognised research and courses in game design, computer games technology and computer arts.

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Division of Games Technology and Mathematics

The centre for degrees, research and knowledge in applied computer science, games technology and mathematics.

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Division of Cybersecurity

The world-renowned teaching centre for ethical hacking and cybersecurity .

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Research in the School of Applied Sciences

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Division of Engineering and Food Science

Inventive teaching and degree courses in civil and environmental engineering, and food, nutrition and health.

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Division of Health Sciences

Make a difference to health and well-being by combining academic and practice-based learning, with the NHS, the voluntary and private sectors.

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Division of Psychology and Forensic Sciences

Understand and analyse human behaviour in a friendly, supportive, and stimulating learning environment.

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Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Learn about sport and exercise coaching, development and management, the social sciences of sport, as well as sport and exercise science.

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ABERTAY NEWS12/03/2024

Securi-Tay 2024: Europe’s largest student cyber conference returns

Abertay Ethical Hacking Society welcome over 350 attendees to twelfth annual...

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ABERTAY NEWS12/03/2024

New report on UK-China games industries published by Abertay researchers

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Abertay to be scientific lead in €3.8m study into European video games clusters

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ABERTAY NEWS19/01/2024

Abertay University lecturer in call to save planet in Antarctica video diary

Climate scientist Dr Rebecca Wade feels even more urgent need to act on clima...

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ABERTAY NEWS12/01/2024

Legendary Star Wars VFX studio in movie-making masterclass at Abertay

Ground-breaking Star Wars and Marvel VFX company, Industrial Light & Magic, i...

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ABERTAY NEWS12/01/2024

Dundee-Mumbai video games education partnership signed on UK trade mission

Abertay University and Ecole Intuit Lab sign agreement to collaborate on educ...

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ABERTAY NEWS23/11/2023

Abertay to lead CoSTAR Realtime Lab for screen and performance technology

The University will also partner on the CoSTAR National Lab based at Pinewood...

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ABERTAY NEWS03/11/2023

International research partnership to investigate corruption in sport

Abertay University collaborating with Western Sydney University to analyse ex...

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ABERTAY NEWS30/10/2023

Cybersecurity book for children launched at Abertay

All Scottish primary 1 pupils to receive free copy to build cybersecurity skills

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ABERTAY NEWS09/09/2023

Abertay ranked in UK top 10 for student experience

Strong rankings performance continues in Daily Mail and Guardian guides

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ABERTAY NEWS02/08/2023

InGAME catalyses UK video games industry growth

Impact report shows R&D and innovation support sparked £84.7m GVA

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