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Impact Case Studies

The School of Arts at Leeds Beckett offers exciting opportunities to study for a doctorate in subjects right across the creative arts including by practice. Below is a list of our PhD supervisors who can offer support and guidance drawing on their expertise and experience within their own specialisms. If you are thinking about studying with us, please follow the links below to find out more about each supervisor and then please feel free to contact them to discuss your research ideas. We look forward to hearing from you.


Leeds Beckett University’s research has contributed to the development of Music: Leeds, a project designed to respond to the needs, issues and opportunities for SMEs, larger organisations and microbusinesses within the Leeds region’s music sector. Leeds Beckett University’s research collaboration with Music: Leeds has impacted the music and cultural sector of local authorities by contributing to Leeds City Council’s delivery of their Culture Strategy and programme for a year of culture in 2023, and collaborating with the Leeds City Region LEP, local and Core Cities local authorities. Research conducted in the Leeds music sector by Leeds Beckett University and Music: Leeds has also impacted the strategy of national music organisations such as the Association of Independent Music (AIM) and PRS Foundation (PRSF) who implemented Music: Leeds’s model for decentralised outreach programs.

Sam Nicholls and Dr Paul Thompson

Leeds town hall filled with tables of people, a person presents research on stage with a large organ behind


The impact of the practice-based research, which culminated in a series of acousmatic and mixed media works, stems from new approaches in electroacoustic composition which consider the articulation of micro-space in acousmatic sound using specific sound design and novel sound recording techniques. The impact claimed in this case study relates to enhancement of public cultural life and public engagement with new work at an international level, the generation of new cultural capital - as demonstrated by the accolades attributed to the work and a new commercial publication - and the development of overseas partnerships in the creative industries sector as well as the development of young musicians.

Dr Nikos Stavropoulos


Dr Miller is a leading scholar and performer in the field of Cuban, Caribbean and Latin American music studies. Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation (Scarecrow Press, 2014) was the first book worldwide on Cuban flute improvisation and performance practice presenting a practice-informed history of the Cuban charanga dance band tradition. Her second monograph Improvising Sabor – Cuban Dance Music in New York (University Press of Mississippi, 2020) expands on this work through a detailed ethnographic study of Cuban music performance practice in the USA. Dr Miller’s professional performance informs these works and further disseminates the research to non-specialist audiences worldwide.

Dr Susan Miller


This case study is of the impact that an approach to theatre and performance making has had on the theatre industry, academia and the public. The approach is one of combining autobiography, biography, reportage and documentary research into a variety of narrative frames: fictional drama, performance lecture, autobiographical story telling. The study includes four currently touring performances created by theatre company Third Angel, on which I am the lead writer/artist and performer:

  • Cape Wrath (2013 – present)
  • 600 People (2015 – present)
  • The Desire Paths (2016 – present)
  • The Department of Distractions (2018 – present)

These works tour across the UK and internationally to theatres, festivals, arts centres and rural touring networks. The study also includes publications, lectures and workshops that further explore these ideas.

Dr Susan Miller


The CINAGE project, supported by the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts, established a wide ranging European later life research project, the development of later life learning opportunities, and the teaching of practical film and performance making, to a wide cross-section of Yorkshire communities. A learning package has been published; outputs from each of the three elements of the project have been screened, viewed and performed nationally and internationally; and the courses devised have been disseminated to learning providers across the EU, encouraging adult learning/self-reflection and facilitating competencies for a healthier active ageing.

Clown holding bright yellow sign


The UK and US regularly sell weapons to repressive regimes. How are these deals legitimised?  Jill Gibbon uses drawing and performance to research the etiquette of the arms trade. Her research has reached a global audience through international press coverage, a book, articles, and exhibitions in Berlin, Belfast, Bradford and Bristol.  It has impacted on the public understanding of the arms industry by revealing how arms deals are presented as respectable.  It has contributed to change in the cultural sector through a successful campaign against arms company sponsorship of a major arts festival, the Great Exhibition of the North.

Dr Jill Gibbon

A stress ball bomb


Bovan’s research has cultural, economic and attitudinal benefits.  His global cultural impact is evidenced through catwalks (London Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, Fashion East), the media (Vogue, New York Times, Guardian, Elle), celebrity endorsements (Bjork, Rita Ora, Tilda Swinton) and awards (nominated for British Council Fashion Awards for Emerging Talent: Womenswear 2017 & 2018). His economic impact is generated through research and design for global brands (Coach, Mont Blanc, Selfridges, Wool & the Gang) and local industry (regional factories and craftspeople). His attitudinal impact is through questioning gender identity (Representing Leeds at the London Design Biennale, his editorial work for Love Magazine, his zines, his commissions for Barbie and his Girlness film).

Matty Bovan

Matty Bovan poses at an awards ceremony


Hafeda’s research transform the lives of marginalised communities through site-specific projects and contributions to academic discourse placing the concerns of these communities at the centre of public and critical debate. Hafeda’s work informs international United Nations Relief and Works Agency activities, for whom he is also a consultant; provides key reference material for activists (Alodaat) and architects (Bernath; Campkin; Duijzings; Engel) in equal measure. His work has shaped the Serpentine’s programming – increasing its community-focus; and has reached audiences worldwide whilst directly improved the lives of participants.

Mohamad Hafeda

Mohamad Hafeda lecturing a class


Harold Offeh’s use of Live Art as a strategy for cultural engagement has impacted on the lives and aspirations of many groups of young people and educators; recognised through nominations for The Arts Foundation Award and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation awards in 2017. Research was shared at international venues including Tate Modern, London; Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco; The Venice Biennale Diaspora Pavilion. Offeh has worked with  young people, many from BAME and deprived backgrounds. 

Harold Offeh

Harold Offeh leans around a pillar in pink leggings