Our Research

USW’s research is aimed at making a difference in the real world, changing lives, and the world, for the better. From our founding institution, the Newport Mechanic’s Institute almost 200 years ago, the focus has always been on addressing societal needs, not just by widening access into higher education, but by using research for real industrial solutions. 

Our research provides solutions to the challenges faced by society and the economy, with researchers working across disciplines to help businesses, communities, and policy makers benefit from their research outputs. 

The last Research Excellence Framework in 2014 rated half of USW’s research as world leading or internationally excellent. 

We have particular strengths in our four core areas of health and well-being, policing and security, to the creative industries and sustainable environment.

Sustainable Environment Research


Recycling waste gasses 

USW’s Sustainable Environment Research Centre is developing innovative biotechnology to harness the economic benefits of clean energy. Its research is helping industry reduce energy use and become economically and environmentally sustainable


Using data to reduce energy use

USW mathematicians developed a suite of statistical tools to analyse energy usage. Businesses significantly reduced their energy use, equating to a reduction in carbon emissions of 300,000 tonnes and energy cost savings of £43M.


Improving climate forecasting 

Our Maths research has enhanced the accuracy and stability of NASA’s GEOS-5 global atmospheric model - used by weather and climate centres around the world - to benefit society, the environment, and the economy. 

Crime, Security and Justice Research


The role of forensic science and technology in homicide investigation

Research findings by the Criminal Investigation Research Network(CIRN) are assisting police, forensic scientists, digital forensic practitioners and policy-makers in the investigation of homicide. 


Building a post-war justice system in Afghanistan 

Research by USW's Centre for Criminology is helping to reform the criminal justice system in Afghanistan and supported a positive change in attitude towards women’s rights


Improving outcomes in homicide investigations

Research by the Criminal Investigation Research Network (CIRN) is providing vital evidence to police forces, forensic scientists and policy makers nationally and internationally to improve homicide investigation and manage risks to justice.


Health and Wellbeing Research


David Shearer is a Professor of elite performance psychology at USW. He helps elite athletes, coaches & teams to deal with the pressures encountered at major world-level sporting events like the Olympics to achieve their best performances.


Researchers from the Substance Use Research Group have engaged with service providers and drinkers across Wales to better understand awareness, preparation and expectations about the impending minimum pricing for alcohol legislation. Their research will help service providers to develop appropriate strategies to help drinkers prepare and minimise any associated harm.  

Creative Industries Research


Digital stories transform policies

USW's George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling's work with Welsh Women's Aid has transformed training, policy and service provision for women and children in Wales who have suffered domestic violence


Bringing lost history to life

The Music, Performance and Media Research Group's work on the ‘lost history’ of popular music in Merthyr Tydfil has improved understanding of the important past that Merthyr Tydfil played in the development on popular music in Wales


Informing policy and investment for creative industries 

Research by the Centre for Media and Culture in Small Nations has informed national policy development as well as investment and support strategies for media provision and cultural and creative organisations in Wales