Research and centres of excellence

College of Business and Social Sciences

Our research centres and centres of excellence link expertise within the College of Business and Social Science (BSS) to our beneficiaries. The centres address real-world problems with their impactful research, they develop innovative methods to support teaching and learning and they provide highly successful leadership programmes to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow.

They are an interface through which we shape and influence the world around us adding value in a variety of ways. They include:

Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics

Improving the delivery of justice through the analysis of language

Research groups

Digital Humanities Research Group

Our world is in the throes of an unprecedented digital revolution. This research group brings together scholars from across the humanities and social sciences to examine the impact of new and emerging technologies on our past, present and future.

Group directors: Dr Daniel McAuley (English and French) and Dr Joseph Yannielli (History).

For a full list of membership, please contact one of the group directors above.

Funded projects and publications
Research clusters
Big Data and Distant Reading

Research across a variety of disciplines has shifted from a state of information scarcity to one of information abundance. How do we make sense of this influx of new data? How can it be used to advance knowledge and understanding of the human condition?

Topics include:

  • Algorithms and machine learning
  • Data mining and web analytics
  • Network analysis
  • Text encoding, topic modelling and corpus linguistics
  • Visualisation techniques
Digital History and Heritage

Our research explores the myriad origins, exciting possibilities and inherent problems of modern technology. We also investigate the impact of digital methods and practices on the study of history and allied disciplines. How have online archives, mapping tools, virtual museums and multimodal websites changed the way we research, teach and argue about the past?

Topics include:

  • Archives, metadata and digitisation
  • Histories of computing and information technology
  • Public history and cultural heritage in the digital age
  • Sceptical and critical views of technology
  • Virtual reality, augmented reality and gaming
Digital Literacy and the Democratisation of Knowledge

In an information landscape awash with advertisements, rumours, mistakes and misinformation, it can be difficult to separate truth from fiction. What are the ethical implications of academic expertise in a virtual world where knowledge is radically decentralised and democratised? How is scholarship accessed and interpreted in a time of stark inequalities and perpetual social and environmental crises?

Topics include:

  • Crowdsourcing and knowledge sharing
  • Ethical digital practice
  • Open access, intellectual property and the digital divide
  • Programming languages and critical code studies
  • Blended and hybrid teaching and learning