• York Street, Belfast Campus

    BT15 1ED Belfast

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Deputy Vice Chancellor since April 2021 and formerly Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the largest Faculty in the University including a diverse range of world-leading disciplines including Law, Education, Social Work, Politics, humanities, the arts and the rapidly expanding film and screen subjects. 

Paul was Head of Belfast School of Art for four years and was formerly Dean of Art, Media and Design at the University of Wales, Newport. He held the position of Director of research at Newport and is widely recognised as a subject expert in Art & Design research, participating on panels in RAE 08, REF14 and REF21.  As a former member of the HEFCE expert advisory group on the development of the REF, he has advised numerous universities worldwide on research strategy and was a panel member of the New Zealand Research Assessment Exercise. He currently sits on the advisory board of the Imperial War Museum, having previously served as a Board member of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group. He was awarded an OBE in 2020 for his service to Higher Education and the Arts. 

As Executive Dean of AHSS Paul established the Ulster Screen Academy and Creative Industries Institute to drive growth in research and skills across the screen sector. The City Deal funded Screen Media Innovation Lab will position the University at the centre of this rapidly evolving sector and the Ulster Screen Academy will launch it’s Epic Games accredited virtual production studio in September. 

Paul has an international profile as an artist and researcher. His work is held in many museum collections including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Tate, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, International Centre of Photography New York, Arts Councils of Ireland, England and Northern Ireland, the UK Government Collection and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome. In 2002 he was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum London as War Artist for Afghanistan and was awarded the Irish Museum of Modern Art/Glen Dimplex award for a major contribution to Irish Art. His most recent work looking at reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda is published in April by Strzelecki Books Cologne. 

Paul has a first-class honours degree in Photography, Film, Television and Animation and was awarded a PhD by the University of Wales in 2007. He is a Fellow of the RSA and the RPS, Honorary fellow of Cardiff Metropolitan University and former Vice President of the Royal Ulster Academy of Art.  He currently holds Visiting Professorships at Sheffield Hallam, University of South Wales, Ravensbourne University London, Shenyang University and Luxun Academy of Fine Arts China. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Photography and the Representation of Conflict in Northern Ireland, University of South Wales

Award Date: 1 Jun 2007

Bachelor, Photography Film and Animation, University for the Creative Arts

Award Date: 30 Jun 1988


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