Coalbrookdale viaduct

Ironbridge Institute has a proud research record in Industrial Archaeology and Heritage.

There is a community of home and overseas research students primarily studying aspects of the history and presentation of industrial heritage in Britain using the extensive research facilities provided by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s Library, located adjacent to the Institute. Research students can choose to study at the Coalbrookdale campus or to be based at the campus in Birmingham depending on the subject of their research. In certain circumstances, it may also be possible for overseas students to study abroad, in their home country. Candidates wishing to research at Ironbridge Institute should provide the Director with a brief research outline and bibliography (up to 1000 words) before applying.

The research community at Ironbridge Institute is fostered at all levels of study. Our postgraduate students are encouraged to engage with primary research for all their assignments and a number of these have been published in journals or formed the basis of papers presented at conferences with the full encouragement, support and engagement from staff. Developing strong research, writing and presentational skills have a wide applicability in the employment market and is one of the factors that enables our graduating students to find employment in their desired sector. 

Lecturers at Ironbridge Institute are actively engaged with the research community world-wide through attendance at conferences in Britain and overseas and also through the hosting of conferences in Coalbrookdale on a three-year cycle. In 2006, the focus was on World Heritage sites. In 2009 it was on the history of iron production as part of the tercentenary celebrations surrounding the first smelting of iron with coke at Coalbrookdale in 1709. In 2012 the conference will be on the global market in cast iron products.


Research thesis

PhD (completed)

  • A study of Heritage Tourism Management in Jordan (2010)
  • Hospitals provided by companies of their workforces (2003)

PhD (in progress)

  • A GIS study of the Frisco Mining Landscape, Utah
  • Quarrying landscapes in Shropshire in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Heritage Identity in Emilia Romagna



  • Barytes mines in Shropshire
  • William Hazeldine: millwright and ironmaster


Learn more

  • Research specialities
  • Research interests of staff