Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Cultural and Social Representation of Scotland including Practice Based study
Rural and Remote Rural Communities (esp. Northern Europe/Atlantic/Arctic)
Small Island Communities, Cultural Heritage, and Place
Cultural Work and Creative Economies - art, craft, food, drink, and media
Sustainability, Resilience and Rural Place Narratives

Willing to speak to media

1996 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

Dr Kathryn A. Burnett is based in the Division of Arts and Media, University of the West of Scotland with subject leadership roles and teaching practice across inter-disciplinary undergraduate and Masters programmes in Creative Media and Arts Practice. Kathryn has formal leadership experience in a variety of UWS management roles including Subject Leader, LTC Chair, Depute Chair School Board, University Research Board nominated representative for Media, Creative Industries, and the Research Group Lead of both Media and Culture, and PGRs in the former School of (Media) Creative and Cultural Industries; she was previously ECR and PGR Lead for the Creative Media Academy and is currently PGR Lead for Arts and Media/Creative Industries Division in the School of BCI, UWS. Current external activity includes UWS representative on the UArctic Arctic Sustainable Arts and Design (ASAD) network, and the UArctic Northern and Arctic Island Studies Research network. Kathryn is an organising group member for UK wide MSIG in Participatory and Collaborative Methods; Kathryn is UWS representative on the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities Executive. She has served on academic, cultural and arts boards and committees including Scottish media and culture associations, community archives, and community interface of theatre and film in Scotland, most especially concerned with rural, island and/or Scottish identity and cultural political dimensions, including two decades on 7:84 Theatre (Scotland)'s executive board, and more recently as a Board Member for The Reid Foundation, Scotland. Currently on the editorial board of Northern Scotland.

With a background in social anthropology, sociology and cultural studies, Kathryn’s research interests include the mediatization and representation of remote and island spaces; identity, ecologies and place narratives of Scotland’s rural communities, coasts and islands; cultural work, precarity and creative enterprise; Scottish cultural heritage and arts contexts including Gaelic and Scots for applied creative practice; sustainable communities, resilience, development, entrepreneurship, cultural policy and the commons in small island, remote, peripheral and rural contexts.  Kathryn is the former Co-Director of the Scottish Centre for Island Studies.


Current research activities

Key current research focus includes:

  • rural and remote places and lives, with specific reference to Scotland’s islands and issues of cultural identity, community, sustainability and enterprise;
  • the mediatization and representation of Scotland with reference to alterity, heritage and negotiated identity;
  • cultural work, enterprise, place and rural cultural industries;
  • Scotland's creative and arts learning links with the Arctic and Circumpolar north including archival, community assets and creative methods resource sharing.

Desired research direction

To engage further with an island studies and remote rural research focus within Scotland and across 'north' locales, regions and nations as a collaborative, co-produced and community engaged activity.  In addition, I wish to undertake inter-disciplinary research collaboration with Scottish based HEIs, local authority agencies and SMEs as well as with international education providers and partners with interests in remote and rural cultures, island studies and critiques of Scottish identity, community and its mediatization not least with a view to external collaborative activity with 'north' regional and national experience, including Arctic and 'near Arctic' focus.

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 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

External positions

External Examiner, University of the Highlands and Islands

Oct 2022 → …

Board Member , The Reid Foundation

1 Dec 2017Dec 2022

External Examiner, University of Stirling

1 Jun 2015Jun 2018

External Examiner, Sheffield Hallam University

1 Sept 20101 Oct 2014


  • HM Sociology
  • Rural Sociology
  • Community
  • Visual studies
  • Heritage
  • Island Studies
  • Scottish Culture
  • Remote Place and Space
  • Cultural Work
  • Creative Industries
  • Creative and Arts Practice
  • Media Studies, Sociology of Media
  • Land use
  • Rural Enterprise
  • Sustainability
  • Representation
  • Narrative
  • Material Culture
  • Arctic
  • Archives
  • Pedegogy


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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