This paper examines the research practices in Art and Design that are distinctively different from those common in research into higher education outside those fields. It considers whether and what benefit could be derived from their adaptation by the latter. The paper also examines the factors which are conducive and obstructive to adaptive transfer happening. Founded in the relevant literature, the paper uses 16 semi-structured interviews with academic staff in the disciplines of Graphic Design, Design for Performance, Fine Art and Fashion in an English Arts university. It concludes that there are features of Art and Design research that could be beneficial and that in some cases these also meet the necessary conditions for successful adaptation: salience to higher education researchers and profitability in relation to some of the goals of research in that field. However such practices may not be congruent with dominant approaches in research into higher education, a further condition of successful adaptation, and there may be concerns in some cases around the issue of ‘rigour’. The overall conclusion, therefore, is a qualified one.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Higher Education Research and Development, 32 (1), 2013, © Informa Plc