Research & Evaluation

Research and evaluation of the Denis Law Legacy Trust activities and associated programmes is regularly carried out by both staff and students at the Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen and is focused around the following key themes.


Design for Society / Education / Health Promotion / Public Health / Sociology / Occupational Health / Sport & Exercise Science / Business Studies / Events Management / Marketing / Widening Access



Staff and students at Gray’s School of Art are currently exploring the impact of design led initiatives within society and the role of design and the designer in facilitating community engagement through diversionary activties in areas of urban deprivation. The focus considers strategies and applications of ‘design for social innovation’ using Streetsport as a case study and platform for ‘field research’ to inform teaching pedagogy.

As an example of a design for social intervention, Streetsport is a vehicle of engagement that uses sport and creative activities to divert and distract disaffected young people who are considered at risk of offending.

Streetsport was established in 2006 as a diversionary tactics initiative led by Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, RGU SPORT and Gray’s School of Art.

Our overall aim was to ‘reduce instances of youth crime and anti-social behaviour; promote health and wellbeing and encourage inclusivity through sport, physical activity and creative endeavour’.

Over the past 12 years we have been delivering free sports & creative activity sessions for young people in many disadvantaged communities throughout Aberdeen City during peak times of anti-social behaviour. We operate nightly 50 weeks of the year and in all weathers.


“Gray’s School of Art has an established reputation for community engagement and Streetsport is one of our flagship ‘design led’ initiatives. Successive students from the Communication Design course at Gray’s have contributed to a wide range of activities in collaboration with a variety of project partners, sponsors and stakeholders. Through the application of design methods and processes we have been looking at ways in which designers can apply their skills within the context of intervention and social innovation for the benefit of the local community and wider society”.

Cameron Craddock – Senior Lecturer, Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University.

Streetsport T&L Poster Final RGU.jpg


Enhancing graduate attributes through the facilitation and development of design skills applied within the context of the Streetsport initiative.

Based in Service-learning, where studio activities meet street-level issues, Streetsport offers Gray’s School of Art design students a way to develop enhanced graduate attributes through applied design driven methods and creative skills within the context of a city wide initiative.

Adopting a collaborative partnership model, the initiative brings together multiple stakeholders and corporate sponsors to work with communities, resulting in activities that reflect local needs, interests and culture.


“As a Communication Design student I was offered the opportunity to work with the Streetsport team on a number of activities and as a football fan and local resident of Aberdeen I was delighted and proud to assist with this initiative which has made such an impact around the city. I was immediately impressed by the range of opportunities and jumped at the chance to collaborate and support my community. I have since developed strong working relationships a number of delivery partners and I hope the project continues to grow and succeed”.

“Upon graduation I was employed by Wired Studio in Aberdeen to work on a wide range of design and strategy projects before moving to London in December 2015. I am currently a Visual & User Experience Designer for global service design agency Great Fridays and have worked on accounts including Adidas, Mastercard and McLaren”.

Ali MacManus, Communication Design Student, Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University.



RGU is a dynamic, modern university with an international reputation for providing high quality education from undergraduate through to PhD level.

Consistently ranked among the UK’s top universities for graduate employment for many years, recent accolades have included:

  • Top university for graduate jobs in the UK- HESA July 2013

  • ‘Best Modern University in the UK’ – The Times Good University Guide 2012

  • Scottish University of the Year 2011

  • Top Modern University for Research in Scotland.

The diverse and exciting range of degree programmes are taught in state-of-the-art facilities by specialists who maintain close links with the world of work. Well-established relationships with professional bodies, industrial organisations, government departments and research institutes ensure that all taught content is relevant and meets industry standards.

Our growing reputation for research reflects our interest in finding real solutions to real problems.