The Centre aims to be at the forefront of current archaeological practice and research.

It undertakes archaeological research within three broad areas: the historic built environment, community engagement and industrial archaeology. This work is published in a variety of locations and media, including the Centre's own monograph series, applied archaeology research reports and in the form of specialist reports. These documents and more research material (including photographs, maps and plans) can be viewed on the Centre's Archaeology Collection website.

Particular areas of research study include community engagement with heritage; 3D visualisation of past landscapes and buildings; and the archaeology of industrialisation. We welcome potential postgraduate students wishing to further their study in these areas through the College's masters and professional doctorate programmes.

Examples of recent research projects include a major research on cruck timber-framed buildings, completed and published in 2010 and a runner up in English Heritage’s Awards for the Presentation of Heritage Research in 2011.

Current research includes Buckton Castle, where recent excavations are being used to create a virtual 3D Visualisation model of a long-forgotten 12th and 13th century castle on the fringes of the western Pennines; research on the Bridgewater Canal which celebrated the 250th Anniversary of its opening in summer 2012; and Dig Greater Manchester, a five year project looking at heritage access across Greater Manchester.