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Miss Jane Hearst

Job: PhD student

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities and Performing Arts

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: N/A



Personal profile

Jane is an entrepreneurial researcher specialising in Arts-for-Health. Her PhD thesis examines how we measure and assign value to arts-for-health services within an androcentric economy, like that of the UK. Informed by design theory, Jane's study addresses how we may use the evidence of health benefits, gathered to date, to develop more popularised and sustainable commercial practices in the arts-for-health industry. 

Prior to her PhD, Jane studied a BA in Media Production; specialising (practically) in Film Directing and (theoretically) in Film & Mental Health. After this, she went on to study a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), alongside which, she founded the organisation The Curious Observer (TCO). TCO designs participative film services that help support resilience and generalised wellbeing in a social space, alongside trauma-specific programmes focused on physiology and empowerment.

Jane's research is intrinsically multi-disciplinary - situating itself in the schools of ADH, HLS and BAL. Moreover, her approach to research is informed both by the scientific evidence and ideological theories of the research field, coupled with experiential insight and knowledge of the practical restrictions within the commercial field. Through her work she seeks to unite these two fields in a manner that creates synergistic results.

Research interests/expertise

Arts-for-Health; Mental Health; Narrative Psychology; Participatory Arts; Entrepreneurial Arts; Filmmaking; Narrative Learning; Narrative Therapy; Citizenship Wellbeing; Culture; Social Change; Community Engagement; Personal Development

Areas of teaching

Personal Development; Entrepreneurship in the Creative Industries


BA Media Production; MBA Business Administration

PhD project

PhD title

Building and Measuring Value in Arts-for-Health Services


Arts-for-Health is a fast developing field, with stakeholders from a multitude of industries helping to shape it's future. However, from different disciplines comes different underlying philosophies, methodologies & perceptions of what the function of the arts is within healthcare. As a result, within discussions about arts-for-health, different stakeholders use the same language to describe vastly different concepts. 

This thesis introduces new language, to help shape our shared understanding of this developing industry. This language is placed into a framework, which is subsequently tested, in a number of scenarios, on it's ability to bring clarity, simplify service design, improve the quality of outcomes and more readily identify funders/participants for projects.

Names of supervisors