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The School of Arts and Cultures

The School of Arts and Cultures is a creative, multidisciplinary School. We offer teaching and research in Fine Art, Music, Digital Cultures, Film, Curating, Journalism and Media, Cultural Studies, Heritage Management, Museum Studies, and PR.

Creativity and Practice

The School of Arts and Cultures is large, multi-disciplinary, and diverse. It has three broad subject areas: Fine ArtMusic, and Media, Culture, Heritage.

These subject areas contain further subgroups within them. Fine Art also encompasses Art History and Digital Cultures. Media, Culture, Heritage includes Media and Cultural Studies, Film Practice, Journalism, PR and Marketing, and Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies.

The School of Arts and Cultures is distinctive because of the breadth of subjects and specialisms it encompasses, its excellent relationships with regional and national cultural partners, and its critical mass in creative practice expertise.

Teaching, Research, Impact and Engagement

Our teaching and research is closely linked to our impact and engagement activities and our staff and students are leaders and enablers of creative and cultural practice in the region, nationally and internationally.

A key feature of the School of Arts and Cultures is that our staff continue to be both academics, researchers and practitioners (e.g. musicians, artists, curators, journalists, PR professionals and film-makers). Our creative practitioners - musicians, artists and film-makers continue to perform and exhibit their work on the world stage and this applies to our students too. For example, in 2017 our folk music students accompanied our Vice-Chancellor on a trip to China where they performed to great acclaim.

Many colleagues from the School of Arts and Cultures work in co-productive ways with sectoral partners and to actively contribute to practice and policy making (e.g. making digital apps, co-creating exhibitions with curators, writing policy briefs for external bodies, investigating the UK’s live music industry, influencing national debates around media habits, the creative arts and cultural industries.) The result is that much of our teaching is extremely well-integrated from the outset with initiatives around employability and employer engagement, and our much of our research is readily translatable into impact and engagement work. Our staff and students organise an impressive range of public events (concerts, talks, performances and exhibitions) on a weekly basis which reach a diversity of audiences across the city and wider region.

The School is also strongly engaged with issues of equality and diversity not just in terms of Athena Swan but also in terms of research and teaching specialisms of its staff and students. Colleagues are involved in broader initiatives such as the Martin Luther King celebrations, International Women’s Day, and the Centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918. Staff in the School of Arts and Cultures are strongly committed to the values of collegiality, fairness and inclusivity and supportive of wider University and national initiatives relating to these.

Consistently high-ranking

The School of Arts and Cultures is highly successful in several key aspects of teachingresearch and engagement.

For example, Fine Art is frequently in the top three in the Complete University guidethe Guardian's University subject tables and the Times and Sunday Times subject league tables.  Music is regularly within the top quartile of the 180+ institutions that deliver music programmes in the world and is one of the few places that offers Classical, Folk, Traditional, Popular, and Contemporary degree pathways. Media and Communication has been also ranked first in the Complete University Guide and Sunday Times Good University Guide in recent years.

Our activities provide a bridge between academic research and teaching and the wider world of culture, heritage and the arts.