Large, multidisciplinary and diverse
The School of Arts and Cultures is large, multi-disciplinary, and diverse. Its three key subject areas - Fine Art, Music, and Media, Culture, Heritage - also contain further subgroups within them. Most notably within Fine Art (Art History and Creative Arts Practice/Digital Cultures) and Media, Culture, Heritage (Media and Cultural Studies, Film, Journalism, Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies, PR and Marketing).
The School is distinctive because of the breadth of subjects and specialisms it encompasses, its excellent relationships with cultural partners, and its critical mass in creative practice expertise.
We are ranked first in the UK for Art and Design and provide students with the highest quality teaching, and excellent facilities.
As one of the largest music departments in the country, we offer extensive performing opportunities for students.
The School of Arts and Cultures is highly successful in several key aspects of teaching, research and engagement.
For example, Fine Art is frequently top of the list in the Complete University guides and the Guardian's University subject tables. Music is regularly within the top quartile of the 180+ institutions that deliver music programmes 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.
Creativity in practice
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 many of our staff and students have been, and in many cases continue to be, both academics and practitioners (e.g. musicians, artists, journalists, PR professionals and film-makers). Our musicians, artists and film-makers continue to perform and show their work on a 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.