Faculty of Arts

Organisation profile

Organisation profile

The Faculty of Arts consists of three Schools and two professional Centres:

  • School of Arts
  • School of Humanities
  • School of Modern Languages
  • Centre for Academic Language and Development
  • Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship


The Faculty has 238 research and teaching staff, many of whom are leading international scholars in their fields. In 2019/20 the Faculty had over 200 research and over 400 taught postgraduate students.

Outstanding intellectuals who have contributed to Arts and Humanities at the University include Nobel Prize winner Winston Churchill, who won the prize for literature in 1953 while serving as Chancellor of the University of Bristol from 1929 to 1965.

Recently elected Fellows of the British Academy include Danny Karlin (2020), Ad Putter (2019), Samir Okasha (2018), Andreas Schönle (2017),  Robert Fowler (2016) and Ronald Hutton (2013). Olivette Otele is Fellow and Vice President of the Royal Historical Society. Helen Fulton is Fellow and Vice President of the Learned Society of Wales, and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Hilary Carey is Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities.


Areas of excellence

The Faculty’s research is focused on the work of its leading Research Centres and Institutes. These are the Centre for Black Humanities, Centre for Environmental Humanities, Centre for Health, Humanities and Science, Centre for Material Texts, Centre for Medieval Studies, Centre for Science and Philosophy, Institute for Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition and Bristol Poetry Institute.

The Faculty plays a major role in two of the University’s Research Institutes, the Brigstow Institute dedicated to researching new ways of living, led by historian Tim Cole, and the Jean Golding Institute, a central hub for data-intensive research, led by biological anthropologist Kate Robson Brown. The Faculty also contributes to the rich activities of the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research, the Cabot Institute for the Environment,  Migration Mobilities Bristol and other University Strategic Research Institutes.

The Faculty is home to the SWWDTP, the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership of 10 research organizations that provide over 200 awards funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.



The Faculty has its own research space in the Humanities Building, opened in 2019 at a cost of over 13 million pounds, with seminar rooms, a cinema room, research rooms, exhibition space, and networking and social space. The Faculty's research students have exclusive access to study spaces, social space, and other support in the Graduate Research Centre at 34 Tyndalls Park Road.

The Faculty is host to the Theatre Collection, one of the world’s leading collections relating to British theatre and live art.

The recently approved University Library will be constructed on the Hawthorns site adjoining the Arts Complex on the corner of Woodland Road and Elton Road.


Collaboration and Partnerships

Through the SWWDTP and research partnerships the Faculty of Arts supports collaborations with leading arts and cultural organizations across the regions of the South West and Wales. These include Arts Council South West, the Bristol Old Vic, Bristol Music Trust (Colston Hall), Aardman Animation, Spike Island, the Watershed, Cotswold Archaeology, Downside Abbey, the National Trust South West, Bristol Culture, and Bristol City Council. Other partnerships include the British Library, British School of Rome, Historic England, GCHQ, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Historic Towns Trust.

The Faculty actively works through the GW4 Alliance to build research partnerships with the four leading research-intensive universities in the South West of England (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter).

As a member of the Bristol and Bath Cluster of the AHRC Creative Industries Clusters Programme, the University of Bristol helps bring together the region’s world-class cultural enterprises. Commercial partners include The Watershed, Aardman Animations, Audible, the BBC, and the RSC.



The Brigstow Institute leads development of partnerships with local communities from bright idea to leading research outputs. The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, proposed for location at the new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus of the University, provides a hub for entrepreneurship in the Arts, Industry and Sciences and a catalyst for sustainable and inclusive development.


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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