The School of Arts is comprised of Anthropology and Archaeology, Film and Television, Music, Philosophy and Theatre.

The School of Arts focuses on the study and practices of culture. Our strengths are our diversity, our mixed research modes across the five disciplines, and our long-standing collaborations with the creative and cultural industries.

We conduct research through archives, audiences, histories, collaboration, and through a range of scientific, creative, logic-based, archival, observational, and participatory practices.   

Anthropology & Archaeology is home to the Bristol Radiocarbon Advanced Mass Spectrometry Facility while its researchers' field practices range from Middle Eastern archaeology to visual anthropology in Peru.

Film and Television's new premises in The Richmond Building boast industry-facing production and post-production facilities and screening spaces to support diverse research practices.

Music supports its practice-based research through state-of-the-art sound recording and composition and performance spanning early choral through to contemporary electroacoustic work.

Philosophy's extensive interdisciplinary collaborations with STEM subjects both within and outside the University support its world-leading research into philosophies of science, medicine, and mathematics.

Theatre, founded in 1947 by Professor Glynne Wickham as the first department in the UK to offer a degree in Theatre Studies, hosts research spanning archives, histories, translation and adaptation, and practice-as-research, which is supported by the Wickham Theatre, one of the best-equipped studio theatres in a UK university.

Research in the Faculty and University 

The School leads the Jean Golding Institute (Professor Kate Robson-Brown) the Centre for Health, Humanities and Science (Professor Havi Carel) and Redirect (Centre for Science and Philosophy) (Professor James Ladyman). We participate widely across the six Faculty of Arts Research Centres. We also lead Faculty of Arts Research Clusters in Linguistics and Language Variation (Professor Fiona Jordan) and Screen Research (Dr Jaqueline Maingard).  

Areas of cross-disciplinary focus

Within the School, our areas of cross-disciplinary focus are: 

  • Adversity, Adaptation, Globalisation
  • Cultural, cross‐cultural, social and reception histories across all subjects 
  • Aesthetic and conceptual investigation through creative practice and written scholarship (including both historical approaches and criticism)
  • Intermediality in Film, Music, Theatre  
  • Audiences and reception
  • Conceptual and logical analysis in philosophy, science and mathematics, science, values and their intersection

External partnerships

The School enjoys a wide range of external partnerships. We are very proud to have participated in the City of Bristol's successful bid to become a UNESCO City of Film. Our well-developed Impact activities focus on performance, creative and cultural industry partnerships; heritage and museums practice; understanding of science and philosophy; policy; archives; audiences; and intercultural practices.

We work with a large number of organisations locally, nationally and internationally, including Bristol Museums and Galleries, Bristol New Music, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol Record Office, Calling the Shots, Colston Hall, Knowle West Media Centre, Mayfest, Pervasive Media Studio, Spike Island, SS Great Britain, St Georges, St Stephens Church, Tobacco Factory, Watershed, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, British Film Institute, English National Opera, Historic Royal Palaces, Imperial War Museum, National Museum of Wales, Royal Anthropological Institute, UK Colour Group, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Cineworks Canada, District Six Museum, National Geographic, and Studio Canal.


Research in the Faculty

Our research forms part of the overall research activities and strategies of the Faculty of Arts.

Active research projects

For a list of current research projects in the school, please see the faculty research website's list of active research projects.

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