Increase impact through humanities research

Humanities at Exeter has a global reputation for excellence established over many years.

Thanks to exceptionally high-quality research and teaching, Exeter has been able to retain a broad range of Humanities departments, against a background of closures at other universities. In the latest QS World University Rankings by subject, History and English are in the global top 50 and Archaeology is in the top 100. Over 20 Humanities research centres cover a wide range of eras and topics relevant to society and culture from the impact of war and civil conflict to migrations and exile. However, public funding for the Arts and Humanities, which has never been very significant, is going to shrink dramatically.

At Exeter, of nearly 400 PhD students, only 10-12% are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), so postgraduate research is predominantly carried out only by students who are able to fund themselves. The traditional route to a PhD is via a one-year Masters programme for which, again, there are few open bursaries.

This favours those with independent financial means or those who are prepared to take on a burden of debt; others who are not in this position are largely excluded from research activity. Meanwhile, the impact we are able to deliver through our academic research, such as advising governments on important policy matters that will affect millions of people, is sometimes hindered by a lack of funding for basics.

Will you help to invigorate research activity in the Arts and Humanities?