Arts and Humanities Postgraduate Studies at Brighton

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  • Research and postgraduate studies at the University of Brighton

    The tendency towards self-reflexivity in contemporary culture, and the blurring of the boundaries between the theorist and the practitioner, the critic and artist/designer, provides a unique opportunity for developing a culture of research...

    Professor Darren Newbury

  • Story of arts education in Brighton

    The history of the transformation of the Brighton School of Art into the current College of Arts and Humanities parallels the narratives of art and design nationally and illustrates the burgeoning of Brighton as a creative place to live and work.

    Throughout this long history we have nurtured excellence in the full range of the arts, gradually becoming involved in new disciplines, new technologies playing an increasingly major part in the cultural life of the city.

    We provide study resources that enable people to produce their best work; from our teaching staff to our technical teams, our library, archival information and technology experts, pastoral and support networks, and our facilities and digital environments.

    Although the institution has come a long way since it was founded as an art school in rooms in the Royal Pavilion, the same drive to achieve something new, to offer rich opportunities, and to support the arts through the highest quality education, is at the heart of everything we do.

    For over 150 years, colourful and creative lives have been led in Brighton around its schooling in the arts and humanities.

    Brighton School of Art01. c.1937.02. c.1937.03. c.1973.04. c.1965.Courtesy of University of Brighton Design Archives.

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    FOREWORD BY THE DEAN Brighton offers a diverse and rewarding environment for study. Our expert staff represent excellence within their own disciplines and work collaboratively, crossing traditional academic boundaries, enabling the real worth of arts and humanities to be visible in a culture of shared knowledge.

    When I first joined the university I realised very quickly that I had taken on much more than a new academic job in a new city; rather I had become part of an extraordinary series of intertwined histories and traditions that have shaped the creative character of many students and staff. The arts are unusually cherished and championed here. There is an unspoken and collective sense of cultural and social purpose that is rooted in a long and treasured history.

    Thanks to the contributions of the many staff and students in their wide range of disciplines, we continue to develop a supportive environment within which to nurture individual scholars and collaborative interdisciplinary work. This enables us to fulfil our public role in the community, to engage with the creative economy, and be participants in communities of creative practice.

    Joining us as a postgraduate student makes you an important part of what we are doing here with the arts and humanities in Brighton. We promise to bring a difference to many lives through the quality of our teaching, our research and our many contributions to the community. This book shows you a few of the aspects we are proud of and which are available to everyone who takes a course with us.

    We look forward to welcoming you in person to the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Brighton.

    Professor Anne BoddingtonDean

  • 02 A supportive research environment

    I have been the Director of the Centre for the Research and Development (Arts) at Brighton since it was established in 1998.

    high quality research across the spectrum of arts and humanities disciplines


    The CRD supports high quality research across the spectrum of arts and humanities disciplines. This depends on an attentive, dedicated and friendly support team that provides administrative assistance and expertise to all our researchers, academics and postgraduates. If you have any questions about how you might go about securing research funding and about making sure your research has an impact, this is the place to come.

    My own background is as a practising design historian for 35 years. I was very much involved in shaping the discipline from the mid-1970s when the first specialist degree courses were established in the UK. Of my academic work, the book Twentieth Century Design (1997) is perhaps the most widely known. Im pleased to say that the inter-disciplinary nature of the arts provides an environment capable of challenging my own disciplinary perspective on a daily basis.

    Professor Jonathan WoodhamDirector of the Centre for Research and Development

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    Becoming an advanced student in the arts and humanities is a rewarding experience. Youll be facing new challenges, understanding the world at ever deeper levels and drawing on all your creative and intellectual potential.

    Our masters and PhD students work with experienced academics, exploring new ideas and testing the boundaries of knowledge. Whether your studies are in a taught format or based on independent research, you will benefit from a stimulating peer group and supervisory teams that push you to achieve your best.

    The university can explore the possibility of funding with appropriate students, and there are a range of progress procedures in place designed to help you achieve your goals, guaranteeing regular, invaluable feedback on your work.

    We are used to working with students who are balancing their postgraduate degrees with other work and domestic responsibilities, so part-time study is very common. All students are encouraged to actively engage with what is a very rich interdisciplinary research culture to get the most of their masters or PhD: probably the most fulfilling academic experience any researcher can ever have.


    Whether your study is based around reading and analysing, making, observing, experimenting or performing, there are expert people and specialist resources at Brighton to help you.

    The universitys postgraduate framework is part of a progression that can take students from undergraduate work, through masters, and then either into creative professions or onto a PhD and into a career as a professional researcher.

  • 04 A vibrant, creative city


    In the nineteenth century, Henry Cole reckoned the citys industries were health, recreation, education and pleasure, and since then it has inspired the likes of Graham Greene (Brighton Rock, 1938), Franc Roddam (Quadrophenia, 1979) Julie Burchill (Sugar Rush, 2004) and currently Fat Boy Slim and Nick Cave.

    Brighton has an everything-is-possible creative attitude that goes back to 1823 and the completion of John Nashs famous Royal Pavilion.

    Our seaside city is a great place to be a student. On the south coast near London and Gatwick airport, Brighton is bright and bustling, upbeat and unconventional, cosmopolitan and contemporary. It has an energy and buzz that students, academics and artists love and is a place where you can be yourself or reinvent yourself.

    Our historic institution, originally the Brighton School of Art, has been a major part of that atmosphere since 1859. As well as the annual displays of student work and a close relationship with many of the industries in the city, we have contributed to the Brighton social scene and are a lead member in many projects on the south coast.

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    The town saw one of the founding movements of cinema, the Brighton School, and we now host the major Screen Archive South East and the annual CineCity film festival. With community work that brings fashion and design to local schools, projects such as Alice Foxs inclusive arts Smudged at Tate Modern, and arresting student work on display in the gallery, the institution has a fruitful relationship with the city and its many cultures.

    Brighton has a reputation for being a buzzing seaside destination filled with artists, designers and technologists but its not clear how having all these different people and skills in one place affects the creative practice which goes on. My role as researcher on the FUSE project involves exploring the relationships which exist between the citys artistic communities and the creative, digital and information technology cluster. I work with many of Brightons institutions and communities to find ways that the university and the professional digital community can get the most out of their relationship. Postgraduate students have an important part to play in making sure that these connections are as creative as they can be through research that seeks to make a difference locally as well as nationally and internationally.

    Dr Georgina Voss Research Fellow for FUSE Project

  • 06 A vibrant, creative city

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    0103. Images of the annual Brighton Festival and city environs.

    04. Falmer campus.05. The South Downs.06. Brighton seafront.07. The Royal Pavilion.


  • 08 International appeal

    Dr Yunah LeeSouth KoreaLecturer in the History of Art and Design and former PhD student

    Yunah Lee came from South Korea to study and subsequently joined us as a lecturer. She teaches art and design history and researches East Asian design/design history and the global and transnational context of design.

    Conceptually challenging, design history at Brighton opened my mind to whole new ways of thinking about design and things surrounding us. Teaching experience during my PhD gave me the


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