Arts and humanities

  • outstanding rankings in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) for many arts and humanities subjects
  • Sussex was awarded a £16.9-million AHRC grant to co-ordinate a Doctoral Training Partnership across seven of the UK’s leading arts and humanities institutions
  • world-renowned arts research centres offer an interdisciplinary approach and there are opportunities to study abroad at one of our European partner institutions as part of your degree

Sussex has always moved beyond the boundaries of single disciplines, questioning and challenging received ideas. In the arts and humanities, Sussex has pioneered interdisciplinary studies, unifying a strong focus on historical study with the exploration of modern and postmodern theory.

The role of sound in societyDavid Hendy

We live in an increasingly noisy world, bombarded by the chatter of 21st-century life. Often, we try to shut out the din, longing for a past that we assume was quieter. But was it?

In his 30-part BBC Radio 4 series and accompanying book, Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening, Professor David Hendy challenges the notion of a quiet past by telling the extraordinary story of the sounds we’ve made since the dawn of humanity. 

Beginning with early echoes from Palaeolithic caves, through the rise of shamanism, to church bells ringing out religion’s hold on medieval Europe, Noise explores the evolving soundscape of religion and ritual. It reveals the complex and subtle conversations of Africa’s talking drums, the babble of civic life from the streets of Ancient Rome to the modern metropolis, the roar of the industrial revolution, the din of civil unrest, revolution and war, and the impact of 24-hour media.

This research has led directly to the creation of new permanent holdings by the British Library and contributed towards the goal of both the BBC and the British Library to enhance, as the BBC puts it, ‘the art of listening’. The work is also being used by Noise Action Week to inform discussions about the role of social legislation in planning and city design to negotiate issues of noise. 

For more information, visit Research at Sussex

European co-operation

From its inception, the University has been strongly committed to European co-operation, and Sussex now offers one of the best-supported European study abroad programmes in Britain. Sussex has long-established links with European HE institutions through the Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme. Research students, if eligible, may benefit from Erasmus grants, and undertake research abroad at one of our partner institutions. For more details, contact E