The University of Sussex has been a centre for the production of transformative interdisciplinary research since its inception in 1961.

The Media, Arts and Humanities Research Institute in  draws on the Sussex traditions of radicalism and innovation to support research and creative practice across our fields of study, from media, film and cultural studies, to language, linguistics and literary studies, to music and drama, history, philosophy and art history. 

The Institute supports a wide range of research centres, whose aim is to build on deep legacies of outstanding critical scholarship and practice, and to enable new and generative connections between and across disciplines. We aim to produce inventive ways of addressing the most pressing issues of our times, from climate change, biodiversity and artificial intelligence to social justice, citizenship and the necessity of the arts to human life. We host the experimental Sussex Humanities Lab, the flagship university research programme led from the School of Media, Arts and Humanities in collaboration with Informatics, Education and the Library.

The Institute favours a porosity of connection which enables transdisciplinary research to develop where it needs, and disciplinary scholarship to find itself in dialogue: with Sussex faculty in Education, Psychology, Informatics, Global Studies, Business, Sustainability and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, working actively alongside colleagues from local communities across the UK, and in networks which reach around the globe.  

REF 2021

We’re delighted with our performance in the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF 2021).

The School of Media, Arts and Humanities made submissions to six Units of Assessment (discipline areas). Each received a different set of grades:

  • 87.5% of the research environment was awarded the top grade (4*) in REF 2021.
  • For UoA 28 – History, 83.3% of History research impact was found to be ‘outstanding’ in REF 2021
  • For UoA 30 – Philosophy, 75% of Philosophy research impact was found to be ‘outstanding’ in REF 2021
  • For UoA 32 – Art and design: history, practice and theory, Overall, 61% of our Art History research was found to be ‘world-leading’ in REF 2021
  • For UoA 33 – Music, drama, dance, performing arts, film and screen studies, we are proud to have achieved so highly across 4* and 3* in both Research Environment and Outputs, with excellent results in Impact
  • For UoA 34 – Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management, 51% of our research overall was found to be ‘world-leading’.

Additionally, our submissions appear in the Times Higher Education REF 2021 rankings by overall grade point average (GPA) as follows:

Across the University of Sussex as a whole, 89% of research activity submitted to REF 2021 was categorised as either ‘world-leading’ (40.6%) or ‘internationally excellent’ (48.4%).

The results of REF 2021 were published on 12 May 2022.

See all REF results and read the stories behind the research we submitted.