University receives top award for arts and humanities

The University of Liverpool has been awarded the highest rating from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for postgraduate courses, which is set to provide more than £3 million of funding for arts and social science-based subjects.

Out of 48 AHRC awards granted to institutions as part of the Block Grant Partnership (BGP) scheme, the University was one of three in the country to receive the top rating of six for ‘exceptional’ postgraduate study, alongside the University of Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art.  In particular, Liverpool was cited as having excelled in the practice, training and supervision of students studying English language and literature, archaeology, history and archive studies.

The University is now guaranteed 89 postgraduate studentships to support long-term planning for high-quality research and training at masters and doctoral level.  This could amount to more than £3 million of investment over the next five years.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jon Saunders, said: “The award reflects the excellence which underpins the University’s arts and humanities research and expertise.  It will help undergraduate students already studying at the University, as well as those working at other institutions around the world, to continue their study to postgraduate level at Liverpool and develop careers as researchers in the field.  This award, as recognition of quality, places us as one of the top institutions for arts and humanities in the Russell Group.”

The AHRC BGP scheme was established to provide funding at Master’s and doctoral level to research organisations that have shown strong evidence of strategic planning for, and delivery of, high quality postgraduate research and training in the arts and humanities.  The AHRC moderating panel said that Liverpool showed ‘vision’ and ‘excellent practices and regulations for training, supervising, monitoring and assessing postgraduate students’.

Dr Mark Llewellyn, Director of Postgraduate Research in the Faculty of Arts and AHRC BGP Co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted to be recognised by this award.  Universities that have been given the highest rating of six will be recognised as centres of excellence, which we hope will encourage more high quality researchers to study and work at Liverpool.”

Professor Philip Esler, AHRC Chief Executive, added: “These new postgraduate funding mechanisms are ideally suited to ensuring that new top quality researchers will proceed into UK academic posts, where they will match and build on the world-leading arts and humanities research and impacts already pouring forth from British universities in a manner without equal in any other country.”


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