Students studying in Brynmor Jones Library

School of Humanities

About the School

The study of the humanities in universities has been going on for over 1000 years. It is concerned with human society and culture, and seeks to provide critical insights into the past, present and future of peoples and their environments. We are a community of academics that teach and generate research and impact across disciplines: English Literature and Language, Creative Writing, American Studies and History.

Our teaching engages with the latest approaches to our fields, offers students both breadth and choice within an inclusive and tight-knit community.

We allow you to follow your passion and provide the environment that prepares you for what comes next. Our research is supported by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust and other charitable and philanthropic sources. We are home to several world-leading research groups and projects including Treatied Spaces, Risky Cities, the Larkin Centre and the Cultures of Incarceration Centre. We also make significant contributions to the work of the Wilberforce Institute and the Leverhulme Centre for Water Cultures.

Social Feeds:

English Facebook / Twitter

History Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Head of school

charles w prior

Dr Charles Prior

Accreditations

Athena Swan Bronze Award

Our courses

Bringing together English Literature, English Language, Creative Writing, American Studies and History, our department has a diverse range of programmes that explore many types of cultural works and more.

Undergraduate

of courses
Library exterior

Brynmor Jones Library

Enjoy 24/7 access to the iconic Brynmor Jones Library which boasts stunning views, cosy reading rooms, cutting edge collaborate spaces and more than a million books.

Our community

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"The course is ranked one of the best for student satisfaction and the lecturers all made me feel really welcome"

Watch: Find out why Connie Fredrickson chose American Studies at Hull.

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Try Creative Writing and English

Watch: Join Dr Anna Fitzer and Dr Michael Farrelly for a virtual a taster session.

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Hull History Network

The Hull History Network was founded in 2019 to provide a plethora of in-study vocational opportunities that complement our student's degree journey. Students have had the opportunity to work with the Hull: Yorkshire Maritime City Project, the Blaydes Maritime Centre, Hull Museums and Galleries, the Treatied Spaces project and the Department of History. Other members of the network have embraced opportunities to do paid teaching work, volunteer with dementia charity reminiscence therapy, conduct exhibition research, act as tour guides to cultural sites and get involved with the delivery of world class cultural events like the Freedom Festival.

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"The applicant day was really warm and welcoming"

Watch: Maya Tyrrell on why she chose to study English at Hull

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Showcasing Queer voices from the past

Students from the department had an exciting opportunity to help curate content for the Pride in our City exhibition by the Humber Museums Partnership. Their research showcased how Hull is an inclusive space for everyone and drew upon art history modules at the University of Hull. They wrote about the queer identities of art held at the Ferens Art Gallery and this partnership was showcased at a national heritage conference on Queer Voices in Museums featuring the Tate, National Maritime Museum, Queer Britain and our friends at Hull Museums and Art Gallery. Such activity complements our work to embed queer histories and historians throughout our curriculum.

The Fear Talking

Dr Chris Westoby recently published his debut novel The Fear Talking. Chris – Programme Director of the Online MA in Creative Writing – is also a Hull alumnus and credits his experiences as a student here for helping shape his literary career.

Find out more about Chris's debut novel

Inspiring Olympians

Watch: our research empowers all communities and embraces the individual identities that make us who we are. During the last two years, History staff and students have been working with Team GB to explore the racial, cultural and religious diversity that have underpinned Olympic success since 1896. This short film produced by Team GB features research by our colleagues Dr Jenny Macleod and Dr Catherine Baker, and students Lewis Carter and Grace Hawkins.

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American Studies on demand

Watch: Join Dr Jo Metcalf and students Debrah and Jonathan for an American Studies taster session.

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Research that makes an impact

Our online lectures, regular podcasts, and appearances in the media ensure our work has an impact around the world. Recently Professor Joy Porter from the Treatied Spaces Research Cluster delivered a keynote lecture 'Who Fights for Canada as the Climate Changes?' at the British Library. Meanwhile, webinars by our historians at the Wilberforce Institute on critical issues including the legacy of slavery, human rights and 2020 Black Lives Matter debates have been attended by people from over 50 countries.

Adventures in American Studies

‘I've had so many adventures over the last four years in American Studies. The course has allowed me to study my passions and develop new ones, transforming the way I look at the world.' - Josie Alexander

Inspiring postgraduates

Our talented pool of graduate students is at the intellectual heart of our research culture. Their research, which covers topics from ancient Rome to contemporary race relations, has the power to reshape how we engage with the past. Research by Victoria Taylor is reframing our understanding of the Luftwaffe during the Second World War and through her appearance on the History Hit, is inspiring audiences to explore the military past. Former PhD student Dr Ryan Hanley won the 2019 Royal Historical Society Whitfield Prize for his monograph, meanwhile fellow alumnus Dr Michael Reeve won the 2020 Gordon Fraser Essay Prize for a peer-reviewed article in Northern History that drew upon doctoral research at our Blaydes Maritime Centre and collections held at the Hull History Centre.

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Undergraduate multimedia stories

The creativity of our student community is at the core of their success. While we are keen to encourage our students to embrace new ways of learning, we often learn as much from them. Dane Mellows became something of a social media star in the summer of 2020, sharing his digital literacy with his passion for our fantastic campus in a fun way that brought us all some much-needed cheer. Meanwhile, recent Graduate Intern Rebecca Kelly produced #RebeccasGuide, three short films that shared her top tips for bolstering your CV alongside studying for a degree in History. Her advice included making greater use of our wonderful careers service.

Excellent student satisfaction

Providing students with a quality learning experience is central to our teaching. We were thrilled that our final year students were so satisfied overall with the quality of their course that they placed the History department at Hull in the top 20 in England for overall student satisfaction.* We were keen to ensure that even amidst the pandemic lockdown our students could keep studying, supported by our excellent library resources. In this academic year, we’re keeping the best of what we learned about enhanced digital provision whilst we return to face-to-face lectures and workshops on campus.


*National Student Survey (NSS) 2021, HEIs only

Building upon Medieval foundations

The department’s Medieval historians have for decades ensured the spatial breadth of our teaching and research activity remains world class. Building upon pioneering work making the contents of the Domesday Book accessible to global audiences, recent research by Dr Colin Veach is helping to rewrite the history of England’s first overseas colony – medieval Ireland. In this recent recorded lecture he discusses the political role of powerful English magnates in subjugating Irish resistance to early colonisation. His latest work ‘The General Crisis’ will feature in the forthcoming multi-volume New Cambridge History of Britain which trace the causes and consequences of Magna Carta throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Student blogs

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Research

The School of Humanities has world-leading research strengths in a range of global histories, literatures and cultures. Our work is supported by significant levels of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy and a range of other charitable and philanthropic sources. Our focus is interdisciplinary, collaborating across humanities, social sciences, business, and STEM.

1st American Studies is ranked 1st in the UK for overall satisfaction, with a score of 100%#
96% BA English has a 96% graduate employability rating#
Hull pioneered American Studies in Britain and our innovative, up-to-date programme keeps us ahead of the curve
95% BA History Graduate employability rating*
Top 25 for English in the Good University Guide 2021
Renowned poet Philip Larkin is one of the many influential authors with strong links to Hull who are studied here
Students have access to archives stretching back to 1086 at the Hull History Centre

Footnote

# National Student Survey (NSS) 2020, HEIs only

* National Student Survey (NSS) 2021, HEIs only

† Ranked joint 24th of 101 institutions in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021