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Best universities in the UK for arts and humanities degrees 2022

Explore the best universities in the UK for arts and humanities degrees, using data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings

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November 3 2021
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Arts and humanities subjects include history, English literature, philosophy, languages and architecture (scroll down for a full list of subjects and what you can do with them).

The UK is home to some of the world’s best universities for studying the arts and humanities, including the University of Oxford, which is ranked the top university in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022.

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Students who study the arts and humanities develop transferable skills such as the ability to think critically, analyse new information and communicate findings effectively. These can be applied to a range of careers, whether that’s in politics or education, law or the creative industry.

Below are the top universities in the UK for arts and humanities degrees.

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1. University of Cambridge

The School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Cambridge offers a range of courses at the undergraduate level and beyond. It’s divided into eight faculties: architecture and history of art, Asian and Middle Eastern studies, classics, divinity, English, modern and medieval languages, music, and history.

The university is home to several research groups, including Cambridge Digital Humanities, a collaborative interaction between scholars across the humanities. Its mission is to rethink the nature of the humanities in our digital age and to investigate traditional and new forms of data and media.

Notable Cambridge alumni in arts and humanities fields include the philosopher Bertrand Russell, artist Quentin Blake and dramatist Christopher Marlowe.

2. University of Oxford

The humanities division is one of the University of Oxford’s four academic divisions and is organised into nine faculties: classics, English language and literature, history, linguistics, philology and phonetics, medieval and modern languages, music, oriental studies, philosophy, and theology and religion.

The humanities division is home to the Ruskin School of Art, which dates back to 1871, when John Ruskin first opened his school of drawing. Since 1981, the school has been offering students degrees in fine art.

The division also has a number of libraries and museums including the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Bodleian Library, which houses more than 11 million volumes and manuscript collections.

Oxford’s faculty and students carry out research in a range of subject areas from ancient and classical civilisations, to the intersection between humanities and neuroscience. Past research projects have included “What does ancient Greek music sound like?” and “How does the brain process language?”

3. UCL

UCL’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities offers courses in English, philosophy, Greek and Latin, and is also home to the School of European Languages, Culture and Society.

The Slade School of Fine Art offers two undergraduate degree programmes, the BA and the BFA in fine art, and two master’s programmes, the MA and the MFA in fine art.

UCL’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities’ past research projects have addressed Lisbon and its Jewish refugees, histories of the Italian mafias, and self-directed support in social care, among many other ongoing research projects.

4. University of Edinburgh

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is the University of Edinburgh’s largest college.

The college is divided into 12 schools including divinity, Edinburgh College of Art, history, classics and archaeology, law, literatures, languages and cultures, philosophy, psychology and language sciences among others.

There are both undergraduate and postgraduate courses available across the arts and humanities, as well as part-time programmes for students looking for flexibility.

Those studying arts and humanities are given the opportunity to study abroad as part of the university’s international exchange programme. The university has developed partnerships with more than 200 partner institutions around the world.

5. Durham University

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Durham University is organised into seven departments and schools: classics and ancient history, English studies, history, modern languages and cultures, music, philosophy, and theology and religion. Each department offers a range of both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

All six departments of the faculty produce research in areas such as the visual arts and culture, classical reception, poetry and poetics, and 19th-century studies. The faculty is home to 18 interdisciplinary centres as well as four of the university’s research institutes: the Institute of Advanced Study, the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Institute of Medical Humanities, and the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience.

The Centre for Foreign Language Study was set up to provide language learning opportunities to students and staff. The centre works with other language centres at universities across the UK to facilitate collaborations and academic exchanges.

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Top universities in the UK for arts and humanities degrees 2022

Click each institution to view its World University Rankings 2022 profile

UK Arts and Humanities  WUR Arts and Humanities Rank 2022 University  City 
1 3 University of Cambridge Cambridge
2 4 University of Oxford Oxford
3 5 UCL London
4 10 University of Edinburgh Edinburgh
5 =26 Durham University Durham
6 28 London School of Economics and Political Science London
7 30 King’s College London London
8 =36 University of St Andrews St Andrews
9 45 Lancaster University Lancaster
10 48 University of Warwick Warwick
11 51 University of Manchester Manchester
12 56 SOAS University of London London
13 57 University of York York
=14 =67 University of Birmingham Birmingham
=14 =67 University of Sheffield Sheffield
16 =80 University of Glasgow Glasgow
=17 =87 Birkbeck, University of London London
=17 =87 University of Nottingham Nottingham
19 =90 Queen Mary University of London London
20 93 University of Leeds Leeds
21 98 University of Exeter Exeter
=22 101–125 University of Bristol Bristol
=22 101–125 University of Reading Reading
=22 101–125 University of Southampton Southampton
25 126–150 Newcastle University Newcastle
=26 151–175 University of Aberdeen Aberdeen
=26 151–175 Cardiff University Cardiff
=26 151–175 University of Essex Essex
=26 151–175 Goldsmiths, University of London London
=26 151–175 Queen's University Belfast Belfast
=26 151–175 University of Sussex Sussex
=32 176–200 University of Bath Bath
=32 176–200 University of Leicester Leicester
=32 176–200 University of Liverpool Liverpool
=35 201–250 Aston University Aston
=35 201–250 University of East Anglia East Anglia
=35 201–250 Heriot-Watt University Norwich
=35 201–250 University of Kent Kent
39 201–250 Royal Holloway, University of London London
=40 251–300 Brunel University London London
=40 251–300 Coventry University Coventry
=40 251–300 University of Huddersfield Huddersfield
=40 251–300 Loughborough University Loughborough
=40 251–300 University of Stirling Stirling
=40 251–300 University of Strathclyde Strathclyde
=46 301–400 The Open University Nationwide
=46 301–400 University of Surrey Guildford
=46 301–400 Bangor University Bangor
=46 301–400 Swansea University Swansea
=46 301–400 University of the West of England Bristol
=51 401–500 Anglia Ruskin University ARU East Anglia
=51 401–500 University of Brighton Brighton
=51 401–500 University of Dundee Dundee
=51 401–500 University of Hull Hull
=51 401–500 Keele University Keele
=51 401–500 Kingston University London
=51 401–500 Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester
=51 401–500 Middlesex University London
=51 401–500 Northumbria University Northumbria
=51 401–500 Nottingham Trent University Nottingham
=51 401–500 Oxford Brookes University Oxford
=51 401–500 University of Plymouth Plymouth
=51 401–500 University of Portsmouth Portsmouth
=51 401–500 University of Roehampton London
=51 401–500 Sheffield Hallam University Sheffield
=51 401–500 Ulster University Ulster 
=67 501+ Aberystwyth University Aberystwyth
=67 501+ Birmingham City University Birmingham
=67 501+ University of Central Lancashire Preston
=67 501+ De Montfort University Leicester
=67 501+ University of Hertfordshire Hatfield
=67 501+ Leeds Beckett University Leeds
=67 501+ University of Lincoln Lincoln
=67 501+ Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool
=67 501+ University of Salford Salford
=67 501+ University of Westminster London
=67 501+ University of Wolverhampton Wolverhampton

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