King's College London Faculty of Arts and Humanities

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Faculty of Arts and Humanities,
King's College London
KCL embankment facade.jpg
Former names
King's College, London Faculty of Arts (1831)
King's College, London Faculties of Music and Theology (1831)
King's College London School of Humanities (1988)
King's College London School of Arts and Humanities (2009)
King's College London Faculty of Arts and Humanities (2014)
Established 1831
Parent institution
King's College London
Dean of Faculty Russell Goulbourne
Location London, United Kingdom
King’s College London logo.png

The King's College London Faculty of Arts & Humanities is one of the nine academic Faculties of Study of King's College London. It is situated on the Strand in the heart of central London, in the vicinity of many renowned cultural institutions with which the Faculty has close links including the British Museum, Shakespeare's Globe, the National Portrait Gallery and the British Library.[1] As of 2016, the Times Higher Education comparison of world-class universities ranked it amongst the top twenty arts and humanities faculties in the world.[2]

The Faculty of Arts & Humanities offers study at undergraduate and graduate level in a wide range of subject areas. Many of the departments and programmes offer joint undergraduate degrees, including some with the Departments of Geography and War Studies, in the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy and with Mathematics in the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences.[3] As a member of the Russell Group and the Golden triangle, the Faculty receives a high number of applications.

A highlight of the academic calendar is the Faculty's Arts & Humanities Festival[4] when, as one of Britain's pre-eminent centres of research in the Arts and Humanities, the Faculty opens its doors for a fortnight of debate and exploration about a topic and its reverberation in a range of cultural forms, from fiction and theatre to art. The Festival includes a series of lectures by King's academics, exhibitions, round-table discussions and workshops.

The Faculty is a member of The Council of University Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH UK), and of London Citizens. The current Dean of Faculty is Professor Russell Goulbourne, who took over from Professor Simon Gaunt in January 2014.


Departments like English and German are among England's oldest and were founded in the 19th century. King's College London's Faculty of Arts merged with the Faculties of Music and Theology as the School of Humanities in the late 1980s and took on the name of the School of Arts & Humanities in 2009. The original Arts departments such as War Studies and Geography formed part of the School of Social Science & Public Policy in 2001, while the Arts & Humanities expanded from its 'classical' humanities roots.[5] Over the past few years, the School has established interdisciplinary programmes such as Comparative Literature and a new BA in Liberal Arts launched in 2012. It has led new developments in teaching and research, for instance through the Department of Digital Humanities, Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries, and the Modern Language Centre. The School of Arts & Humanities became the Faculty of Arts & Humanities in 2014.


Greek marble statues at the main hall of King's Building: lyric poet Sappho (fronting) and dramatist Sophocles (back turned)

The following departments and centres can be found in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities:

  • Centre for Hellenic Studies (incorporating Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies)
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Culture, Media & Creative Industries
  • Digital Humanities
  • English Language & Literature
  • Film Studies
  • French
  • German
  • History
  • Modern Language Centre
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies
  • Theology & Religious Studies

Interdisciplinary research centres[edit]

Arts and Humanities Research Institute (AHRI)[edit]

Auto-icon of the famous writer and King's alumna, Virginia Woolf, in a building named after her that houses some of the departments under Arts and Humanities.

The Arts and Humanities Research Institute is a hub to foster innovative interdisciplinary research across the Faculty. It is home to many of the Faculty's interdisciplinary research centres:

  • Camões Centre for Portuguese Language & Culture
  • Centre for Enlightenment Studies @ King's
  • Centre for Hellenic Studies
  • Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies
  • Centre for Life Writing
  • Centre for Modern Literature and Culture
  • London Shakespeare Centre
  • Menzies Centre for Australian Studies
  • Queer@King’s

Cross Faculty research centres[edit]

  • Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication (with the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy)
  • Centre for the Humanities & Health

Notable people[edit]

Current academic staff[edit]

Former academic staff[edit]

Deans of Faculty[edit]

  • Barry Ife (Spanish, now Principal at Guildhall): August 1989 - July 1997
  • Linda Newson (Geography, also Director at ILAS): August 1997 - July 2000
  • Michael Knibb (Theology, retired): August 2000 - July 2001
  • David Ricks (CHS/CompLit): August 2001 - July 2004
  • Ann Thompson (English, retired): August 2004 - December 2007
  • Jan Palmowski (German, now Pro-VC at Warwick): January 2008 - December 2012
  • Simon Gaunt (French): January 2013 - December 2013
  • Russell Goulbourne (French): January 2014 -

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Nick Barratt, genealogist. Studied History.
  • Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House. Studied Classics.
  • Rory Bremner FKC, Scottish impressionist, playwright and comedian. Studied French and German.
  • Anita Brookner CBE FKC (1928–2016), novelist and art historian. Studied History.
  • David Bruce, composer, currently commissioned to write a new piece for clarinet & string quartet for the Carnegie Hall. Awarded a PhD in Composition in music, under the supervision of Sir Harrison Birtwistle.
  • George Leonard Carey, Baron Carey of Clifton, PC, FKC, was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 to 2002.
  • Douglas Carswell, MP for Clacton. Studied postgraduate History.
  • Richard Cheetham, Anglican Bishop of Kingston upon Thames. Studied Theology & Religious Education.
  • Josh Cooper (1901-1981), English cryptographer. Studied Russian at King's & was later member of the Government Code & Cipher School.
  • Mike Dash, Welsh writer, journalist and researcher (who did a "...particularly obscure PhD thesis, entitled British Submarine Policy 1853–1918" in War Studies, then in the School of Arts & Humanities). Dash worked for 20 years as contributing editor and publisher of the journal Fortean Times.
  • Alain de Botton FRSL, writer, philosopher, television presenter and entrepreneur. Studied Philosophy
  • Maureen Duffy FKC, poet, playwright and novelist - her novel Capital includes oblique but unmistakable references to King's. Studied English.
  • Anne Dudley, Oscar and Grammy award-winning English composer and pop musician. Studied Music.
  • Natascha Engel, MP for North East Derbyshire. Studied German & Portuguese.
  • John Eliot Gardiner, English conductor and Grammy winner.
  • Greer Garson (1904-1996) CBE, actress. Studied French.
  • W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) librettist and illustrator known for fourteen comic Savoy operas produced under the famed Gilbert and Sullivan theatrical partnership.
  • Jonathan Gill, member of the British boyband JLS.
  • Harry Golombek, international chess grandmaster and wartime codebreaker. Studied Philology.
  • Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), famous English novelist and poet and a Victorian realist
  • Susan Hill CBE FKC, English author of fiction and non-fiction. Studied English.
  • Garry Kilworth, fantasy and historical novelist. Studied English.
  • Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), novelist, author of The Water-Babies.
  • John Kittmer, British Ambassador to Greece. Studied Modern Greek Studies.
  • Hanif Kureishi, playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker, novelist and short story writer. Studied Philosophy.
  • Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough. Studied English.
  • Alice Martineau (1972-2003) was an English pop singer and songwriter, studied English.
  • Dianna Melrose, British diplomat, ambassador to Cuba. Studied French and Spanish.
  • Michael Morpurgo OBE FKC, author, poet, playwright and librettist. Studied English and French.
  • Michael Nyman, English pianist, librettist and musicologist and an Oscar-award winning composer. Studied Music.
  • Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth. Studied History.
  • Wendy Piatt, Director General of The Russell Group of UK universities. Studied English.
  • Princess Antonia, daughter of Prince Frederick of Prussia. Studied English.
  • John Ruskin, leading English art critic/patron of the Victorian era, and a famous draughtsman, watercolorist as well as a philanthropist. Studied English Literature.
  • Jonathan Sacks, a Templeton Prize winner, he served as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. Studied Philosophy.
  • Elizabeth Smart (1913 - 1986), Canadian poet and novelist. Her book, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, detailed her romance with the poet George Barker. Studied Music.
  • Anne Somerset, writer of well regarded historical books, the first being The Life & Times of William IV. Her acclaimed biography was on Elizabeth I was published in 1991. Studied History.
  • David Tang, Hongkong businessman and founder of Shanghai Tang international clothing chain. Studied Philosophy.
  • Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West since 1997. Studied History.
  • Paddy Tomkins QPM, appointed Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland by Royal Warrant in March 2007. Studied History.
  • Jane Tranter, English television executive. Studied English Literature.
  • Desmond Tutu FKC, former Archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Laureate. Studied Theology.
  • Virginia Woolf (1882–1941), an English writer and one of the foremost modernists of the 20th century. Studied Languages and History.
  • Yiruma, famous South Korean pianist and composer. Studied Music.

Summer School[edit]

The Faculty also offers well recognised Summer School courses as part of the King's College London Summer School.[14] Courses are intensive and use the Faculty’s links with external cultural institutions and make 'London a classroom’. Courses on offer showcase work done in research centres such as Queer@Kings or the Centre for Humanities & Health.


Many academic staff at King's are editors and contributors to many standard editions such as the Arden Shakespeare series. The Faculty of Arts & Humanities houses several publication series, from monographs produced in conjunction with other publishing houses such as Ashgate to small in-house series.

The current list of series includes

  • Modern Poetry in Translation (Second Series)
  • Plain Text Series
  • Centre for Hellenic Studies Publications
  • Institute of Advanced Musical Studies: Study Texts
  • Adam Archive Publications
  • Centre for Twentieth-Century Studies Publications
  • King’s College London Medieval Series
  • King’s College London Hispanic Series
  • Office for Humanities Communication Series
  • Mediterranean Studies Monographs


  1. ^
  2. ^ "THES World University Rankings - Arts & Humanities". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "RADA: An introduction". Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  7. ^ "King's College London Dates and Locations". King's College London. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  8. ^ "RADA: An introduction". Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  9. ^ "King's College London Dates and Locations". King's College London. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  10. ^ "RADA: An introduction". Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  11. ^ "King's College London Dates and Locations". King's College London. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  12. ^ "RADA: An introduction". Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  13. ^ "King's College London Dates and Locations". King's College London. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  14. ^

External links[edit]