Major boost for postgraduate study in the humanities

The University of Oxford has been awarded £14 million towards postgraduate studentships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The award will provide funding for at least 200 students over the next five years in the form of a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

Beginning next year, the funding will deliver postgraduate supervision, training and skills development in a range of disciplinary areas, helping nurture the next generation of highly-skilled researchers.

Professor Shearer West, Head of the Humanities Division at Oxford University, said: 'We warmly welcome this substantial commitment to postgraduate study in the arts and humanities at Oxford.

'This funding will help us continue to offer the world-class postgraduate teaching and research opportunities that saw Oxford ranked first in the UK and third in the world for the arts and humanities in the most recent Times Higher Education global university rankings.

'This type of funding for the arts and humanities is particularly important in the current financial climate and we look forward to working closely with the AHRC on the development of the DTP.'

Oxford is one of only two universities that were not part of a consortium to be awarded a DTP. The University was also a partner in two successful subject-specific applications for studentship funding: in Celtic Languages, led by the University of Glasgow, and the Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies, led by UCL.

Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive of the AHRC, said: 'This is an important step forward in delivering the best possible training and support for postgraduate students in the arts and humanities, and in developing a collaborative approach which pools expertise and expands horizons for postgraduate researchers.

'We are delighted at how the sector and partners beyond the sector have responded, and we look forward to working closely with them to support the next generation.'

Science and Universities Minister David Willetts added: 'The AHRC is creating more opportunities for the next generation of researchers, both within and beyond academia in the thriving arts and humanities sector. I’m particularly pleased to see an emphasis on student placements and additional skills training among the new arrangements.'