The Faculty consists of nine departments with national and international reputations and it is also home to Lancaster Arts which is a major provider of professional arts activity, public performances and exhibitions for the campus, the city and the region. Use the links below to visit individual department websites.

Educational Research

‌Head of Department: Professor Paul Ashwin
Location: County South

The Department of Educational Research has an outstanding reputation for research and teaching, which is reflected in our ranking of 7th in the UK and 56th in the world in the 2020 THE World University Rankings by subject. We offer specialist Doctoral and MA programmes. We have over 400 PhD students from over 50 countries, the vast majority of whom are professionals studying part-time, online. The programmes on offer match the Department’s research specialisms: higher education research and evaluation; education and social justice; and technology enhanced learning. We also have new MA programmes in Education and social justice, and technology enhanced learning.

English Literature and Creative Writing

Head of Department: Professor Sharon Ruston
Location: County Main

The Department of English Literature and Creative Writing has an excellent reputation for both teaching and research, informed by award-winning writing and outstanding scholarship from a host of professors and authors including the renowned literary critic Terry Eagleton and celebrated poet Paul Muldoon. We have one of the longest established creative writing schools in the UK, and the quality of our undergraduate teaching is reflected in our ranking as 1st in the UK for creative writing and 11th for English Literature (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021). In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), we were judged to be in the top three in the UK for research power.


Head of Department: Professor Ian Gregory
Location: Bowland College

The Department of History is ranked 10th in the UK and 3rd for graduate prospects by the Complete University Guide 2021. We take great pride in our teaching, resulting in us having among the highest levels of student satisfaction for comparable institutions (91% in NSS 2020). We teach all aspects of history from Ancient through Medieval and Early Modern to Modern, with a wide and varied geographical spread. To complement our existing MA in History we have recently launched new Master's degrees in Digital Humanities and International & Military History. These are also areas of significant research strength, along with the history and culture of the north-west.

Professor Alan Marsden

Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)

Head of Department: Professor Alan Marsden
Location: LICA Building

The Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts is a world-leading creative arts research centre, ranked 7th in the UK for Research Intensity in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). We cover research, practice and teaching in Architecture, Art, Design, Film and Theatre. Our interdisciplinary research environment is a global leader and our teaching provision is consistently rated in the top ten of the UK subject league tables published by The Times and Sunday Times, The Guardian, and The Complete University Guide. Art and Design was in the top 100 of the QS World subject rankings in 2020.

Languages and Cultures

Head of Department: Dr Derek Hird‌
Location: Bowland North

The Department of Languages and Cultures (DeLC) has pioneered a distinctive exploration of languages in the context of their global cultural reach. DeLC provides undergraduate degrees in single languages and in one-, two-, and three language-combinations. Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish can be studied within innovative joint degree schemes providing the opportunity to study languages in conjunction with an impressive variety of other subjects (including disciplines in the Social and Natural Sciences as well as in the Humanities and in Management Studies). Our interdisciplinary research and postgraduate programmes include research excellence in World Writers and Filmmakers, Digital Literature & Culture, Translation, and Borderland and Postcolonial Identities. Languages and Cultures have consistently high UK rankings, with the Complete University Guide 2021 placing both French and Spanish 1st in the UK for graduate prospects.

Law School

Head of Department: Dr Catherine Easton
Location: Bowland North

Lancaster University Law School is a dynamic law school that combines high-quality teaching and research in the disciplines of Criminology and Law. The Law School is recognised internationally for its work on international law, socio-legal research and social justice. The Law School has introduced several innovations within its curriculum to enhance the employability of its students including, Lancaster University Law Clinic (which provides free legal advice to the community), Streetlaw (where students give presentations to community groups), Learning Together (where criminology students learn alongside serving prisoners in HMP Lancaster Farms) and a module that uses live police data in conjunction with Lancashire Police. In The Complete University Guide 2021, Law is ranked 1st for graduate prospects.

Linguistics and English Language

Head of Department: Professor Uta Papen
County South

The Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster is the largest department of its kind in the UK. In the subject league tables, we are ranked 12th in the world for Linguistics in the 2020 QS World University Rankings, and 3rd in the UK in The Complete University Guide 2021. For over 40 years we have been known internationally for innovative qualitative and quantitative research on language that advances both theory and practical applications. We have a state-of-the-art phonetics laboratory and cutting-edge eye-tracking and EEG equipment for psycholinguistic research. We are one of the world’s top centres for corpus linguistics and its applications and we are internationally known for our work in fields such as critical discourse analysis, language testing, literacy research and cognitive linguistics. More recently, we have developed our expertise in sociophonetics, forensic linguistics, business communication and intercultural communication.

Picture of Professor Robert Geyer

Politics, Philosophy and Religion (PPR)

Head of Department: Professor Robert Geyer
Location: County South

The Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion is an interdisciplinary community and one of only two departments in the world that combines these subjects. We maintain our distinct disciplinary fields but are also always developing research activities which address contemporary global issues connecting politics, philosophy and religion. We have over 40 academic staff producing world-class research on a broad range of topics, who advise policy-makers, feature on the media and generally ensure that our research impacts the real world. Indeed, PPR was recognised as top in the UK for the real-world impact of its research in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). We are ranked Joint 11th in the UK for Politics, 10th for Philosophy and 9th for Religious Studies in the The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.


Head of Department: Professor Imogen Tyler
Location: Bowland North

The Sociology Department is globally recognised for excellence, being placed third in the UK for world-class research in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). We encourage critical and active engagement with contemporary real-world problems, and have particular research strengths in mobilities, energy, the environment, violence, safeguarding and care, science and technology studies, migration, disability, inequalities, disasters, and cultural political economy. We offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in sociology, media & cultural studies, social work and gender & women’s studies. Our Social Work degrees are ranked 2nd in the UK, while we are ranked 6th for Media Studies and 7th for Sociology by the Complete University Guide 2021.

Headshot of Jocelyn Cunningham

Lancaster Arts

Director: Jocelyn Cunningham
Location: Great Hall

Lancaster Arts is Lancaster University’s centre for the presentation, production and preservation of the contemporary arts. It presents a rich spectrum of art-centric activity including exhibitions and performance events; whilst supporting opportunities for artists and creative approaches to knowledge exchange within public programmes. It also stewards a growing art collection. Lancaster Arts' mission is to support the many practices of art in the 21st Century and its social, cultural, educational and economic impact.