Humanities

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Welcome to the School of Humanities

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Studying Humanities

Studying Humanities

The Department of Humanities at Roehampton offers a range of postgraduate courses that study the meaning of life, what it means to be human, the stories we tell ourselves, the beliefs we hold, the histories of societies, and the future we imagine.
We aim to provide you with a transformative experience through outstanding teaching, innovative and relevant modules, personal tutoring and a strong sense of community. The most recent research will inform what you are taught and you will develop skills that will benefit your career.
We offer a strong and sustainable research environment that nurtures and supports world leading research, productive and exciting research collaborations, and develops risk-taking academic research leaders. Our research is relevant to the wider world, and we develop its impact through partnerships with community organisations, festivals, museums and the general public.
You will graduate having met and learned from famous authors and leading researchers, gained contacts and experience that will help your career, and you may even see your work in print. Here is just some of what we can offer you.

What do we offer you?

  • Facilities: Our beautiful library has thousands of books and resources as well as offering access to a wealth of online content and journals including special collections of Childrens’ Literature and the Richmal Compton archive
  • Experienced lecturers: You will be taught by recognised experts whose books and documentaries are reflected their teaching, and your contributions often become part of the dialogue that informs staff research. You will have opportunities to attend special lectures and symposiums with guest speakers and bestselling authors, who have recently included Anthony Horowitz, Jacqueline Wilson, and Emma Donoghue. See below to find out more about some of the people who will be teaching you.
  • Work and networking opportunities: Several of our postgraduate courses have opportunities for you to undertake work placements, internships or volunteering experience, providing you with contacts and the chance to gain new professional experiences. We hold special networking evenings that are attended by a range of professionals, including agents, publishers, teachers, marketing professionals and librarians. Roehampton is an institutional member of the University of London's Institute of Philosophy and the Royal Institute of Philosophy, so you’ll have access to inspiring lectures, seminars and conferences offered by these Institutes. You can also join the Roehampton Philosophy Society.
  • Beautiful campus: Our tranquil green campus offers plenty of reading and studying spots, whilst London’s libraries, museums and historical sites are on your doorstep. The campus itself is also used in teaching, making use of its multiple objects and buildings. We are the closest university to the National Archives, which offer a host of resources.
  • Publish your work: Roehampton’s Fincham Press publishes anthologies of student works and peer reviewed journals

Who will you be taught by?

Working alongside world-class scholars is part of the student experience at Roehampton. Our theologians and philosophers appear on radio and in the press, work with leading cultural organisations and publish widely. Their expertise means you will benefit from lecturers working at the forefront of historical research. Here is a little more about them.

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb teaches history at Roehampton, and specialises in the early modern period. She is a regular on television and radio, and has recently appeared on ‘Royal History’s Biggest Fibs’ on BBC4 and ‘Front Row’ on BBC Radio 4.

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Professor Susan Deacy

Professor Susan Deacy teaches classics and has research interests in the study of ancient Greek religion, mythology, gender and sexuality, in particular how these cohere around deities.

Dr Kathryn Tempest

Dr Kathryn Tempest teaches Latin language, Latin literature and Roman history. Her research focuses on Cicero, Roman Oratory, and Roman Republican history, as well as the theory and practice of rhetoric more generally.

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Dr Iain Johnstone White

Dr Iain Johnstone White focuses on the British Empire and warfare in the twentieth century, and in particular works on the two world wars.

Dr Simonetta Calderini

Dr Simonetta Calderini specialises in Islamic Studies including Shiism and specifically Ismailism, Islam and Gender, Religion and Human Rights. She is currently researching into classical and contemporary scholarly arguments in favour and against women imams, Ismailism and the issue of the veil, as well as women's rights.

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Dr Mark Sinclair

Dr Mark Sinclair teaches across a range of our Philosophy modules, specialising in post-Kantian Europe and contemporary metaphysics. He’s Associate Editor at the British Journal for the History of Philosophy and a member of the Management Committee of the British Society for the History of Philosophy and is currently editing the Oxford Handbook of Modern French Philosophy (with Daniel Whistler, Royal Holloway) and The Bergson Mind (Routledge, with Yaron Wolf). You might have recently heard him on BBC Radio 4’s In our Time.

Professor Tina Beattie

Professor Tina Beattie’s research focuses on the relationship between the Catholic tradition and contemporary culture, particularly in areas to do with gender, sexuality and reproductive ethics; Catholic social teaching and women's rights, and theology and the visual arts. She regularly contributes to The Tablet, The Guardian online, The Conversation, and several other publications, as well as appearing on television and radio, including BBC1, BBC2, Sky News, Al Jazeera and BBC Radio 4.

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Dr Tim Atkins

Dr Tim Atkins

Dr Tim Atkins is a poet, playwright, and prose writer, whose work has been widely published in the USA, Canada, UK, and Europe.

Dr Rachele Dini

Dr Rachele Dini’s research and teaching interests focus on twentieth-century and twenty-first century literature, discard studies (also known as waste studies), literary materialities (the representation of objects and the material world), ecocriticism, and Marxist theory.

Dr Rachele Dini

Dr Susan Greenberg

Dr Susan Greenberg

Dr Susan Greenberg has research interests in Publishing Studies, particularly editorial practices and publishing history, and leads the MA Publishing programme. Her latest work is the monograph A Poetics of Editing (Palgrave 2018).

Dr Ariel Kahn

Ariel Kahn is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Roehampton. He has previously worked as an editor at HarperCollins and Random House, and been head of English at a High School. He has an MA in African and Indian literature and a PhD in Creative Writing, which he was awarded by Roehampton. His debut novel Raising Sparks was a finalist in the 2018 Not the Booker Prize run by the Guardian, and voted for be readers. It won the people’s vote as the popular favourite.

Dr Ariel Kahn

Listen to some of our academic teaching staff talk about their research

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Roehampton Talks: Dr Ashley Cocksworth

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Roehampton Talks: Whose Crimea is it Anyway?

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Dr Mary Shannon: Victorian Memes

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Dr Ian Kinane: The Relationship between Popular Fiction and Race Identity

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Dr Kathryn Tempest: Populism and Cicero

What's been happening?

Dr Marta Garcia

Morcillo’s research project on corruption in Ancient Rome and Greece has been awarded over £250,000 by the DFG-AHRC funding collaboration. The three-year interdisciplinary project will use the lens of antiquity to explore three types corruption, seeking to understand both modern society and other periods, for example, the challenge of democracy and Brexit.  It will consider what corruption is both from a historical and sociological perspective, and, whilst based in classics, will bring in other disciplines such as psychology, sociology, law, politics, philosophy, theology.

Professor Clare McManus

Professor Clare McManus has secured a Leverhulme Research Project Grant worth £314,000 for her project 'Engendering the Stage: The Records of Early Modern Performance' which seeks to prove that, despite the preconception that Shakespearean theatre was a world mainly inhabited by men, a much more diverse range of performers played a key part

Professor Glyn Parry

Professor Glyn Parry discovered twenty-one previously unknown documents concerning William Shakespeare's father John, in The National Archives, throwing new light on Shakespeare’s early life and developing political views. These documents reveal new information about Shakespeare’s life and political context, and also show that there are still discoveries waiting to be made about the playwright.

Dr Michael Brown

Dr Michael Brown is leading a Wellcome Trust funded project which explores the role of the emotions in surgery from 1800 to the present day. As well as studying the emotions of surgery in the pre-anaesthetic era, when operations were a physically and emotionally gruelling ordeal, Surgery & Emotion also explores the role of emotions in surgery today. It has engaged with professional bodies such as the Royal College of Surgeons and Royal College of Nursing, as well as with the public, and members of the project team have featured on BBC radio and in other media outlets.

Templeton Religion Trust grants £140,000 for new research

A research project led by Professor Fiona Ellis and co-directed by Dr Clare Carlisle of KCL has been given funding worth £140,000 by the Templeton Religion Trust, a global charitable trust that supports projects that seek to enrich the conversation about religion. The project will broach how we think about desire, specifically in the context of the spiritual life, and what it means to be human.

Alumni

Haleh Agar, a Canadian-Iranian novelist, graduated from Roehampton's MA Creative Writing progrmame in 2017. Her debut novel about a fractured family, OUT OF TOUCH, will be published by W&N (Orion, Hachette) on April 2nd 2020.

Haleh has been published in literary magazines and journals, including Mslexia, Viva Magazine, Fincham Press and Lamplight Magazine. Her short story, 'Not Contagious' was Highly Commended by the Costa Short Story Award. She won the Brighton Prize for a piece of flash fiction, and her narrative essay 'On Writing Ethnic Stories' won the London Magazine's inaugural essay competition. She is currently working on her second novel.

Haleh Agar

What journey did you take from joining Roehampton to being published?

Writing a novel means drafting and redrafting. It means that you aren’t precious about your words. The Creative Writing MA was the beginning for me, where ideas started to take shape. The manuscript is very different now than it was when I was an MA student. This is something I think every aspiring writer needs to be comfortable with—change. You have to be able to break your manuscript at any stage to make it better.

Once I was happy with my revisions, I queried literary agents and was lucky enough to have choices. My amazing agent Camilla really got me as a writer and so we started our partnership together. She and the team at Darley Anderson helped guide me with suggestions for further revisions before we submitted to publishers.

Why did you want to do your degree?

I was always interested in creative writing but lacked the confidence. The MA helped give me the confidence I needed to take my work forward. Importantly, the MA  gave me time to work on the novel. 

How did Roehampton support your writing?

My supervisors were so encouraging and supportive. They gave me critical feedback on my work and a lot of encouragement. Leone Ross and Peter Jaeger were wonderful with their feedback and support. So often with writing there’s a crisis of confidence, and sometimes, we just need someone to say—you can do this, you’ve got this.

Where did your idea come from?

I love writing about complex relationships, particularly families. Ideas come from lived experiences and the culture around you. The movie Shame about a brother and sister who both struggle to cope with childhood trauma, really got to me, and I started thinking about my characters--estranged siblings, Michael and Ava.

How did you nurture that idea?

It's a matter of reading and writing EVERY day. Not waiting around for inspiration. That being said, the writing process  is also one of co-creation. Once you are tapped into the characters and understand their inner worlds, they will often take you to unexpected places that were not part of the original outline. You must be willing to accept such deviations. I am also nothing without the books I’ve read. Authors who really inspire me like Anne Enright and Alice Munro are my teachers. 

Can you talk us through the steps that you took to write your first book?

Once, the general idea of the plot and characters came to me, I wrote a thousand words a day. This means that in a few months, I had a first draft. But of course the first draft will be quite different from the final product. I love the revisions and editing phase. Taking a short break after the first draft means you can revisit the manuscript with fresh eyes. And of course, other eyes help a lot. Gaining distance from your work is crucial so that you can see it in more objective terms.

The tough question is—when do you know when the manuscript is ready? It’s not easy to tell. But if there’s something bothering you about it, if deep down you know that there are things that don’t quite work yet, then don't ignore the feeling. For example, when reading over the book after the first few drafts, I noticed parts where the pace slowed for me, parts I didn't enjoy reading, and I realised that the voice was missing in those places. So I infused voice into such sections, or got rid of them completely, if they could be cut. You get one chance to send that manuscript to your dream agent, so it makes sense to take the time, to see what works for you, and what doesn't.

How did you take your book from manuscript to published piece?

Even once you’ve got the perfect home for your book with a publisher, there’s a lot of work to be done. Your editor will request revisions—structural, and line edits. I can’t even tell you what draft number I’m on! Every time you think—oh yes, this is the one, think again! It’s much easier for me now that I’m working with professionals in the industry who can point me in the right direction. The key again, is to be comfortable with change. That being said, if something is important to you, and your editor is asking for you to change it, make the case-- explain why it works, how you feel it adds to the story. The editorial process should be one of dialogue, and I was lucky enough to have an editor who practiced this.

What have you got planned next?

I’m working on my second novel, and I'm very excited about it. I also dabble into short fiction every now and then for a change, and I find the variety keeps me inspired. You want to stay inspired!

Fincham Press – see your work in print

Fincham Press is Roehampton's very own University publishing press and is run by a team of staff and students, publishing an anthology of student work every year. Fincham Press also publishes two open access, peer-reviewed journals; International Journal of James Bond Studies and RoundTable, run by the department's research students, which gives a platform for early career research in their fields.

What we do in the community:

Roehampton takes an active role in the local community and beyond. Our research centres and staff both engage with projects that inform national policy, enhance the lives of local people and contribute to the church. For example, Digby Stuart Research Centre for Catholic Studies acts as an interface between the academic community and churches and NGOs, offering you the opportunity to make your own contacts in the field.

Also home to Catherine of Siena College, which offers a range of online courses relating to theology, gender and social justice.

Working at Wimbledon Bookfest

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Wimbledon Bookfest

We also have a very active partnership with Wimbledon Bookfest, which offers opportunities for students to get involved and staff to talk about books they’ve had published. We also work with Bookfest to help deliver sessions to local school students.

Accommodation

Accommodation

We have a range of on-campus accommodation specifically for postgraduate and PGCE students, to suite all tastes and budgets. Each room is:

  • Single occupancy
  • Furnished
  • En-suite or semi en-suite
  • Self-catered with shared kitchen facilities

Fees also include utility bills and contents insurance. We have Flat Reps and wardens living in on-campus accommodation to provide support and information when you need it.

View our on-campus accommodation  

Student Life

Student Life

Why Roehampton?

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Being a student at a campus university in London gives you the best of both worlds. We are lucky enough to have a 54-acre parkland campus to call home, and are only 30 minutes from central London.

We offer plenty of opportunities for you to get involved through playing sport, music, volunteering, or joining one of over 50 student societies. We also have catering outlets, across campus, and each College has social spaces where you can meet up with your friends and relax.

Our campus is close to Putney, Hammersmith and Wimbledon, which each have wide a range of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. With central London so close, you can easily access the wealth of culture, entertainment and dining options the capital has to offer.

Support services

Support services

Meet our Wellbeing Team

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At Roehampton we are focused on ensuring you succeed, and have a wide range of support services to help you at every step of your journey.

Wellbeing – our team are able to provide personal wellbeing support, professional counselling and mental health support. Each college has a Student Wellbeing Officer and a College Warden, the latter is available after hours for all on campus students.

Medical – we have an on-site NHS medical centre which provides doctor and nurse-led services.

Disability and dyslexia – we encourage students to let us know about specific needs so we can work with you to tailor our support.

Financial – we have a wide range of scholarships, and a student hardship fund for those students in financial difficulty.

Chaplaincy – our diverse community is reflected in our multi-faith chaplaincy and we have a number of spaces for worship.

Study support – all students have an Academic Guidance Tutor, as well as access to library support and online study resources.

Next Steps

Next steps

We hope you found our Digital Open Day informative.

Find out how to make an application to us

Accept your Offer today through the link in your offer email