University of the Arts Brighton

Norwich University of The Arts LogoUniversity of the Arts Brighton

About the arts at Brighton

It is the arts that give us our cultural wealth, and those who study them learn to look at things differently. The University of Brighton’s arts community strives to look beyond what a human being is, to what a human being has the potential to be.

Brighton is inherently a city for the arts. In the nineteenth century, Henry Cole said the city’s ‘industries’ were ‘health, recreation, education and pleasure’, and since then it has inspired the likes of Graham Greene (Brighton Rock, 1938), Franc Roddam (Quadrophenia, 1979), Fat Boy Slim and Nick Cave.

Our institution is a platform for education, research and community engagement that extends into and beyond the city, developing opportunities with and for the highest levels of practice.

The arts in Brighton


Those who are educated in the arts and humanites look at things differently. It is the arts and humanities community that see space as a tool not a resource, who understand the relationship between engaged users and functional objects. It’s this education that asks, as a fundamental question, not “what is a human being” but “what can a human be?”

The arts community at the University of Brighton takes responsibility for future creative citizens, for the innovations that lead to social creativity and to the raising of cosmopolitan and global citizens. Our research work informs and engages the local people as we did in the FUSE initiative, which worked collaboratively with digital industries to understand creativity in technology and how issues of gender and space can re-work the heart of the creative industries.


Research and scholarly enterprise in the conjoined arts and humanities leads to work that is personal, social and useful. As a university we put humanity at the core of all investigations, testing human empowerment through the mind and the emotions, and understanding how sound and vision and movement contribute as much as words.

Our educational and research frameworks have led projects into community understanding, looking at how knowledge is formed, treasured and communicated. We have tested the potential of art to invigorate the lives of those at the margins of society; we have examined, at home and internationally, how community knowledge of itself and control of itself can be changed through adoption of media and design technologies.

Exponents of the arts and humanities learn by making – making texts, films, images and sounds, making connections, curating performances and understanding what it is to engage with self and with community.

We draw on innovative ways of understanding and function as society’s testing ground for the way expression, intuition and creativity can play their role in human development.


Importantly, Brighton recognises a place where art, design, architecture, media and the humanities operate together within a university, a hive of universal knowledge where the creative, responsive, human objectives can properly drive the inquisitive and rigorous minds in all disciplines.

Humanities and arts are complementary and fuel one another, as can be seen for example in the photographic and social-historical project Traces of Nitrate, which investigates the histories of workers in nitrate mines through critical and photographic practice.

At the heart of a developing city, this arts-focussed institution as, for nearly 160 years, played its essential role in the intellectual progress of that development. Our work has examined the nature of conflict and the understanding of material culture, dissolving disciplinary boundaries to work with the full depth of human experience.

The arts and humanities each work at transgressing boundaries and defying expectations, looking at how fresh thinking will be developed.


At the University of Brighton we foster socially purposeful education and research, activities in tune with and responding to the changing needs of the local and international community. Our system allows new means of collaborative understanding. We shape future creative citizens, who will investigate their society by contributing to it. We ask questions. We equip creative leaders and we look to each individual in terms of not what they are good at, but what they are good for.