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Welcome from the Dean of Research

Professor Lee McGowan

Welcome to the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen’s. We are a global University at the cutting edge of research across the arts, humanities and social sciences.

We are proud of the real-world impact we are achieving locally, nationally and internationally. I am delighted to have the opportunity to introduce you to the range and breadth of research that we are undertaking in our Faculty.


In its broadest sense our research seeks to better understand and improve the nature of society, culture and the human condition. In this we share a commitment to achieving impact that seeks to ensure that each person is able to reach their full potential and contribute fully to an open, inclusive, culturally enriched, creative and connected society. 

What makes our research distinctive as a Faculty, and provides coherency across our many areas of disciplinary excellence and substantive programmes of research, is a commitment to addressing a number of core themes: 

  • How to support the holistic development of individuals so that they are enabled and empowered to reach their full potential and to be imaginative, creative and expressive; 
  • How to build socially cohesive communities that are open and inclusive, economically vibrant and culturally enriched; and 
  • How to enhance the social, physical and environmental conditions of people’s lives through interdisciplinary engagements with technology, medicine, engineering and the natural sciences. 


Our research spans a wide range of disciplines across the arts, humanities and social sciences. We are in the top 10 of universities within the UK in seven subject areas. Nearly three-quarters of our research (73%) has been independently assessed as either ‘internationally excellent or world-leading’ and nearly half (46%) has been judged to be achieving 'world-leading' impact.

We are particularly proud of the fact that we are a research-intensive university. Our rankings are based upon one of the highest proportions of staff submitted to the national UK REF 2014 assessment exercise (92.3%) by any university in the UK. Our research is therefore not limited to pockets of activity but underpins all that we do. See further details of our performance in REF 2014 by subject area.


Our core disciplinary research is organised through five Schools:

Our Schools are organised to facilitate and promote inter-disciplinary research. They are home to a number of internationally-recognised and world leading research centres, including the Institute for Irish Studies that supports research relating to Ireland from disciplines across the University. In addition, the Faculty has three large-scale interdisciplinary institutes and centres that operate across Schools and focus on addressing key global challenges:

I would encourage you to explore our School websites and those of our global institutes and centres. If you would like to be part of an innovative and dynamic research culture that is achieving global impact then we would love to hear from you.