Newcastle University has merged two of its high performing Research Excellence Framework (REF) units – Media and Cultural Studies (MaCS) and the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS) – to form Media, Culture, Heritage (MCH).
According to Professor Chris Whitehead, head of the new unit, ‘MCH was created following our combined Research Excellence Framework (REF) achievements and recognition of our related research and teaching interests. MCH brings together academic staff and practitioners associated with highly successful research and teaching programmes in Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Journalism, Public Relations, Digital Cultural Communication and Participation, and Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies, alongside new provision in the area of Film Practice.’
The MCH REF submission highlighted that over 80% of their staff are ‘World Leading’ and ‘Internationally Excellent’ researchers. Moreover, the dynamic and innovative commitment of connecting leading academic work with relevant contemporary practice also stood out, as MCH research was recognised as having impact within the the media, culture and heritage sectors of global and international significance.
Dr Darren Kelsey, deputy head of MCH, commented that ‘The merger represents MCH’s strong focus on public culture, supported by Newcastle University’s commitment to cultural and civic engagement. This development reflects the desire to undertake socially-relevant research and to provide education and training that maximises graduates’ critical and professional skills. It will also enhance their experiences and understandings of cultural sector contexts in the UK and internationally.’
MCH staff have considerable sector experience and strong links with the media, culture and heritage sectors in the region, nationally and internationally and will continue to work closely with practitioners to develop and deliver the right mix of theory and practice on its courses.