Council of University Classical Departments | CUCD


Toolkit for departments in difficulties

The UK HE sector is in a volatile state, and situations can change quickly. If your department is being targeted for cuts or redundancies, or under threat in another way (restructuring, limitations on the courses or teaching you can run), do get in touch with CUCD (contact the Chair in the first instance) for help and support.

We hold a list of mentors who have been through similar processes and difficulties in the past, and have volunteered to advise and support colleagues. This will be particularly relevant to heads of department or subject leads, but we recognise there can be different positions within a department on situations, and other members of the department may also need help and support.

Letter-writing campaigns or media/ social media pressure can be effective, where a particular subject area is being unfairly targeted. With more general programs of redundancies, or those deriving from reduced student numbers, high staff-student ratio, such campaigns tend not to be effective. Sometimes letters of support function mainly as expressions of solidarity, and these are also valuable. We can advise on campaigns and write letters of support.

Prevention is not always possible, but the following strategies are worth bearing in mind:

Existing toolkits for other disciplines, which are almost entirely relevant to Classics too:

English Association:

Royal Historical Society:

American Philosophical Association:

Recent reports on Arts and Humanities state of play/employability

Current state of the sector and why crisis is not the best narrative:

Value of arts and humanities:

Classics-specific resources on employability:

Recent advice from careers website:

Barrow, R., Behr, C., Deacy, S., Mchardy, F., & Tempest, K. (2010). Embedding Employability into a Classics Curriculum: The Classical Civilisation Bachelor of Arts programme at Roehampton University. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education9(3), 339-352. (

CUCD Bulletin article on Classics and careers:

What have the Classics ever done for me? Classical Association video:

Holmes-Henderson, A. and Tempest, K. (2018) ‘Classics and twenty-first-century skills’ in A. Holmes-Henderson, S. Hunt and M. Musié (eds.) Forward with Classics. Classical languages in schools and communities, Bloomsbury

Recent Arts and Humanities resources:

HEPI report on state of play in Humanities: The Humanities in the UK Today: What’s going on?

The Arts and Humanities website has a list of current toolkits:

US focused Study the Humanities Toolkit