The Arts and Humanities have been studied in Tarragona ever since the 16th century, when Cardinal Gaspar Cervantes de Gaeta founded a university that offered courses in Grammar, the Arts and Theology. Following the War of the Spanish Succession, the School of Literature, which was a dependency of the new University of Cervera, continued to offer courses until the mid-19th century. Later, from the end of the 19th century to the 1930s, the Ecclesiastical University of Tarragona offered higher education qualifications in Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law.
This long tradition was resumed in 1971-72, when the University of Barcelona began offering courses here. The process finally culminated in 1983 when the Spanish government decreed the creation of the Faculties of Arts and Chemical Sciences, the initial nucleus of what we now know as the Rovira i Virgili University (URV). The URV was subsequently established by the Catalan government (Generalitat de Catalunya) in December 1992.
The Faculty of Arts is a dynamic centre that in the academic year 2017-18 offers 9 Bachelor’s degrees, 12 official Master's degrees and 1 Erasmus Mundus Master's degree.
The dynamism of the Faculty of Arts and its vocation and desire to be actively involved in the society that surrounds it has inspired the Faculty as a whole, its various Departments and its students to organize a wide range of activities (conferences, seminars, symposiums, extramural activities) that ensure the promotion and dissemination of culture throughout the southern regions of Catalonia. Similarly, we are in close and constant collaboration with the institutions and organizations that are active in our area. Moreover, our Faculty is open to the world, as is evident through our Erasmus agreements, our agreements with American universities, and our agreements with universities of the People's Republic of China.
The commitment of the Faculty of Arts to promoting innovation and improvements in the quality of teaching is reflected by the numerous awards granted to several of our groups and teachers that reward and provide further incentive for their efforts and achievements. These include:
International Master's Programme (IMP) distinction 2014 awarded by the AGAUR for official and university specific master's programmes taught in Catalonia. Awarded to the Erasmus Mundus Master's Programme in Quaternary Archaeology and Human Evolution in recognition of the international qualities and qualifications of the Teaching and Research Staff. The awards helps to consolidate and promote both local and foreign prospective students and the international university community in general.
In 2013, the URV Social Council award for a project entitled: "Improving learners' reading skills through instant short messages: a sample study using WhatsApp", by a team led by Mar Gutiérrez-Colón.
In 2011, the Jaume Vicens Vives award granted by the autonomous government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya) for the training program for Chinese students at the URV, coordinated by Sara Pujol, Maria Herrera and Esther Forgas.
In 2011, the URV Social Council award for the training program for Chinese students at the URV, coordinated by Sara Pujol, Maria Herrera and Esther Forgas.
In 2011, the URV Social Council award for teaching for a project presented by Antoni Pérez-Portabella entitled "Design and methodological experimentation and service of the learning activities of journalism students at the URV".
During the first semester of 2019, the Faculty was visited by AQU Catalunya (Catalan University Quality Agency) to accredit three Degrees of the courses it teaches: the Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and Human Evolution, the Master's Degree in Quaternary Archaeology and Human Evolution and the Master's Degree Erasmus Mundus in Quaternary Archaeology and Human Evolution.
The Agency had already visited the Faculty of Letters during the first semester of 2018 to accredit the Master's Degree in Teaching Languages: Spanish as a Foreign Language, the Master's Degree in Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign / Second Language (ILE/ISL), the Master's Degree in Professional Translation English-Spanish, and the Master's Degree in Medical Anthropology and Global Health, the latter being accredited as excellent; also the first semester of 2017 to accredit the Bachelor's Degree in Catalan Language and Literature, the Bachelor's Degree in Spanish Language and Literature, the Bachelor's Degree in English, the Master's Degree in Classical Archaeology and the Master's Degree in Urban Anthropology, Migrations and Social Intervention; also the first semester of 2016 to accredit courses in the ambit of Communications, namely the Bachelor's Degree in Audiovisual Communication, the Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, the Bachelor's Degree in Publicity and Public Relations and the Master's Degree in Strategic Communication in the Risk Society (MASTERDEC); and in October 2014, to accredit courses in the ambit of History, these being the Bachelor's Degree in History, the Bachelor's Degree in History of Art, the Erasmus Mundus Master's Degree in Quaternary Archaeology and Human Evolution and the Master's Degree in Quaternary Archaeology and Human Evolution.
Furthermore, according to the 2018 edition of U-Ranking, most of the bachelor's degrees offered by the centre are leading qualifications in their field. U-Ranking scores courses on the basis of a series of indicators, and the scores obtained indicate the best universities for each type of course. In the Arts and Humanities, the URV is the top university in terms of its bachelor's degrees in Spanish Language and Literature, English, History, History of Art and Anthropology and Human Evolution, and it is in second place for its Bachelor's Degree in Catalan Language and Literature.
From the Faculty, we insist on contributing to improve education, boosting the culture of our surroundings and shaping a more equal, plural and tolerant society.