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Sarah McAdam

Dean of School

School of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

01752 636700 Ext:4224

Sarah McAdam

Role Summary

I am Professor of Arts and Culture and the Dean of Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Business.  I oversee a diverse suite of programmes that allows the university to be part of the social and cultural ecology of the city as well as being nationally and internationally recognised and connected. 

I lead on cultural partnerships for the university in the arts throughout the region.  And I oversee academic partnerships regionally, nationally and internationally including Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East across a range of arts, humanities, social sciences and business programmes and naval officer training.



  • PhD Documentary Photography 2014-expected to finish 2020
  • MA Visual Culture, Manchester Metropolitan University 2006-2008
  • PGCE Further and Adult Education, The University of Sunderland 200-2001
  • BA (Hons) Acting, The University of Manchester 1991-1994



University of the Arts, London: London College  of Communication, 2023

The work explores the relationship between the owner, artwork and the domestic space, and the decisions made by owners when displaying art within their home. 

MA Visual Culture

Manchester Metropolitan University, 2008

BA Acting

University of Manchester, 1994

PG Cert Education & Advance Fellow of HEA

Plymouth Marjon University, 2011

Reflective practice and pedagogy.


University of Sunderland, 2001

Adult teacher training.


My research is multi-disciplinary, I produce work which is focused on understanding aspects of society and culture, specifically material culture, identity and cultural theory through art practice, art history and visual culture. I’m particularly interested in the home and domestic spaces and their links to identity and material culture through ownership, consumption and display.  My PhD looked at the influence of the history of art, culture and society on identity through the art displayed within the home.

Photographic practice & theory; Critical art and media theory; representation (class / feminism/gender); material culture; visual culture.



Art in the Home: documenting the cultural display of artwork within domestic spaces. McAdam, S (2023). University of San Jorge, Zaragoza, 14th International Conference on The Role of The Image. 

McAdam, S. (2023) Home is Where the Art is, Pop-up exhibition at University of San Jorge, Zaragoza.
Community, Collaboration and Consideration Smith, C & McAdam, S (2017) Radical Community Work Journal V. 2:3 i 

McAdam, S & Smith, C (2017) In the middle and on the margins in perpetual motion: exploring the role of concepts in democratising knowledge production.  Radical Community Work Journal Vol 3: no. 1.

McAdam, S & Smith, C (2017) In the middle and on the margins in perpetual motion: exploring the role of concepts in democratising knowledge production.  Co-production and Research in Youth and Community Work, The University of Glasgow, January 2017.

Fenton, P, McAdam, S & Smith, C (2017) Political Literacy: Youth and Community Work as a vehicle for voice, activism and social change Revisiting the role of Youth and Community Work as Emancipatory Practice, The University of Hull, July 2017.

Smith, C & McAdam, S (2017) Community, Collaboration and Consideration Co-production, Research and Youth and Community Work Conference, University of Glasgow. 

McAdam, S The Cycle of Display: visual research as practice, (November 2015) International Conference Last Focus Visual Research Network “Visual Ethnography: Tools, Archives and Research Methods” Sorbonne, Paris. 

McAdam, S Art in the Home, (May 2015) Museum of the Home (formerly The Geffrye Museum), London organised by The School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London Art and Home. 


Expert Membership of professional bodies

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Roles on external bodies

Plymouth Cultural Education Partnership – addressing the gap in education attainment in Plymouth through arts and culture.

Plymouth Culture, including the sub-committee steering group for Public Art

Trustee at Theatre Royal Plymouth including sub-committees Programming & Planning and Education, Diversity and Inclusion.


Other Interests

Work and life are well blended! I love art and I regularly visit galleries.  I see lots of theatre here in Plymouth, Manchester and London and listen to music and podcasts and watch films and series and read.  I’m a keen sea swimmer and I have an allotment.

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