Northumbria University

13 Dec

About year and a half ago Brian Ward, a professor of American studies at Northumbria University in Newcastle, was on MTSU’s campus and reached out to our history department to create a memo of understanding between our universities. Essentially, MTSU students will pay MTSU tuition and take courses at Northumbria and Northumbria students will pay Northumbria tuition and take courses here at MTSU. In April 2015, Dr. Kristine McCusker and Dr. Ashley Riley Sousa went to visit Northumbria. I met with Dr. McCusker to discuss their trip and the program. She described the layers of history in the city’s architecture, the public transportation system, and life in Newcastle. She explained the city is not too touristy and cheaper to live in than other larger cities. It serves as a nice base between some of the surrounding cities.

We also discussed the university in more detail. Northumbria University has campuses in London and Newcastle and works with many other higher education institutions across the world, now including Middle Tennessee State University. It is a relatively new school with about 40,000 students. Dr. McCusker described it as a very modern university. They have a close relationship with Newcastle University and they also have a very strong international education program. This opportunity is available to both graduate and undergraduate students.

In regards to tuition, students who pay both in state and out of state tuition at MTSU will pay in state tuition for Northumbria as long as they are taking Northumbria courses. For undergraduate students, any funding they receive is carried over, but the details for graduate students are still being negotiated. While the details for funding for graduate students have not been completely worked out, if a graduate student with an assistantship gives up their funding for the semester, they will still have funding for an additional semester when they return to MTSU.

Ethan Morris, a graduate student in the public history program, will be the first MTSU student to participate in the program. He will be using a combination of international studies funding and funding from the history department. One of his main tasks is to go to local institutions in the city and create a database of potential places for public history internships.

“I will be flying to Newcastle in early January and arriving back in the states in late May. One of my classes, a seminar on the management of cultural organizations, combines classroom readings and discussion with a work placement at a nearby museum, historic site, or cultural institution. I will not know my second class until I arrive at Northumbria for international induction day. The class could either focus on digital history or imperial Britain and its international rivals. I hope to walk away from my courses with a better understanding of museum management, budgeting, personnel management, public relations, public programs, and grant writing. Great Britain is certainly not the United States, and I understand that most British institutions are nationally funded whereas American institutions must compete for local, state, or federal funds. Yet, I believe the differences will give me a unique perspective on American issues and help me become a well-rounded, and more adaptable, museum administrator. I also intend to form working relationships with Northumbria faculty members and the staff at local museums in the hopes that these relationships can develop into networks, collaborative projects, and possible internships for MTSU students. Of course, I also hope to gain an appreciation of British culture, its people, its food, and its history. I am excited to see something like Hadrian’s Wall, a structure older an anything I’ve ever seen. I will keep in touch through blogs and other social media, and look forward to seeing everyone when I return.” – Ethan Morris

Below is a slide show of pictures from Dr. Riley Sousa and Dr. McCusker’s trip in April. It includes photos of the city and Northumbria University.

Want to know more about these pictures and about a semester abroad in Newcastle? Contact Dr. McCusker at


Written by Kathryn Slover, social media graduate assistant






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