The Arts 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 in December 1992.
The Faculty of Arts is a dynamic centre that in the academic year 2014/2015 offers 9 undergraduate degrees, 13 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, extra-mural 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 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".
The Faculty of Arts remains, as it always has been and always will be, fully committed to its surrounding area. We reiterate our commitment to preparing university students to the best of our ability, to revitalizing the culture of our area, and to shaping a fairer, more plural and more tolerant society.