The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
40% of our submitted research activity has achieved the highest possible REF classification of 4*, defined as world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
92% was graded 4*/3*, defined as world-leading/internationally excellent.
- 21% of staff who we submitted to REF 2021 were early career researchers
- 13 Doctoral Training Centres/Partnerships across all our discipline areas participated in REF
- 62 impact case studies were submitted to REF 2021 for assessment
Read more about the REF assessment process and grading system.
REF 2021 results
The results below show the percentage of research in each starred level, ranging from the highest rating of 4* to Unclassified (0*).
|REF Unit of Assessment||Departments involved||FTE of Category A staff submitted||4*||3*||2*||1*||0*||Percentage of research rated 4* or 3*|
|Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing & Pharmacy||Pharmacy & Pharmacology||34.5||52||47||1||0||0||99|
|Psychology, Psychiatry & Neuroscience||Psychology, Health, School of Management||61.45||22||61||16||0||1||83|
|Biological Sciences||Biological & Biochemistry||46.2||38||45||16||1||0||83|
|Physics||Physics, Electronic & Electrical Engineering||38.8||42||54||4||0||0||96|
|Mathematical Sciences||Mathematical Sciences||64.9||50||46||4||0||0||96|
|Computer Science||Computer Science||29.0||37||61||2||0||0||98|
|Engineering||Architecture & Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering||157.1||34||62||4||0||0||96|
|Economics & Econometrics||Economics, School of Management||40.2||6||77||17||0||0||83|
|Business & Management||School of Management||94.7||56||37||7||0||0||93|
|Politics & International Studies||Politics, Languages & International Studies, Institute of Policy Research||34.9||15||67||18||0||0||82|
|Social Work & Social Policy||Social & Policy Sciences, Health, School of Management, Institute of Policy Research||46.82||49||42||8||1||0||91|
|Education||Education, Economics, School of Management, Institute of Policy Research||34.8||37||43||17||3||0||80|
|Sports & Exercise Sciences, Leisure & Tourism||Health||37.7||65||33||2||0||0||98|