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Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences: REF 2021

Explore our Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 submissions. The vast majority were classified as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Our REF 2021 highlights

Much of the research from across our six departments was classified as 4* or 3* in REF 2021, meaning it is ‘world leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’. REF is the UK’s system for assessing higher education research.

Our REF 2021 stories

Find out how our research is positively impacting physical and mental health, economic wellbeing, climate change, education and political policy around the world.

Our research impact

People gathered together to form a World map. Image has a play button overlaid to indicate it links to a video.

This short video showcases some of our Faculty of Humanities & Social Science research submitted for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.


Our research has improved safety, justice and mental wellbeing.


Our research has furthered our understanding of various key economic issues, such as the minimum wage, climate change and pollution.


Our research has informed policy changes and challenged how we think about the past.

Social work and social policy

Our research has improved health and helped people out of extreme poverty.

Improving living wages


Research from the University of Bath has informed policy change, directly impacting the living standards and social welfare of employees.


We have improved access for disabled people, improved practice of school governors and assisted UN member states in monitoring Sustainable Development Goals.


Our research has improved safety, health and fitness, as well as helping players reach their potential.