Adam Smith Business School


Photo of the face of Adam Smith statue over a black background

We are very pleased to have such a positive outcome at REF2021.


The School has performed strongly on outputs, with 89.6% assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent. This reflects the growing maturity of the Business School which for REF2021 submitted as a single entity including Economics.


On Environment, we received a 100% score for creating a research environment conducive to producing research that is internationally excellent or higher, with 50% considered to be offering the vitality and sustainability for world-leading quality research and outstanding impact. This reflects the strong sense of collegiality, a supportive research culture organised around Research Clusters, and the strong growth of the Adam Smith Business School doctoral programme. 


In terms of impact 61.1% of our submission achieved the highest level, assessed as outstanding in its reach and significance, with the remaining 38.9% assessed as very considerable. Following the tradition established by Adam Smith himself, the Business School has commitments to the private, public and third sectors, which enabled the selection of Impact Case Studies from a wider portfolio of socially useful impact that forms part of our mainstream activity. 


As REF Champion, Professor David Heald said: “The success of our REF2021 submission shows the Adam Smith Business School coming of age. This could not have been achieved without the dedication and hard work of academic and professional staff over the assessment period from 2014 to 2020. This result will enhance the future attractiveness of the Adam Smith Business School to potential students and staff.” 


A strong contributor to the result is the University’s investment in the Business School.  This success will help motivate staff who have experienced two difficult years due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.