REF 2014 Results

REF 2014 SPS Results Briefing (PDF) - outlining and analysing the School’s results in further detail

On Thursday, 18 December 2014, the results of the Research Assessment Framework (REF) were published by the UK Funding Councils. The REF provides a robust and thorough assessment of the quality of universities’ research in all disciplines. It also determines the allocation of a significant amount of public investment in the Higher Education sector. The research of 52,061 academic staff from 154 UK universities was peer-reviewed by a series of panels comprising UK and international experts, and external users of research.

The School of Social & Political Sciences made comprehensive submissions to five Units of Assessments (UoAs):

Headline Results

Across the board the School performed extremely strongly. Overall 80% of our research was graded as either world-leading or internationally excellent (3*/4*), with an aggregated Grade Point Average (which is commonly used for ranking purposes) of 3.11.

The highlights by UoA were:

  • Architecture, Built Environment & Planning – Ranked joint 1st in the UK, with 100% of the UoA’s impact assessed as internationally excellent or better.
  • Area Studies – Ranked 1st in Scotland, with 75% of outputs assessed to be internationally excellent or better.
  • History – Ranked 2nd in Scotland and 18th in the UK against 82 other submissions.
  • Politics & International Relations – Ranked 4th in Scotland with 66% of outputs assessed to be internationally excellent or better.
  • Social Policy & Social Work – Ranked 1st in Scotland and 8th in the UK, with almost two thirds of the UoA’s impact assessed as world-leading.

Previous Head of School, Professor Chris Carman, commented:

“The School’s REF 2014 results reflect the high quality of research that all colleagues across our five subject areas are conducting, and also demonstrates that we are delivering significant impacts from our research that is informing the direction of public policy and the shape of political and social institutions.

The School’s specific successes in Architecture, Build Environment & Planning and Social Policy & Social Work are particularly noteworthy, whilst across all subject areas the quality of the School’s outputs and environment has improved.

As the School continues to grow we are excited as to the future agenda we have set ourselves for our research and impact activities, which will continue to go from strength-to-strength.”

Results Briefing

Further Information