Research Excellence Framework

The Faculty of Social Sciences enjoys outstanding research, which places Politics and International Studies in 7th position out of 56 institutions nationwide for impact, and Social Work and Social Policy in the top ten out of the 61 institutions nationwide for research outputs; with 73% of its work being graded as either word leading or internationally excellent.

The results, published in the Research Excellence Framework (REF), assess the quality and impact of university research and see the University significantly improved overall ranking from 62 to 49 in the UK. The REF, replaces the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) undertaken for the last time in 2008.

When graded on research environment, Politics and International Studies was ranked in the top 15 of 56 institutions, making it equal to Cambridge and well above many other leading research-intensive Universities in the UK. The grades received represented a marked improvement on the 2008 results

The Politics and International Relations submission included research and impact activity undertaken by  Peace Studies and Centre of International Development academics, whilst the Social Policy and Social Work submission included research and impact activity undertaken by Social Work, Sociology and Criminology, Economics and Psychology academics.

The REF is used by education funding bodies to allocate research grants, provide accountability for public investment in research and evidence the benefits of public investment, as well as providing benchmarking information to establish reputational yardsticks.