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Research Excellence Framework (REF)

We’ve transformed our global research capability, as shown by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) – a UK-wide review of research in UK academic institutions.

World leading research doubled

The 2014 REF review showed that UEL has almost doubled its output of World-leading research. And over 62 per cent of research was classed Internationally excellent – confirming our position as a research leader among London’s modern universities.

Research strengths

There are many areas of individual strength across UEL’s different academic areas, including:
  • UEL ranked equal first in England for the impact of its psychology research
  • 86 per cent of health research rated world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 80 per cent of communication, culture and media studies research is world-leading or internationally excellent.

Professor Nora Ann Colton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, UEL, on our performance in the REF 2014 review

Our research schools

Architecture, Computing and Engineering

Twenty per cent of the research submitted by the ACE School in the REF category Architecture, built environment and planning was rated World-leading - with a further 24 per cent Internationally excellent. 

REF also awarded Internationally excellent status to 33 per cent of research in the Computer science and informatics category, and to 28 per cent of General engineering research. 

Arts and Digital Industries

Eighty per cent of ADI’s research submission in the REF category, Communication and cultural studies was classified World-leading or Internationally excellent. 

Thirty per cent of Art and design research and 50 per cent of Music, drama, dance and performing arts research was rated World-leading.

Business and Law

The 2014 REF review rated 54 per cent of law research as Internationally excellent, and 42 per cent Internationally recognised. 

Of Business and management research, 34 per cent was Internationally excellent, with 52 per cent Internationally recognised.

Cass School of Education and Communities

The School of Psychology’s research was highly rated in the 2014 REF review: 25 per cent of its Psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience research was classed World-leading, and 43 per cent Internationally excellent.

Health, Sport and Bioscience

The School submitted research in the REF category, Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy. REF judged 19 per cent of this as of World-leading quality, with 67 per cent Internationally excellent, and 14 per cent Internationally recognised.

Psychology

REF judged 25 per cent of the School’s submission in the Psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience as World-leading, with a further 43 per cent Internationally excellent.

Social Sciences

The 2014 REF review rated 18 per cent of the School’s Sociology research as World-leading; 41 per cent Internationally excellent; and 438per cent Internationally recognised. 

Of Social work and social policy research, 10 per cent was World-leading; 49 per cent Internationally excellent; and 36 per cent Internationally recognised.