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Computer Science in top 25% for research in REF21

Computer Science in top 25% for research in REF21

  • Date13 May 2022

The Department of Computer Science at Royal Holloway has been recognised for its high proportion of world class research with 55% of our research judged to be 4*, the highest standard of world-leading research, according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results published on Thursday.


In addition, 95% of our research is judged as either 4* or 3* world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour. The results reinforce our place within the top 25% of Computer Science departments nationally for research quality.

Computer Science has performed exceptionally well in the categories for research impact and research environment where 63% of research was assessed as 4* world-leading, and is also positioned in the top quartile for 4* research output. This reflects our strong research culture and contribution to society, as well as a significant expansion in the department’s research portfolio and investment in facilities which transmits to our high-quality teaching. It also shows our students they are part of an inspiring community, working together with academics who are leading researchers in their fields.

The department is ranked 17th in the UK by The Times High Education (THE) for all research submitted to REF 2021.

Head of Department, Professor Magnus Wahlström said;

​“We are proud of the outcome from REF21 which reflects our shared commitment and passion for research in Computer Science. We have developed a focus on research quality without compromising on teaching, and established our degree profiles in highly interesting areas with strong connections to staff research expertise, from machine learning and AI, to information security.

The department is underpinned by a keen sense of collegiality, where strong, visible researchers and research groups have attracted others to join with us, and our continuous effort in increasing external collaboration have enabled us to increase research grant income and impact.

As a result, we are able to deliver a modern, well-considered curriculum that offers skills that are highly sought-after in the market; accredited by BCS and GCHQ with best-practice recognition; both supporting a high employability rating and leading to excellent career prospects for our students.​”


The REF provides a robust and thorough assessment of the quality of universities’ research in all disciplines, providing accountability for public investment in research and demonstrating the benefits of that investment. 

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