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Research Excellence Framework

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Our Academics rated under the Research Excellence Framework 2014

Royal Holloway is within the top 25 per cent of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ by the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF).

According to the REF 2014:

  • 81 per cent of our research is within the world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) categories.
  • 30 per cent of our research is rated 4*, the highest category.
  • Under the ‘output’ measure which looks at the quality of research produced by each university, we are ranked 15th among the 154 universities that took part in the assessment.

Top performing departments for research

Top performing Royal Holloway departments include:

  • Geography - ranked the top Geography department in England.
  • Drama, Earth Sciences, Psychology, Mathematics and Music - ranked within the top five departments for their subject in the UK.
  • Media Arts and Modern Languages -  ranked within the top ten for their subject in the UK.

Performance by academic department

The table below shows our performance in the REF 2014 by academic department. A total of 17 of our departments and 378 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff submitted research to this REF.

REF

Unit of Assessment (UoA)

Department

REF GPA ranking

REF 4* ranking

REF 4* and 3* ranking

4

Psychology

6 of 82

6

4

5

Biological Sciences

33 of 44

34

32

7

Earth Sciences

9 of 45

14

2

9

Physics

32 of 41

35

24

10

Mathematics

13 of 53

18

5

11

Computer Science

24 of 89

22

21

17

Geography

2 of 74

8

2

18

Economics

9 of 28

7

13

19

Management

29 of 101

29

24

21

Politics & International Relations

28 of 56

37

18

28

Modern Languages **

9 of 57

12

9

29

English

18 of 89

14

31

30

History

32 of 83

26

38

31

Classics

21 of 22

21

21

35

Drama & Theatre***

8 of 71

12

4

35

Music****

9 of 73

9

3

36

Media Arts

9 of 67

10

9

Note 1: Green background highlights upper quartile rankings

**The UoA rankings on this table exclude submissions by Linguistics departments

*** The UoA rankings on this table exclude submissions non-Drama departments

****The UoA rankings on this table exclude submissions non-Music departments

A bit about the REF

The Research Excellence Framework is the current mechanism by which institutional academic research is ranked. The results are used to allocate research funding.

REF 2014 was carried out by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL).

Find out more

For more information on our performance in the REF 2014, see the research web pages for individual departments and schools.

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