RAE 2008

rae 2008 logoThe results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) announced on 18 December 2008 confirm Royal Holloway’s position among the top research-led universities in the UK, with outstanding areas in all three Faculties of Arts & Social Sciences, Management & Economics and Science.


The primary purpose of the RAE 2008 was to produce quality profiles for each submission of research activity made by institutions. The 2008 exercise looked at research conducted by 52,400 staff submitted by 159 UK universities and colleges. The results are used to determine the funding for research from 2009-10.

The scoring systems for the RAE 2008 measures research quality in four categories, with the top score of 4* indicating quality that is world-leading and of the highest standards in terms of originality, significance and rigour followed by 3* indicating quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour and just short of the highest standards of excellence.

Royal Holloway ranked 18th in UK for 4* and 3* research

  1.  Imperial College London
  2.  University of Cambridge
  3.  University of Oxford
  4.  London School of Economics
  5.  University College London
  6.  University of Manchester
  7.  University of Warwick
  8.  University of Essex
  9.  University of Edinburgh 
  10.  Queen Mary, University of London 
  11.  University of York
  12.  University of Bristol
  13.  University of Southampton 
  14.  University of Leeds 
  15.  University of Durham 
  16.  Lancaster University 
  17.  University of Sheffield  
  18.  Royal Holloway  

  19.  Kings College London 
  20. University of Bath 

Top performing departments

  • Music (Arts) ranked first in the UK - it has been consistently awarded the highest research rating in all previous RAEs and is now the UK’s top department.
  • School of Biological Sciences (Science) - ranked joint third in the UK. It has benefited from strategic investment in staff, research and teaching facilities, boosting the internationally competitive quality of its research.
  • Economics (Management and Economics) - ranked joint ninth in the UK. It is   a relatively young department established 10 years ago with highly-regarded academic staff who advise governments and international organisations.
  • A further six departments are ranked in the Top 10 nationally based on 4* and 3* scores: Drama (joint ninth), Earth Sciences (joint seventh), Geography (joint ninth), German (joint fifth) Media Arts (joint sixth), and Psychology (joint fifth).

International and national recognition

  • 60 per cent of Royal Holloway's research profile is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent, outperforming the national average of 50 per cent.
  • The College is ranked sixth out of 18 institutions belonging to the 1994 Group of renowned research-led institutions based on 4* and 3* scores.
  • In the South East region, Royal Holloway ranks third after Oxford and Southampton.
  • Overall the College is ranked 16th in the UK in terms of research of purely 4* standard, indicating quality that is world-leading and of the highest standards in terms of originality, significance and rigour.



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