Spotlight on REF 2021
More than 80% of our research
is world-leading or internationally excellent
87% of our research
has an outstanding or very considerable impact on society
4th in Scotland
for research impact
Times Higher Education
REF 2021 results
The REF 2021 results underline the positive impact the University’s research has in tackling real-world challenges, such as climate change, food security and an ageing population. Between 2014 and 2021, the University improved in each of the three pillars of REF assessment – outputs, impact and environment.
- There was an overall increase in the proportion of research considered either world leading or internationally excellent (71.9% in 2014 to 80.74% in 2021).
- The percentage of university research deemed as having outstanding or very considerable impact – the top ratings within that category – was 87.05%, up from 82.6% in 2014.
- The research environment – incorporating strategy, culture, facilities, and interdisciplinary collaboration – also improved across the period, scoring 85% in the world leading or internationally excellent categories (up from 78.1% in 2014).
1st in the UK
for research impact in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science
Top 15 in the UK
for research impact in Geography and Environmental Studies
3rd in Scotland
for overall research in Social Work and Social Policy