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Humanities and Social Sciences produce world-leading research in latest REF ranking

Research by University of Exeter humanities and social science experts ranked as world leading

Work by humanities and social sciences academics at the University of Exeter has been judged as world-leading as part of the Research Excellence Framework.

Subjects across both colleges were ranked in the top ten in the UK in the 2021 REF, with the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies and the department of Theology and Religion judged as second and first in the UK for 4 star world-leading research, while research in Classics was evaluated as the fourth best in the UK. Research in three other areas (Archaeology, History and Politics) was assessed in the top 10 in this category.

Work by IAIS academics was submitted as part of the Area Studies panel, and their research is the leading Middle East studies submission to the REF.

More than 90 per cent of research was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent in history and archaeology, and more than 80 per cent in Law, Politics, Sociology, Education, Modern Languages, English, Classics, Theology and Religion and Drama.

The positive impact of our research was also highly acclaimed with case studies across a wide range of areas (including in History, Drama, Theology and Religion, Classics, Modern Languages, Archaeology, Law, Sociology and Education) assessed as 100 per cent world-leading or internationally excellent.

Several subjects were rated in the top ten in the UK when assessed by Grade Point Average (GPA) – Archaeology (7th=), History (6th), Classics, (4th) and Theology and Religion (2nd) and the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (4th).

Professor Jo Gill, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean for the College of Humanities, said: “This is a strong result and I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all colleagues whose hard work over many years has made these results possible. The results demonstrate the fantastic breadth and depth of world-leading research taking place in the College of Humanities, and we should all be extremely proud of this performance in the REF 2021.”

Professor Gareth Stansfield, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean for the College of Social Sciences, said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to all colleagues for their hard work and dedication. This excellent set of results is due in no small way to the dedication of those who produce and support such high quality and impactful research.”

Read about the humanities and social sciences research submitted to the REF here.

Date: 16 May 2022

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