REF 2014

The most recent Research Excellence Framework in 2014 confirmed our place as a world-leading university. The results demonstrated our research excellence across a range of disciplines, putting us in the top 10 per cent of all UK universities.

Firth Court Rotunda with REF 2014 graphics

The quality of research in universities across the UK is assessed periodically by the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The most recent results were published in December 2014. The REF is a peer-review exercise, involving expert researchers, as well as users of research from industry, business, and the public and third sectors.

The assessment takes three elements into consideration:

  • the quality of research outputs, such as books, journal articles, conference proceedings and datasets
  • the strength of the impact of research – the difference our research has made beyond the University
  • the quality of the research environment – policies in place to support staff and doctoral students, facilities and resources and the contribution of our academic staff to their discipline.

    99% of research at Sheffield was assessed as internationally recognised or better:

    • 33% world leading
    • 52% internationally excellent
    • 13% internationally recognised
    • 1% nationally recognised

    The full results for Sheffield are detailed below:

    REF 2014 presents the results by subject area and quality is graded as follows:

    • 4* world leading
    • 3* internationally excellent
    • 2* internationally recognised
    • 1* nationally recognised

    In the table below, 'unit' refers to unit of assessment.

    Unit Multiple submission Cat A FTE submitted 4* 3* 2* 1* UC
    1 Clinical Medicine   63.95 28 58 14 0 0
    2 Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care   74.32 30 62 7 1 0
    3 Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy A: Dentistry 33.2 30 62 7 1 0
    3 Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy B: Biomedical Science 64.66 55 41 4 0 0
    4 Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience   33.45 38 42 18 1 0
    5 Biological Sciences   44.9 48 44 8 0 0
    7 Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences   23.9 19 61 19 1 0
    8 Chemistry   29.2 21 77 2 0 0
    9 Physics   30 23 67 9 1 0
    10 Mathematical Sciences   34 20 69 11 0 0
    11 Computer Science and Informatics   30.5 47 45 8 0 0
    12 Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering A: Mechanical Engineering and Advance Manufacturing 44.6 22 67 11 0 0
    12 Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering B: Chemical and Biological Engineering 30 18 71 10 1 0
    13 Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials A: Electronic and Electrical Engineering 34.8 25 72 3 0 0
    13 Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials B: Materials Science and Engineering 34.8 23 69 8 0 0
    14 Civil and Construction Engineering   34.8 25 70 5 0 0
    15 General Engineering   21.8 44 52 4 0 0
    16 Architecture, Built Environment and Planning   34 48 37 14 1 0
    17 Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology A: Archaeology 17.6 26 46 23 5 0
    17 Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology B: Geography 24.9 25 56 18 1 0
    18 Economics and Econometrics   14.9 13 48 31 0 8
    19 Business and Management Studies   34.5 33 48 17 2 0
    20 Law   24.4 34 55 11 0 0
    21 Politics and International Studies   18 52 37 10 1 0
    22 Social Work and Social Policy   17.8 26 53 20 1 0
    25 Education   14.5 38 56 6 0 0
    27 Area Studies   14 13 54 30 3 0
    28 Modern Languages and Linguistics A: Languages and Culture 33.2 31 41 23 5 0
    28 Modern Languages and Linguistics B: Linguistics 7 28 45 27 0 0
    29 English Language and Literature   39.05 40 42 16 2 0
    30 History   27.45 45 41 13 1 0
    32 Philosophy   19.2 33 52 15 0 0
    33 Theology and Religious Studies   4 21 51 28 0 0
    35 Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts   12.42 48 36 14 2 0
    36 Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management   22.3 38 34 20 8 0

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