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Department of Archaeology ranked 6th in the UK for research excellence

Posted on 20 May 2022

York's Department of Archaeology is the 6th strongest department in the UK, according to the Times Higher Education's ranking of the latest REF results (2021).


The outstanding research conducted in our department has been ranked 6th in the UK by the Times Higher Education, based on the results of the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF). We are extremely proud of the quality of our research, with over 50% of our research being assessed as internationally excellent (3* rating) or higher. Furthermore, 100% of our research environment, the support we give to our researchers, is rated 4* - the REF’s highest rating.

Our research expertise combines the richness and rigour of innovative cultural approaches and science-based analysis. Our core research strengths include human evolution and prehistory, digital archaeology, African archaeology, and bioarchaeology. Our researchers work closely with policymakers, practitioners, and the public to ensure our research contributes positively to society and culture.

We have always been proud of the research we produce at York, and of the community of staff and students that make it possible. We are delighted to have the quality of our research endorsed in this way.

York’s overall position

The University of York as a whole also moved into the top 10 universities in the UK as ranked by Times Higher Education analysis of the REF results. All of our subject areas are now ranked in the top 30 in the UK, with four of our Departments positioned in the top five: Language and Linguistics (1st), Philosophy (2nd), Sociology (4th) and Education (5th). 

Such exceptional rankings demonstrate our commitment to the quality of our research, our supportive research environment, and our commitment to contributing to the public good.

Find out more about York’s excellent REF results.

About the REF

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a UK-wide assessment of the quality of research in universities undertaken by expert review panels. The REF provides a robust and thorough assessment of the quality of universities’ research in all disciplines, providing accountability for public investments in research and demonstrating the benefits of that investment. The highest ratings are 4*, indicating research that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour, and 3*, indicating research that is internationally excellent.