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Our research

Distinctive in our cross-cutting capacity, applied focus and interdisciplinary nature.

We are a community of scholars whose outstanding research crosses disciplines and defines new research paradigms.

Collaboration is a natural and central aspect of our research activities. We have extensive networks both nationally and internationally to assess, inform and influence the operation of law in society through applied and practically-grounded research.

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The Research Excellence Framework 2021

  • We're ranked a top 25 law school in the UK according to the Times Higher Education's ranking of the latest REF results (2021) More than 85% of our outputs are of 3* or 4* quality, REF's highest ratings.

Learn more about the 2021 REF results

Research strengths

Our thematic and cross-cutting research clusters allow us to build our reputation for delivering high quality, multidisciplinary research at a national and international level.

The clusters play a key role in supporting research applications, mentoring staff and PhD students in their research development and facilitating interdisciplinary work.

Impact and engagement

The impact of our research is particularly felt through influencing and shaping law, policy and practice; but it is not limited to that.

We are driven by a shared commitment to the impact of scholarly research outside academia and the positive differences it can make to the lives of individuals and communities.


Centre for Applied Human Rights

Together with the Department of Politics, we host the interdisciplinary Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR).

The activities of CAHR are focused centrally on practical impact. It is at the forefront of global debates about human rights in relation to the protection of human rights defenders, refugee studies and making sure that human rights relate to everyday concerns through York: Human Rights City.

Explore the Centre for Applied Human Rights

University research themes

We are internationally recognised for our interdisiplinary approach to critical and socially engaged research.

We lead collaboration across the University's research themes with particularly strong partnerships within three themes:

Related links

  • Seminar and events highlights