The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a UK-wide assessment of the quality of research in universities undertaken by expert review panels.
Each subject area was assessed under ‘units of assessment’. The REF is undertaken on behalf of Government by the funding councils for higher education.
- More about the REF and how it works
- Read our press release about the results
- We were ranked joint 14th overall in the Times Higher Education's ranking of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.
- The proportion of our research of world-leading 4* status was among the highest of any UK university.
- We were rated tenth out of 122 higher education institutions for the impact of our research.
- Eight departments were ranked in the top five for their subject. Twelve were in the top ten for research impact.
|Archaeology||Fourth for overall research performance against other Archaeology departments and in the top five for proportion of 4* research activity and research impact.|
|Biology||Eighth for overall performance and first for research impact.|
|Chemistry||94% of research activity in the department is internationally excellent.|
|Computer Science||Equal seventh for overall performance in the unit of assessment, and fifth for research impact. The department has seen a significant improvement in ranking from sixteenth in RAE2008.|
|Economics||Eighth for research impact.|
|Education||Equal ninth for proportion of 4* research activity.|
|Electronic Engineering||87% of research activity in the department judged as internationally excellent.|
|English||Second overall for research performance, and first for proportion of 4* research outputs.|
|Environment||96% of research activity in the department is internationally recognised.|
|Equal seventh for overall performance in the unit of assessment, and equal first for research environment.|
|History||Second overall for research performance - a significant improvement from nineteenth place in RAE2008.|
|History of Art||Third for research performance against History of Art departments and second for impact of research.|
|Hull York Medical School||HYMS staff were part of the University of York’s top-10 rated submissions in Health Sciences, Biology, Psychology, and Archaeology.|
|Law||Excellent first submission from this new department, which ranked equal 5th overall, and equal 4th for impact.|
|Language and Linguistics||Second for proportion of 4* research activity.|
|Management||The vast majority of the departmental research is rated 3* or 4*.|
|Maths||80% of research activity in the department rated as internationally excellent.|
|Music||96% of activity in the department is judged as internationally recognised.|
|Philosophy||96% of activity in the department is judged as internationally recognised.|
|Physics||95% of research activity in the department is internationally excellent.|
|Politics||Eighth overall for research performance - a significant improvement from twenty third place in RAE2008.|
|Psychology||Fourth for overall performance, and second for research outputs.|
|Social Policy and Social Work||Placed third overall for research activity, with 100% of research impact rated 4*.|
|Sociology||Top rated institution in the UK, maintaining the top ranking from the RAE2008, with 100% of research impact rated 4*.|
|Theatre Film and Television||Successful first submission from this new department, and placed in the top fifteen for the proportion of 3* and 4* research outputs.|
* The REF exercise is a measure of research quality. The rankings within this listing are based on Grade Point Average (GPA) unless otherwise identified. Some rankings are listed excluding single or specialist institutions who returned in fewer than three Units of Assessment.
Units of assessment
A full breakdown of the results according to the REF units of assessment is shown in the table below.
|Unit of Assessment||Overall quality profile |
(percentage of research activity at each level)
|History of Art||47||36||16||1||0|
|Language and linguistics||45||40||7||2||6|
|Social Policy and Social Work||54||33||12||0||1|
|Theatre, Film and Television||11||64||25||0||0|
- Four star (4*): World-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
- Three star (3*): Internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which falls short of the highest standards of excellence.
- Two star (2*): Recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
- One star (1*) Recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
- Unclassified (U/C): Falls below the standard of nationally recognised work. Or work which does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of this assessment.