The Research Excellence Framework (REF) assesses the quality of research of all UK higher education institutions.  The REF outcomes inform the amount of funding for research each year from the Scottish Funding Council and feed into many national and international league tables. View the 2014 REF results

We are currently preparing our data return for REF2021, which you can explore further for details of those preparations.

Our Institutional Code of Practice explains the processes we have put in place to make sure that the selection of the work we present for assessment is fair and transparent.  Our Equality Impact Assessment explores how the work of members of staff whose characteristics are protected by the Equalities Act 2010 or by the REF2021 rules, are represented within our submission.

We have put together Privacy Information for REF2021 which explains how we intend to handle the data for REF we receive from members of staff and from our partners and collaborators.

Overall Summary
  • The UK REF2014 is the largest assessment of University research in the world.
  • 76% of the University's research has been rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014)

Table of Results

The full results for the University's submissions are listed below.*

Arts and Social Sciences
Unit of Assessment FTE Category A staff 4* 3* 2* 1* U
16 Architecture, Built Environment and Planning 10.4 39 47 12 2 0
18 Economics and Econometrics 19.25 3 51 37 9 0
19 Business and Management Studies 13.3 31 42 25 2 0
20 Law 23.4 15 49 33 3 0
21 Politics and International Studies 11.2 7 43 37 13 0
23 Sociology 13 14 58 28 0 0
24 Anthropology and Development Studies 11 23 35 37 5 0
25 Education 9.6 8 59 29 4 0
28 Modern Languages and Linguistics 22 21 41 26 12 0
29 English Language and Literature 21.5 31 62 7 0 0
30 History 24 26 44 29 1 0
32 Philosophy 13.25 31 31 20 18 0
33 Theology and Religious Studies 19 29 39 24 7 1
35 Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts 11.36 15 51 23 8 3
Life Sciences and Medicine
Unit of Assessment FTE Category A staff 4* 3* 2* 1* U
01 Clinical Medicine 54.3 25 42 31 1 1
02 Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care 47.5 34 47 19 0 0
04 Psychology, Psychiatry an Neuroscience 20.6 29 65 6 0 0
05 Biological Sciences 89.42 30 53 16 0 1
06 Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science 20.4 56 36 8 0

0

Physical Sciences
Unit of Assessment FTE Category A staff 4* 3* 2* 1* U
07 Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences 28.4 18 71 10 1 0
08 Chemistry 20.2 14 66 20 0 0
10 Mathematical Sciences 23.1 14 62 24 0 0
11 Computer Science and Informatics 19 22 52 26 0 0
15 General Engineering 38.6 12 70 18 0 0
16 Architecture, Built Environment and Planning 10.4 39 47 12 2 0
17 Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology 13.4 13 53 32 2 0

*Results downloaded from http://ref2014tool.analytics.elsevier.com/overall/internal_results
REF 2014 Results Analysis Tool is developed by Elsevier Analytical Services, part of Elsevier Research Intelligence Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Scotland Excellence Performance

Top in Scotland for Performance

(4*+3* research ratings combined)

  • 1st in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care
  • 1st in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Geology and Geosciences)

Top in Scotland for Impact

  • 1st in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care
  • 1st in Business and Management
  • 1st in Chemistry
  • 1st in Divinity
  • 1st in Geosciences
  • 1st in History

View examples of the University's impact

UK Excellence Performance

Top in the UK for Performance

  • 1st in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science (Soil and Environmental Science)

(4*+3* research ratings combined)

  • 2nd in the UK for English Language and Literature
  • 3rd in the UK for Psychology and Psychiatry
  • 5th in the UK for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning (Property and Transport)

UK Outstanding Impact

For the first time research was rated in terms of real world impact.

  • 85% of all submissions rated 'outstanding' or 'very considerable' for impact (4*+3*)
  • 1st (joint) in the UK for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science (Soil and Environmental Science)
  • 2nd in the UK for Business and Management Studies
  • 2nd in the UK for History

View examples of the University's impact

RAE 2008

Research Assessment Exercise 2008


World Leading

  • 89% of Aberdeen’s research activity is of international quality
  • 55% is world leading or internationally excellent. (4* and 3*)
  • All of our 33 submissions have activity rated as world leading or internationally excellent

1st in the UK

  • 1st for Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies
  • 1st equal for Health Services Research

Outstanding Performance

  • Almost three quarters of our staff were submitted to units where at least half of the research activity was rated as world leading or internationally excellent (70%+)
  • Computer Science and Informatics (70%)
  • Health Services Research (80%)
  • Other Hospital Based Clinical Subjects (75%)
  • Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies (80%)