REF outcome: English at Aberdeen in the top 5 in the UK

REF outcome: English at Aberdeen in the top 5 in the UK

In the 2014 REF exercise, English at Aberdeen – which consists of English Literature and Linguistics – has once again been rated as one of the top units in the UK. Over 90% of its submissions were ranked at 3* or 4* and on this measure Aberdeen was second in the UK. On the measure of the proportion of its 4* submissions, it was ranked 5th in the UK by the THES. The result is even more impressive given that Aberdeen is one of the smallest English units in the UK, submitting 22 out of a possible 24 staff. Professor Cairns Craig, Head of the School of Language and Literature, said that the 2014 result showed that the result in 2008, when Aberdeen was rated 11th equal overall, was no accident – English at Aberdeen had built an impressive team of internationally outstanding scholars in all areas of English literature from medieval to modern, as well as across the spectrum of Linguistics. Every single person in the unit had had work rated 3* or 4*, making Aberdeen one of the best places in the UK to study English. Professor Craig added that Aberdeen’s submission for modern languages and film had also been highly rated, at nearly 60% 3* and 4*, and that the trajectory of development in those disciplines was following the outstanding progress in English, which had been barely in the top 40 in the UK in the RAE of 2001. ‘To improve by thirty places in the rankings in just over a decade’, he said, ‘is indicative not only of the quality of the staff in the School of Language and Literature but of a research culture that helps those staff to flourish’. He noted in particular the range of interdisciplinary research centres with which the School was associated and how they had helped foster groundbreaking new areas of research as well as prize-winning creative writing. ‘This result confirms Aberdeen’s place in the very top flight of University English and we will continue to support and develop our researchers to make internationally significant contributions to their disciplines.’

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