About UCL


Research and Impact

Insights from UCL research address the great challenges facing the world – bringing benefits in health, culture, policy, business and beyond.

Individually and in collaboration, UCL experts develop insights relevant to humanity’s major problems. Society reaps many benefits from their excellent research, some of which occur immediately, while others develop over years or generations. 

UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength in the Research Excellence Framework (REF), published in December 2014.

REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs), implemented by Research England (part of UK Research and Innovation). The first REF exercise was run in 2014, and the next one is planned for 2021. 

We submitted more than 2,500 staff to be assessed in REF 2014, and our researchers received a ‘grade point average’ of 3.22 (out of 4), giving UCL an overall research power greater than both the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. We also had the greatest ‘impact power’ (impact ‘grade point average’ x number of staff submitted) of any university.

For the latest on UCL research impact, visit Made at UCL, a collection of the top 100 stories of disruptive discoveries from UCL.