UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities


REF 2021

The impacts of UCL Arts & Humanities research on the wider world have been recognised in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.

REF 2021 is the second assessment carried out under the Research Excellence Framework (REF), with the first one issued in 2014. We are delighted with our faculty's overall trend of improvement in all aspects of our REF submission, and that UCL’s Main Panel D, including departments in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, was ranked 6th in the UK in terms of Research Power. 

Key highlights

  • 85.1% of our research was graded 4* and 3* (up from 69.08% in 2014) – and our overall research GPA rose to 3.32.
  • 57.1% of our Impact Case Studies scored 4*, compared to 49.1% in the previous REF.
  • 49.3% of our Environment Statements achieved 4*, 12.2% more than in 2014.
  • 38.9% of our Outputs gained 4*, compared to 29.2% in REF 2014.

Departmental highlights

  • Philosophy – 1st in the UK for 4* rating of research and for Research Impact; one of two Units of Assessment across UCL that achieved 100% 4* for Impact.
  • School of European Languages, Culture & Society – 6th in the UK and 1st in London for Research Power.
  • Greek & Latin – 2nd in UK and 1st in London for 3*/4* rating of research.
  • Hebrew & Jewish Studies – 5th in the UK with 88.5% of Outputs graded 3*/4* rating.
  • English – 6th in the UK with 96% of their submission graded as 3*/4*.
  • Slade School of Fine Art – 8th in the UK on 3*/4* Outputs.
  • Information Studies – Impact GPA increase from 3.10 in 2014 to 3.75 in 2021 (more about the MIRRA research project below).

Arts & Humanities Impact Case Study Highlight

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Enhancing care-experienced people’s access to records and improving child social care recording practice in England

Social care records are a vital resource for memory-making and identity for adults who were in care as children. The Memory, Identity, Rights in Records, Access (MIRRA) project (2017–2019) worked with care experienced adults in England to understand their experiences of accessing their care records. MIRRA identified deficits in recordkeeping practice for looked-after children and ways in which information and data legislation could be better operated. MIRRA produced practical guidance for care leavers to access their records enabling them to exercise their information rights better; changed policy makers’ understandings of the implementation of the Data Protection Act on looked-after children’s information rights; and improved records management and child social care recording through the provision of new Principles for Caring Recordkeeping.

Read the full case study

REF 2021 Impact Case Studies

Classical Antiquity in Cinema: Curation, restoration & exhibition, performance, appreciation and curriculum development

Henry James
Facilitating Cultural Production and Enhancing Public Understanding through the Works of Henry James

Hands On Art Workshops: establishing a visual art education programme for primary and secondary school students in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya

Improving conditions for subtitlers and increasing Netflix’s subtitled content

Palestinian Statelessness: Reshaping Policy, Public Debate, and Creating New Open-Access Resources

Public Policy on Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe: The Global Impact of Russian ‘Active Measures'

Shaping NHS policy on confidential patient data through ethics advice

More REF 2021 Case Studies

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