Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


REF 2021

The impacts of UCL Social & Historical Sciences research on the wider world have been recognised in the Research Excellence Framework 2021

UCL Social and Historical Sciences is proud to share our Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF) results. REF 2021 is the second assessment carried out under the Research Excellence Framework (REF), with the first one issued in 2014.

UCL is, again, 1st in the UK for research power in the Social Sciences (Main Panel C). Five departments in the Faculty are ranked in the top 4 nationally (Institute of the Americas, Economics, History of Art, History, and Political Science) and two more (Archaeology and Geography) are in the top 10 by GPA. 

We are particularly delighted that the Institute of the Americas came top for overall research in their first UCL REF submission. An impressive 97% of their submission to the Area Studies panel was rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’), and 100% of their impact was rated 4*. 

The Departments of History and History of Art are ranked 1st in London, and 4th and 3rd in the UK by GPA respectively. Political Science is also ranked 4th in the UK by  GPA. 

Similarly, the Department of Geography is placed 1st in London for research power and research environment, with 96% of research assessed as 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally significant). UCL Anthropology is ranked in the top 5 in the UK for research power (1st in London), and joint 3rd for research environment.

The Department of Economics has again performed extremely well: 1st in the UK by research output (with 72% of outputs rated 4*), and 1st in the UK for environment, with 100% 4* for the second time. 

The Institute of Archaeology also performed strongly and is 1st in the UK for research power.

On the results, Professor Sasha Roseneil, Dean of UCL Social and Historical Sciences said: 

“As a Faculty we have achieved some extraordinary results in this assessment of research excellence and we can be rightly proud of how our research has been evaluated. Our REF results speak of enormous amounts of hard work – hundreds of thousands of hours over many years. SHS has demonstrated once again that it is an extraordinary community of researchers, whose work is developing rich new bodies of knowledge, reshaping our disciplines, and changing the world for the better”.

Impact Case Studies Highlight

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See all SHS REF 2021 Impact Case Studies 

REF 2021 News