Research Excellence Framework 2014 Results

The Research Excellence Framework (REF), carried out by the four UK higher education funding bodies1, assessed the quality and impact of research in UK Higher Education Institutions. It has replaced the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).  The results were published in December 2014 and will be used by the UK funding bodies to allocate block-grant research funding to universities from 2015-16. As well as informing funding allocations, the REF provides accountability for public investment in research, demonstrates its benefits, and provides important reputational yardsticks and benchmarking information about the research performance of UK universities.

The University of Hertfordshire made submissions to 12 units of assessment:

  • Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy
  • Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
  • Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science
  • Physics
  • Computer Science and Informatics
  • General Engineering
  • Business and Management Studies
  • English Language and Literature
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory
  • Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts

Each submission consisted of research outputs published between January 2008 and July 2013, impact case studies and a statement on the research environment of the unit.

International quality

Over 90 per cent of our submitted research was judged to be of international quality in terms of

  • Originality
  • Significance
  • Rigour

World-leading and internationally excellent research

57 per cent of our submitted research was judged to be of world-leading and internationally excellent quality across all 12 units of assessment submitted.

Research Impact

All our impact case studies can be found on the REF Impact Case Study database. Over 90 per cent of our research has considerable impact with over 50 per cent with very considerable or outstanding.

Outstanding results for History

85 per cent of our research in history has been rated 'world-leading' and 'internationally excellent'  and ranks fifth in the country overall and first for the University Alliance Group.  History ranks top for impact in the country.

The two impact case studies submitted by the group were:

The unit's overall approach to generating impact can be seen in the work of the University's Heritage Hub, and Everyday Lives in War – one of five Arts and Humanities Research council funded national centres for public engagement with the First World War.


1The Higher Education Funding Council for England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education funding Council for Wales and Department for Education, Northern Ireland