ReferenceError: "department" is not defined.
Skip to main content

Photograph of a castle standing above a river. The text REF20201 Research Excellence Framework is on the front of the image.

Our outstanding research environment and our impact on public life, community, and culture have been recognised in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.

The REF is conducted every 6 years across all UK Higher Education institutions, as a way to assess the quality and benefits of public investment in research within different subjects. Rankings look at our research environment, the public impact of research, and the quality of outputs such as books and journal articles.

In 2021, 90% of our research was graded as 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent).

Some of the highlights include:

  • Award-winning creative writing, such as Kayo Chingonyi’s poetry collection, Kumukanda, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award 2018
  • Ground-breaking studies in world literatures, such as Maryam Mirza’s Intimate Class Acts: Friendship and Desire in Indian and Pakistani Women’s Fiction
  • Major contributions to scholarship, such as The Norton Chaucer, edited by David Lawton
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations including The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities, edited by Angela Woods, sharing understandings of the human body in the wider world

These activities impact upon society at large. For example, the Hearing the Voice project was one of four case studies [internal link] submitted to REF 2021. This has been providing resources to help voice-hearers, their families, and mental health professionals.

For our students, our REF achievements signal how our research benefits teaching. 75% of our research environment was scored as ‘world-leading’ in REF 2021. This is in part a measure of the resources that support our own and the wider scholarly community, and our global contribution to the discipline of English. For example, our Postgraduate English journal has facilitated the work of PhD scholars globally for more than 20 years.

From first-year undergraduate students to experienced professors, we work together to generate original insights that impact wider society and new generations of citizens. We invite you to join us as an undergraduate or postgraduate student, or potential colleague, if you’d like to be part of this world-leading department.