Researching Religion at Universities – REF results 5 May 2015

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is one the most significant assessments of research quality produced by UK universities and is an important determining factor in funding allocations. The results of the most recent REF were announced at the end of 2014, ranking universities according to their research in various fields.

The process takes place every five years; the current results are based on work produced between 2008 and 2013. Despite a range of criticisms of the REF, particularly how it assesses ‘impact’ (one of the most important criteria) and the way in which research outputs are graded (meaning extended and in-depth projects are discouraged within the system), the REF is a still a useful indicator in the quality of research produced by an institution.

The REF lists the following institutions as being the highest quality for producing research in theological and religious studies: –

1. Durham
2.Birmingham
3.Lancaster
4.Leeds
5.UCL
6.Cambridge
7.Kent
8.Edinburgh
9.Kings College London
10.Cardiff

In an era when religious studies departments are increasingly less common, and often merged with other larger schools, it is worth celebrating the achievements of religious studies in the United Kingdom. Hopefully, such high-quality research will continue in coming years and have a positive effect on religious literacy and understanding among all levels of society.

 

About On Religion Team

On Religion's editorial team is made up of postgraduate students and researchers of religion and across the UK.

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