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Research Excellence Framework 2021


The REF is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in the country’s higher education institutions, last carried out in 2014.

Expert panels made up of senior academics, international members, and research users, review submissions from universities for each of the 34 subject-based units of assessment. Submissions are assessed on the quality of outputs, such as publications, performances, and exhibitions, their impact beyond academia, and the environment that supports research.

Each of these receives a star rating, with 4* or ‘world-leading’ being the highest.

The School of Engineering (SoE) is closely aligned with WMG, and submitted jointly to the same unit for the Research Excellence Framework (REF2021).

Our Impact

We're proud to be one of the leading unified engineering schools in the UK. Our approach brings together diverse themes such as energy, biomedical engineering and urban construction. With a strong track record of collaborating with industrial partners, our findings aren't confined to the lab. Led by our internationally renowned researchers, Warwick is changing engineering around the globe.

Select one of our exemplars below to see how Warwick's engineers are making a difference.

Person with headphones on

The Sound of Success

Bringing cutting-edge acoustics technology to market

Decarbonising Home Heating

Sustainable Thermal Energy Technologies for greener homes

Design Codes for Cutting Edge Materials

Developing practices for Fibre Polymer Composites

Our Research and Impact Strategy

  • Build and maintain critical mass in areas of global importance to make fundamental and applied research contributions of major international significance;
  • Nurture and develop the next generation of engineers and scientists, steeped in interdisciplinarity and innovation, and attuned to collaborating with and impacting on industry;
  • Build and maintain partnerships with industry and external stakeholders, facilitating fast routes to substantive and tangible impact;
  • Build and maintain interdisciplinary, collaborative networks and partnerships within and beyond the University and UK.

2014-2021: highlights