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REF 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.

Highlights of our REF2021 Results

We are delighted to be ranked in the top 10 in Sociology for overall GPA in REF2021. It is particularly pleasing that 89% of our research was judged world leading or internationally excellent. We are proud to have been recognised for our commitment to fostering critical, cutting-edge, and public-facing research and impact.

Our REF2021 submission brought together Sociology@Warwick with a common commitment to sustain and develop our international centre of excellence for critical and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of society and trailblazing public sociology. It built on the strong foundations of sociological research in our department, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2020, and included work produced in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, the Centre for Lifelong Learning, and Global Sustainable Development. This nexus has enabled us to realize our aims to innovate and shape the future of sociology by conducting both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary research as well as public engagement and using our research to create impact, addressing major cross-cutting challenges - societal inequality, ecological crises, and technological transformations – facing contemporary societies and cultures.

Thank you to all the researchers, academic colleagues and support staff, research partners and students who helped make this possible. We look forward to building on our research success in REF2021 and expanding our strengths in critical, interdisciplinary, and public sociological research.