Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

‌The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). Last conducted in 2014, the assessment:

  • Informs the selective allocation of research funding (Quality Research- QR) by the four higher education funding bodies, including HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council of Wales), to HEIs with effect from 2015-16.

  • Provides accountability for public investment in research and produces evidence of the benefits of this investment.

  • Provides benchmarking information and reputational yardsticks, for use within the higher education sector and for public information.

Aberystwyth University REF2014 results

Aberystwyth University significantly improved the quality of its research in REF 2014.

The results reported that 95% of the research activity submitted by Aberystwyth University was of an internationally recognised standard or higher, with world leading research (4*) identified in all 17 of the Units of Assessment submitted.


AU45514 Success for Aberystwyth University in REF 2014

Full REF 2014 REF Results available from:

Vital statistics



 Highest percentage of REF eligible staff submitted out of the research led Universities in Wales (76%).


 The Department of International Politics ranked in Top 10 UK and first in Wales by research quality.

 IBERS ranked in Top 10 UK by research intensity.


Other departments ranked within top three submitting departments in Wales by research intensity: