Research Excellence

Lancaster University’s research has been rated as world leading in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.  Lancaster is ranked 13th for the percentage of world leading research out of the 128 institutions listed and 18th in the UK overall.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a periodic measurement of research quality in universities and other higher education institutions in the UK against international standards of excellence. The REF outcomes are used by the UK Funding Councils to distribute their block grant for research, and offer a objective picture of research quality across the UK.

The 2014 REF results for Lancaster University build on the result of the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises (RAE), highlighting Lancaster's reputation for research excellence at a national and international level. 83% of Lancaster’s research is internationally excellent and world leading, with 35% of our research being ‘world leading’, the highest marker of quality.

Some key areas of research are ranked particularly highly: 

  • Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster has been ranked 3rd overall and ranked top in the UK for research impact
  • Business and Management - 1st in the UK at Lancaster when ranked for research power and 1st for the number of research active staff, showing LUMS to be the leading research intensive management school in the UK.
  • Sociology ranked 3rd for world leading research and 2nd for research impact
  • Maths and Statistics ranked 5th overall and 3rd for research impact
  • Computing and Communications is ranked 7th in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research and 12th overall
  • English Language and Literature has been ranked 3rd in terms of research power, behind only Oxford and Cambridge.

Lancaster is ranked 20th overall for impact meaning research which has particular reach and significance. Lancaster has also been recognised for its vibrant research environment. This includes the strong support for researchers, the opportunities for cross disciplinary research and its excellent links with other research institutions worldwide.

Professor Mark E. Smith, Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University said: "This is a very positive result which shows that Lancaster continues to produce extremely valuable research and knowledge of the very highest quality for the benefit of society. Lancaster University is firmly established as one of the UK's top universities, and a world player in research and teaching as reflected in our rising global league table position."

View the Lancaster University 2014 REF results.