History ranked first in the country for research

History at Birmingham is ranked the top research department in the country in the most recent national Research Excellence Framework exercise.

hadrians wall

Roman ruins at Hadrians Wall

We are extremely proud to be first of all History departments in the country in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).   The national REF exercise assessed research publications and the public impact of research carried out in all universities in the UK between 2008-2014. Our department had an impressive 45% of its research judged to be ‘world-leading’.

The REF is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. It is significant because the four UK higher education funding bodies allocate around £2 billion per year of research funding to UK universities, based on the quality and volume of each university’s research. It also provides accountability for public investment in research, demonstrates its benefits, and provides important benchmarking information about the research performance of UK universities. 

‘We are delighted that our research in History at Birmingham has been regarded so highly by our peers. It demonstrates real excellence across the unusually broad geographic and chronological range of our staff.’ Professor Corey Ross, Head of School

All the departments in the School of History and Cultures performed extremely well in the REF. African Studies and Anthropology at Birmingham has been ranked second among all Areas Studies departments in the country in the Research Excellence Framework, with no less than 44% of our research judged to be ‘world-leading’. Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham has been ranked among the top five departments of Classics, with over 80% of research judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. 

‘REF 2014 has shown that the University of Birmingham is a centre of excellence for research across the full range of disciplines in the Arts and Humanities, confirmed as one of the leading five universities in the country for these disciplines.’ Professor Michael Whitby, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts and Law.