Research Excellence Framework

Manchester was confirmed as one of the leading centres for the study of the arts, languages and cultures in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

REF 2014 measured three things:

  • Outputs
  • Environment
  • Impact (a new measure which aims to show how research has made a difference in the real world)

These are then combined to give an overall assessment of research quality. Outputs, environment and overall research activity are graded as either world leading (4*), internationally excellent (3*), internationally recognised (2*) or nationally recognised (1*) quality; whilst for the new measure of research impact the grade descriptors are outstanding (4*), very considerable (3*), considerable (2*) or modest (1*).

Across the School:

  • 80% of our research activity was judged as ‘world leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*)

and, in particular:

  • 72% of our research outputs (papers and citations etc) were judged to be world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*)
  • 91% of the impact documented in our case studies and statements was classified as 4* or 3*, in terms of its reach and significance
  • 97% of our research environment is considered to be world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*)

Six units of assessment from within the School had more than 70% of research outputs rated at 4*/3*. These were:

  • Drama
  • Music
  • History
  • Art and Design (Art History)
  • English Language and Literature
  • Modern Languages and Linguistics.

The results place Modern Languages and Linguistics at a highly impressive 3rd out of 57 submissions, nationally, based on research power (calculated by 4* and 3* times number of staff submitted).