Skip to main content

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is a vibrant, diverse and inspiring community, spanning 10 academic Schools and committed to excellence in teaching and research.

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is a vibrant, diverse and inspiring community.

We span 10 Academic Schools and are committed to excellence in teaching and research.

Cardiff University has leapt to 5th in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) based on the quality of our research, a meteoric rise that confirms our place as a world-leading university.

We have risen 17 places on the quality measure, making us the fastest rising amongst the leading research universities of the Russell Group, climbing from 22nd in 2008.

For the first time the funding councils have sought to measure the impact of our research, and again the University has performed outstandingly on this indicator, ranked 2nd in the UK.

An impressive 87% of our research was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

This extraordinary achievement marks us out as a world leader and puts Cardiff on the map globally and nationally. We are an extremely ambitious and innovative University and we are not afraid to set challenging goals. Achieving this outstanding result is a testimony to the excellence and hard work of all our staff. It is part of a very clear strategic vision for the University, one that will see our reputation rise globally to the benefit of Cardiff, Wales and the UK.

Professor Colin Riordan Vice-Chancellor

Highlights

Some of the highlights of our performance include:

  • Civil and Construction Engineering - ranked 1st in the UK on quality, 97% of the research submitted was classed as being of a world-leading or internationally excellent quality. Its world-leading research received a 100% measure in terms of impact.
  • Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience - ranked 2nd in the UK on quality, 92% of the research submitted was classed as being of a world-leading or internationally excellent quality. Its world-leading research received a 90% measure in terms of impact.
  • Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management - ranked 2nd in the UK on quality, 89% of the research submitted was classed as being of a world-leading or internationally excellent quality. Its research received a 100% measure in terms of impact.
  • Sociology - ranked 3rd in the UK, 80% of the research submitted was deemed 'outstanding' for its impact in terms of its reach and significance.
  • Education - ranked joint 5th in the UK, 100% of the research environment was rated as conducive to producing research of world-leading quality in terms of its vitality and sustainability.
  • Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy - ranked joint 4th in the UK on quality, 94% of the research submitted was classed as being of a world-leading or internationally excellent quality. Its world-leading research received a 90% measure in terms of impact.
  • Modern Languages and Linguistics - ranked 1st in the UK on impact, 84% of the research submitted was classed as being of a world-leading or internationally excellent quality. Its world-leading research received a 100% measure in terms of impact.

Explore our submissions

Postgraduate research

Units of Assessment

We have submitted to 27 of the 36 Units of Assessment, reflecting our innovative and interdisciplinary research.

Hadyn Ellis building

Submissions by Academic School

Explore our submissions to the Units of Assessment by Academic School.

Our wide range of courses and research-led teaching inspire and challenge our students to think for themselves.

All of our courses are designed to enable students to fulfil their academic and vocational potential. Recognised for their ability, our graduates have gone on to prominent positions in journalism, business, planning, translation, law and more.

Teaching and learning facilities include the trading room in Cardiff Business School, radio and television studios in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture, and access to 24-hour modern libraries across campus.

We compete in the world league of humanities research with strengths in all aspects of social and cultural life.

Research and collaboration within each of our 10 Academic Schools directly inform policy and practice and are helping us to understand and shape the future.

Our research focuses on some of the longest-established fields of human academic endeavour, such as history, law and music, providing a continually-updated knowledge base for the professions, asking questions about the development of our societies, and examining pressing contemporary issues.

Experts have been called on to review the future of the digital industries by both the Welsh and UK Government, to inform the forthcoming Domestic Abuse (Wales) Bill, and to advise on minimum prices for alcohol.

Our research has, amongst others, informed the Home Office's Prevent counter-terrorism strategy, helped teenagers in Africa to talk for the first time about their experiences of living with HIV/AIDS, shaped the legal framework of Anglican churches, and has had a major influence on school food policy and practice in and beyond the UK.

Many of the our Academic Schools and Centres are recognised as authorities in their respective field, including the School of Journalism, Media and Culture, the School of Geography and Planning and the Wales Governance Centre.

We are commited to engaging the Welsh, national and international communities in our work. Our links with the local community have helped schoolchildren and residents in Caerau and Ely, South Wales reconnect with their history, while the Centre for Community Journalism is helping shape the future of local news.

Research themes

We pursue cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research across our Academic Schools, collaborating with researchers throughout the University and externally. We attract major research awards from funding councils and our academics are regularly commissioned to undertake major projects for organisations and industries in the UK and around the world.

We have strengths in all areas of culture, society, politics and the economy. These include themes such as:

  • Digital economy
  • Governance and devolution
  • Language and linguistics
  • Welsh culture and history
  • Banking and finance