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Law research impact and environment recognised in REF 2021

12 May 2022

Legal research at Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics has placed 5th for research environment and 6th for research impact, in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The REF is a process of expert review which takes place every six years to assess and demonstrate the value and impact of research carried out at higher education institutions across the UK. This year 157 universities took part in the assessment which involved 76,132 academic staff and 6,781 submitted impact case studies.

In the latest framework, the school achieved an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.34 within the ‘Law’ Unit of Assessment (UOA) placing 15th in the UK. This strong performance reflects the quality of its interdisciplinary collaboration and the strong civic and policy engagement at the heart of the school’s research. Researchers in the school contribute to major contemporary debates around global justice and multi-level governance, environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing, human rights, social justice, crime and security, and commercial and corporate law. Cardiff is a leading Law School for socio-legal studies and law in context.

Case studies submitted to the UOA cover topics ranging across ecumenical practice in the UK and Europe, influencing Supreme Court decision-making on presidential elections in Kenya, strengthening rights and participation under mental capacity law, and improving protections for vulnerable people in police custody.

The school provides an inclusive, diverse and collaborative research community. Reflective of this, we submitted 100% of our eligible staff to this UoA.

Professor Stewart Field, Head of Law, said: “We are delighted with this outcome. It reflects the hard work not just of all our academic staff but of all our professional service colleagues who provide the support and advice without which we could not do our research. Our researcher profile is relatively young and our research culture very much driven by collegiality and a commitment to informal peer support as well as more institutionalized mechanisms. We look forward to the future with confidence.”

Find out about Cardiff University’s overall results and the school’s results within its unit of assessment – Law

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REF assesses the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The impact of our research and environment in which we work at Cardiff University were integral to our REF 2021 submission.