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School celebrates excellent results in REF 2021

12 May 2022

The School of Social Sciences has achieved excellent research impact, quality and environment scores for Sociology and Education in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The school came 3rd in the UK for Education research, achieving the highest possible grade point average (GPA) of 4.0 for research impact, and 5th in the UK for outputs, with over 90% of research judged as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Education research at the school includes children’s and young people’s welfare, learning and pedagogy from the early years, and education, skills and labour markets worldwide.

Recent impact research has focused on transforming relationships and sex education in Wales, England and internationally, enhancing educational experiences for care experienced children and young people in Wales, and reshaping the effective delivery of early years and primary education in Wales

The school also placed 10th in the UK for Sociology, with a research power placing of 4th overall. 100% of Sociology’s research environment was deemed conducive to producing world-leading or internationally excellent research.

Sociological research at the school focuses on four broad themes: inequalities, division and diversity; culture, interaction and everyday life; crime, security and justice; and science, technology and risk.

Some of its impact research has centred around listening to survivors of child sexual exploitation, protecting children's health through new tobacco and e-cigarette laws, transforming policy, practice and understanding of child sexual exploitation in the UK and Australia and improving the police response to domestic violence and abuse in the UK and EU.

The school offers an inclusive, diverse and collaborative research community.

Professor Tom Hall, Head of School, said:

“I am delighted with the excellent REF results we have achieved – top ten performance in both Education and Sociology – and am grateful to all members of staff across the school and its associated research centres for the hard work and scholarship which has made these wonderful results possible.

“We have the widest breadth of degree programmes of any social science school in the UK and this is reflected in our innovative interdisciplinary research portfolio.”

REF assessed the standard of research quality in all UK higher education institutions with 157 universities participating and 76,000 staff submitted.

Overall, 41% of submissions were judged to be world-leading, cementing the UK as one of the world’s most important countries for research.

To find out more about the innovative research undertaken at the School of Social Sciences please visit the School website.

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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.