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The University of Manchester

Research Excellence Framework 2014

The University of Manchester's place as one of the UK's top research universities was confirmed in the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

These results confirm Manchester's place as one of only a handful of the UK's leading research universities across a wide range of subjects.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell / President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester

REF is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, replacing the Research Assessment Exercise.

83% of our research activity was judged to be 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*), and we were ranked in fifth place in terms of research power (calculated by grade point average times number of staff submitted or by 4*/3* times number of staff submitted).

We had one of the broadest submissions of any university in the UK, with research evaluated in 35 discipline areas. The University was recognised as excellent in disciplines which span the full range of academic research, including:

  • Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy
  • Anthropology and Development Studies
  • Biological Sciences
  • Business and Management Studies
  • Computer Science and Informatics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering/Materials
  • Modern Languages and Linguistics
  • Physics
  • Sociology

The REF exercise also recognised our excellent research environment and how our research is having a genuine influence of the real lives of people, as evidenced by a series of impact cases studies, from new drugs and inventions to public policy.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: "These results confirm Manchester's place as one of only a handful of the UK's leading research universities across a wide range of subjects, but also as a university with a commitment to making a real difference to society and the world we live in.

"The REF results show that we have sustained the research performance that we demonstrated following the merger of UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester in 2004, and that we have emerged as a bona fide world leader in a number of subjects.

"We are committed to using this very sound base for further improvement so that we can reach our goal of becoming one of the top 25 universities in the world by 2020."

Manchester is now one of a small number of UK universities with an internationally significant research profile over a very wide range of subjects. The scale and diversity of our submission confirms Manchester’s status as a genuine research powerhouse.