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Research Assessment Exercise at Essex

The University of Essex is ranked ninth in the UK for the quality of our research according to the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, 2008) – the UK-wide review of higher education research.

This means our students learn from academics who are recognised internationally for the high quality of their research work and our university is at the forefront of researching the important issues facing our world.

The RAE has consistently shown Essex to be among the leading universities for research. Overall 22 per cent of Essex research is ranked as ‘world-leading’ and over 90 per cent is recognised internationally for its quality.

Number one for social sciences

Essex re-confirmed its place as the UK’s leading university for the social sciences in the 2008 RAE.

In Politics 45 per cent of research received the highest 4-star ranking – meaning it is viewed as world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

In Economics 40 per cent was classed as 4-star.

In Sociology while 35 per cent of research was classed as 4-star.

Other research strengths

Essex was ranked in the top 10 nationally for:

World-leading research at Essex

One hundred per cent of the Economics research was judged to be internationally-recognised, meaning it was ranked as 2-star or above.

95 per cent of research was internationally recognised in Accounting and Finance, History, Psychology, Philosophy, Computer Science and English Language and Literature.

More information about the University of Essex performance in the 2008 RAE.

Information about the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)

The RAE is a UK-wide review of higher education research which is carried out by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

When the last RAE was carried out in 2008:

  • more than 150 universities and colleges in the UK took part;
  • research by more than 52,000 academics was submitted; and
  • more than 1,000 experts assessed the research.

Each subject area is given a quality profile showing the percentage of research activity judged to have reached each of the quality standards ranging from 4-star for research of world-leading quality, through 3-star and 2-star for research recognised internationally, to 1-star for quality that is recognised nationally. Research falling below this was unclassified.

Find a scholarship

Find a scholarship

Use our Scholarship Finder to find the right funding for you. Scholarships and bursaries are available to support talented students, ensuring we remain accessible to all with the potential to succeed, regardless of your financial circumstances.

PGR coursefinder

PhD courses

Use our PGR finder to find the right PhD or supervisor for you. Studying for your PhD at Essex lets you investigate your topic with depth and understanding. You develop new skills, enhance your professional development and build networks, opening doors to many careers.

PG applications

How do you apply for postgraduate study? We welcome online applications. We understand that applying for postgraduate studies can be different to your undergraduate experience, so we provide you with the information needed to make your application.

What happens next?

What happens next?

We answer your questions about what happens after you submit your application for postgraduate research at Essex. Applying for a PhD is a new experience for you, so we're here to explain the process – including writing your research proposal – clearly.