At Essex, we are equally committed to both education and research and they are enmeshed in our excellent research-led teaching.

That is why we want to share with you our latest success in the Research Excellence Framework (REF). A bit like the Oscars for universities, the REF is an important national assessment of the quality and power of research across all UK universities.

The REF takes place every five or six years and can make a difference to our rankings and our standing on the higher education map. It assesses our research outputs (such as books or journal articles), the impact our research has on society, and our research environment (the research culture, facilities and processes we collectively produce to enable Essex researchers to be the very best they can be). We are celebrating our latest REF results and want to share the good news with you.

Essex confirmed as a top research institution

The results of the REF2021 have just been released and we are delighted to say that we have once again been confirmed as a top research institution, with world-class strengths across all three of our Faculties. You can read our full results on our website.

  • Essex is ranked 1st for research impact in modern languages and linguistics, 1st for research environment in sociology and 2nd for research outputs in politics and international studies.
  • Three subjects are in the UK top 10 for research outputs – economics and econometrics, politics and international studies, and art history.
  • Four subjects are in the UK top 10 for research impact – computer science, sociology, modern languages and linguistics, and philosophy.
  • Four subjects are in the UK top 10 for research environment – economics, politics and international studies, sociology, and modern languages and linguistics.

Our Research is powerful

Times Higher Education has published a research power measure.  Research power is particularly important because it takes into account both research quality (across outputs, impact and environment) and also the size of the research community. The more researchers producing the highest quality research in a given subject, the higher the power ranking:

For research power, Essex is ranked in the top 10 in the UK in five subject areas:

  • Sociology - 2nd in UK
  • Law - 3rd in UK
  • Economics and econometrics - 4th in UK
  • Politics and international studies - 6th in UK
  • Computer science - 6th in UK

These positive results are great news for all our students because they confirm that you are a vital part of a thriving university community, making a real difference to people’s lives. It means that, whatever you are studying, from electronics to elections, from computers to crime, from plants to people, from sport to whole societies, the academics you are working with are at the top of their game and bringing the very latest and best research into your learning.

We know you will join us in feeling immensely proud of our University and the excellent work we are all producing. Our students are the beating heart of our institution and none of this success could be achieved without you. Continue working hard, keep making a difference and go on changing the world with your Essex Spirit. You are part of something very special.