Research Excellence Framework

Research Excellence Framework

REF 2021 Overview

Kent confirmed as a leading research university, with the majority of our REF submissions rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. 

The University also rises by 11 places to 38 in the Times Higher Education’s ranking for overall quality in the REF.


8 subjects ranked by the THE in the top 10 for research quality (Architecture; Classics; History; Law; Philosophy; Social Work & Social Policy; Theology; Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies).

Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Economics & Econometrics, English Language & Literature, Modern Languages & Linguistics, Geography & Environmental Studies ranked in top 25.

Kent’s reputation for world-leading research across the arts and humanities, sciences, and social sciences confirmed.    


Our results demonstrate that Kent continues to produce research that not only informs and underpins our teaching at all levels but also makes a very clear and significant difference to lives and livelihoods regionally, nationally and internationally.

Prof Shane Weller, DVC for Research & Innovation

Featured story

Interview with Professor Shane Weller

Watch Shane Weller talk about Kent's 2021 REF results and what they mean for the University.

Key Facts


Kent submitted to 26 of the exercise’s 34 Units of Assessment


1,688 research outputs were submitted from 830 Kent staff


78 impact case studies were produced and submitted


100% of all eligible staff were submitted to the REF