Research excellence at the University of Kent

Law (UOA 20)

Kent submitted to this REF unit of assessment research undertaken by the Kent Law School in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Key highlights

Law was ranked 8th for research intensity in the UK. We were also 7th for research power and in the top 20 for research output, research quality (GPA), and research impact.

  • 99% of the research submitted was judged to be of international quality.
  • The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.


Overall quality profile

You can find more about the REF, its assessment critera and marking scheme on our What is the REF? page.

% 4* % 3* % 2* % 1* % u/c FTE
36 43 20 1 0 43.6


Sub-profiles % 4* % 3* % 2* % 1* % u/c
Outputs 24.7 50 24 1.3 0
Impact 52 24 24 0 0
Environment 62.5 37.5 0 0 0



The following are summaries of the impact case studies submitted to demonstrate Kent research making a difference.


Insolvency and consumer credit

Iain Ramsay’s research into personal insolvency and regulation of consumer credit is being employed to create new policies around the world. In particular, in 2013, Ramsay co-authored a World Bank report on personal insolvency that has been influential in reform discussions in countries including Brazil, Colombia, South Africa and India...

Developing environmental law

Despite the clear need for sustainable management of our seas, rivers and wetlands, creating a legal framework that can deliver this in practice is an ongoing challenge. Much of William Howarth’s work challenges the traditional legal approach, which tends to focus on high-profile industrial pollution and criminalising those who contravene the law. Instead, he argues for ‘modernisation’ with an increased...

Housing reform

Building on prior work for the Law Commission, Helen Carr’s research provided the inspiration for major reforms in Welsh housing tenure. Working in collaboration with Professor Dave Cowan (University of Bristol) and Professor Caroline Hunter (University of York), the research provided evidence, inspiration and a legal framework for the new Housing Bill now in place...


Equality in development policy

Kate Bedford’s work has highlighted the limitations of some development policies that address gender and sexuality. For instance, her research raises concerns about recent moves toward development policies that invoke sharing, loving partnerships between men and women...

The Feminist Judgments Project

The Feminist Judgments Project (FJP) put theory into practice by engaging in a real-world exercise of writing feminist judgments for leading cases in English law. In doing so, the research demonstrated the extent to which women’s experiences and concerns continue to be poorly reflected in law...

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Last Updated: 20/04/2015

Banner photo (c) Simon Tollington, DICE