School of History research recognised by REF 2021

74% of research activity submitted by the School of History has been recognised as either “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

The REF is the UK-wide system for assessing the research conducted in higher education institutions, including the quality of research outputs, their impact, and the wider environment that supports them.

For the REF 2021 submission, research and impact was assessed by disciplinary units, known as Units of Assessment (UoA), of which ours was UoA 28 – History.

Colleagues in the School of History undertake world-leading research across a wide range of time periods and geographical contexts. Together with partners and collaborators both within and outside academia, they are making a significant contribution to expanding and deepening our understanding of the past.

79% of the research outputs submitted to the History UoA were identified to be “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”. Our research environment score was entirely in the “world-leading” and “internationally excellent” categories.

Over the last five years we have significantly expanded the scope of our research activities. We have made several exciting new appointments that diversify our coverage and add new areas of thematic and geographic expertise. We have hosted large-scale, externally funded research projects, and have involved more colleagues then ever in international research partnerships.

Public engagement is an important part of what we do, and we value our ever-growing number of collaborations with local, national and international organisations and institutions, from theatre, museums and arts organisations, to think tanks, community groups, and print, online and TV/radio media.

Head of School Professor Andrea Major has congratulated all colleagues on the work put into this exercise and thanked them for their ongoing commitment to producing innovative, exciting, and accessible historical research.

Preparing our REF 2021 submission was a considerable undertaking, and we would like to extend our thanks and congratulations to our researchers, professional services staff and UoA team. We look forward to building on these results as we pursue our vision of internationally relevant, socially inclusive, and rigorous research.

Further information

For media enquiries contact the University of Leeds press office via

View the University of Leeds results for all units of assessment.