REF 2014 results confirm Oxford as world-leading centre for research in Archaeology

18-12-2014 by Administrator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) published the results of its Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 on 18 December 2014. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the method for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs) held approximately every six years.

The REF 2014 results have confirmed the extraordinary strength in quality and depth of research in Archaeology at the University of Oxford. 80% of Oxford’s submission for Archaeology has been evaluated through external expert peer review as world-leading (4*) or internationally-excellent (3*). This represents an increase from 65% in the REF’s predecessor, the Research Assessment Exercise, last held in 2008.

The grade point average of Oxford’s Archaeology quality profile (covering the REF scale of 4* to 1*) was 3.19, the highest of any Archaeology-only submission to Unit of Assessment 17 (covering Geography, Environment Studies and Archaeology). This placed Archaeology at Oxford ahead of its peer institutions including Durham University (3.11), University College London (3.10) and the University of Cambridge (3.07).

The reach and significance of research in Archaeology at Oxford on wider society has been demonstrated, with 100% of Archaeology’s submission under the new element to the REF which evaluates the impact of excellent research being confirmed as 4* or 3* (“outstanding” or “very considerable”). 

Finally, external expert peer review has recognised the outstanding research environment for Archaeology in Oxford, awarding it a maximum score (100%) across the ratings 4* and 3* (i.e. as “world-leading” or “internationally-excellent”).

Professor Andrew Wilson, Head of the School of Archaeology, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the world-leading research of my colleagues in Archaeology, and the impact of their research on wider society beyond Oxford, have been recognised in the results of the REF.” 

“The REF results demonstrate the progress and achievements seen over the past six years and confirm Oxford’s position at the forefront of international excellence in archaeological research and scholarship, across the full range of prehistoric, classical, historic and scientific archaeology.”


For more information, please consult the University's main REF pages.


All media enquiries should be directed to the University's News and Information Office:

Media Relations Manager (Social Sciences), Maria Coyle

Go back