Our REF 2021 results

Impact in Birmingham and beyond

Our REF 2021 submission illustrates the breadth and real-world impact of the University’s research, and this is reflected in 3* and 4* ratings for impact across a range of subject areas. 

Research power increase

Our research power has more than doubled to 783 from 322 at REF 2014, demonstrating that we are doing more high-quality research.

Star ratings

93% of our research was recognised internationally for originality, significance and rigour, of which 19% was judged world-leading.

The biggest assessment yet

We included 310 staff in our submission, more than double the 151 assessed by REF 2014.

View our results

View our REF results by Unit of assessment or take a look at the online versions of our REF impact case studies.  

“Our REF 2021 results reflect the success of our 'Better, Bigger, Broader, Bolder’ research strategy aimed at improving the quality and value of our research, ensuring it is more inclusive and delivers greater value to our students, while also creating new knowledge and understanding, which powers innovation, benefits organisations with whom we collaborate, and delivers real-world impact - regionally, nationally, and internationally.” 

Professor Julian Beer
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Enterprise)

How to interpret our results

REF is measured in three dimensions: outputs, impact, and environment.

More information

  • REF 2021

    Birmingham City University's hub for everything related to the Research Excellence Framework.

  • Impact case studies

    Doing research and discovering new knowledge makes us a universityCoupling the results of our research to our teaching and to our innovation and enterprise activities to deliver real-world impacts outside academia helps us deliver our mission as the University for Birmingham. 

  • Units of Assessment

    For REF 2021 there were 34 units of assessment covering all academic disciplines. The REF 2021 UoAs differ from those of REF 2014 and the previous RAEs, making direct comparisons across exercises difficult in some disciplines.

  • Research centres

    Our research centres work to address key local, national and global challenges, in line with the priorities of the University and our students.

  • Research news

    Find out more about the latest news from our research activities and staff.