UOA 34: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management

REF Highlights 2021

Our research power

The significant improvements in both quality and volume improved our ranking by research power by 27 places.

Our impact

Two-thirds of impact was judged to be outstanding in terms of reach and significance.

Our performance

70% of research was judged to be work-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

Our REF submission

Between REF 2014 and REF 2021, we saw substantial growth in the scale of our research activity, almost tripling the number of staff submitted for assessment and quadrupling the number of PhD students, with a significant rise in doctoral awards.

Our submission to this unit of assessment featured contributions from 32 people, 77 outputs and three impact case studies:

This area of our work also saw 18 doctoral awards and £1.9m research income during the REF period.

Our research

Research in communication, cultural and media studies takes place within the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR), which is part of our Birmingham Institute of Media and English and located in our Faculty of Arts, Design and Media.

BCMCR was founded in 2009, and focuses on the principles of interdisciplinarity, critical investigation, collective practice, and social activism, along with a commitment to share our research within and beyond academia. Our distinctive, collaborative research is conducted within eight research clusters:

Our researchers collaborate widely across the university, with Music and Performing Arts in Jazz Studies, Sociology and Education in Game Cultures and with researchers in English.

Our research combines traditional theoretical work, with research conducted through practice – including documentary films and exhibitions – and our researchers collaborate widely across the university. The sharing of knowledge and the creation of impact are central to our thinking. We ensure our research is at the heart of our teaching, and we are committed to ensuring those outside our university can benefit from what our researchers discover and create.

Centre members have built deep relationships within the city and the region, as well as nationally and internationally, to produce globally significant research projects, world-leading publications, and substantial and far-reaching impact.

Our results in detail

Figures relate to the percentage of the submission meeting each standard:

Overall 31 30 28 2.99
Outputs 23.1 32 42.3 2.76
Impact 66.7 33.3 0 3.67
Environment 0 77.5 22.5 2.78

See our full results on the REF 2021 website.