Press Releases 2014-2015

UWTSD ranked joint first in the UK for the impact of it research in Theology and Religious Studies


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is delighted with its excellent results for Theology and Religious Studies in the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) published today (18/12/14).

Theology and Religious Studies

Theology & Religious Studies has been a core activity of UWTSD since its inception in 1822 and the School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies (TRSIS) is still core to the University's provision today offering across the University’s campuses in Lampeter and Carmarthen.

50% of the School’s research is world leading and 50% is internationally excellent in terms of its impact, demonstrating its innovative approach to their areas of study.

62% of the School’s research is internationally excellent or better with 14% of that being world leading, and 50% of its research publications were internationally excellent with 5% of that being world leading.

"I'm delighted to note that UWTSD has been ranked joint first with 10 other Universities in the UK including Cambridge and Durham for the impact of its research,” says Professor Mike Phillips, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Commercialisation at UWTSD.  “This exceeds the results of many of the research intensive institutions."

The School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies (TRSIS) maintains an international research profile which compares well with other departments of Theology and Religious Studies in both Wales and the United Kingdom. The University’s submission to this Unit of Assessment was one of only two in the Welsh sector.

The School’s strong performance reflects research which is conducted in three distinct interdisciplinary areas within Biblical Studies, Historical and Theological Studies, and Religious and Islamic Studies. The group reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the research undertaken at UWTSD’s Lampeter campus.

Across UWTSD, 47% of its research work was noted as being world leading or internationally excellent with the remainder of the work submitted noted as being internationally and nationally recognised.

This result represents a significant increase on the last research assessment exercise conducted in 2008 where an average of 26.5% of research was judged as being world leading or internationally excellent.

The results reflect the University’s strengths in a number of key research areas with particular strengths in Art and Design and the Humanities.

Note to Editor

1. Full details of our REF2014 results:

2. Research Excellence Framework 2014: The four UK higher education funding bodies allocate about £2 billion per year of research funding to UK universities, based on the quality and volume of each university’s research. They aim to support a dynamic and internationally competitive UK research sector that makes a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.

3. Aims of the Research Excellence Framework To distribute funds selectively on the basis of quality, the funding bodies assess universities’ research through a periodic exercise. This was previously known as the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and was last conducted in 2008. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) replaced the RAE. It assessed the quality and impact of research submitted by UK universities across all disciplines. The results will be used by the funding bodies to allocate block-grant research funding to universities from 2015-16. As well as informing funding allocations, the REF provides accountability for public investment in research, demonstrates its benefits, and provides important reputational yardsticks and benchmarking information about the research performance of UK universities.

4. REF2014 key facts for the UK

  • 154 UK universities took part
  • They made 1,911 submissions for: 
  • 52,077 academic staff
  • 191,232 research outputs
  • 6,975 impact case studies
  • 36 expert sub-panels reviewed the submissions, overseen by four main panels
  • around £2 billion per year of research funding will be allocated on the basis of the results.

5. Note: The four UK funding bodies are: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and Department for Education, Northern Ireland

6. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University

7. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University

8. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014

Further Information

For more information please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / / 07449 998476