Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Research Excellence Framework 2021 logo.

UWTSD recognised for its world-leading and internationally excellent research

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 shows that the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) produces world-leading and internationally excellent research.


Medwin Hughes

"I welcome the publication of the 2021 REF results, which demonstrate the international and world-leading impact of the University’s research. The results reflect the University’s commitment to building strong research partnerships to promote diversity and inclusion across Wales and internationally. Research conducted at the University is shaping policy change leading to the creation of new opportunities for future generations to thrive."

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD.

Key UWTSD outcomes from REF 2021 include:

  • UWTSD is rated 4th in Wales for impact, with 74% of the University’s research judged as delivering outstanding and very considerable impacts for society, culture, and industry.
  • 49% of research is graded 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent), from the areas of Art and Design, Education, Celtic Languages and Literature, Theology and Religious Studies, and Psychology.
  • 100% of research submitted for Celtic Languages and Literature was graded 4* (outstanding) or 3* (very considerable) for its impact.
  • 75% of research submitted for Education was graded 3* (very considerable) for its impact on educational policy and practice in Wales and internationally.
  • 75% of research submitted for Theology and Religion was graded 4* (outstanding) or 3* (very considerable) for its impact.

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Key Developments

One of the key developments for the University in REF2021 is that Education was submitted for assessment for the first time. As one of only three Education submissions in Wales, it highlights how research being undertaken by the University is contributing to the development and debate of education policy in Wales and in particular, the new Welsh curriculum.

A prime example of the University’s research impact is UWTSD’s involvement in the CAMAU Project, which has been integral to developing the Welsh education system’s understanding of learner progression. So influential was this important work, it has recently been extended into a second phase.

Overall

  • 49% of research overall is graded 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent), from the areas of Art and Design, Education, Celtic Languages and Literature, Theology and Religious Studies, and Psychology.

Outputs

  • 84% of research output is of international quality, with world leading and internationally excellent research in the humanities and theology and religious studies (20% world leading, 20% internationally excellent) and Celtic Studies (20% world leading, 50% internationally excellent).  
  • 27% of the research output in education was also internationally excellent or better, an outstanding result for its first submission.  Psychology sees significant growth potential with more than a third of research at international quality.
  • Research submitted in Art and Design (37% internationally excellent) demonstrates our commitment to ground-breaking practice based research in support of our excellent knowledge exchange and innovation environment.  

Impact

  • UWTSD is rated 4th in Wales for impact, with 74% of the University’s research judged as delivering outstanding and very considerable impacts for society, culture, and industry.
  • 100% of research submitted for Celtic Languages and Literature was graded 4* (50% outstanding) or 3* (50% very considerable) for its impact.
  • 75% of research submitted for Education was graded 3* (very considerable) for its impact on educational policy and practice in Wales and internationally.
  • 75% of research submitted for Art and Design was graded 4* (25% outstanding) or 3* (50% very considerable) for its impact.
  • 75% of research submitted for Theology and Religious Studies was graded 4* (50% outstanding) or 3* (25% very considerable) for its impact.

Environment

  • 85% of the research environment in Art and Design was rated as 3* being conducive to producing internationally excellent research and very considerable impact.  
  • 87% of the university’s research environment was judged to support research of international quality and considerable impact, with further strengths in Celtic Studies and Theology and Religious Studies / Humanities supports internationally excellent (TRS, 40% 3*) and world leading (Celtic 25% 4*, 20% 3*) research output and impact.