Huddersfield has submitted 589 staff across nineteen Units of Assessment (UoA) to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. This submission reflects our research across all our Schools and Departments covering a diverse and rich research portfolio. Find out more by clicking on the Units of Assessment below.  There is also information available below relating to our Areas of Strategic Research Importance and the Research Excellence Framework - what it is and why it's important.


UoA 3

Allied Health, Nursing and Pharmacy


UoA 4

Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience


UoA 5

Biological Sciences


UoA 8



UoA 11

Computer Science and Informatics 


UoA 12



UoA 13

Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


UoA 17

Business and Management Studies


UoA 18



UoA 20

Social Work and Social Policy


UoA 23



UoA 24

Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism


UoA 26

Modern Languages and Linguistics  


UoA 27

English Language and Literature  


UoA 28



UoA 32

Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory


UoA 33a



UoA 33b

Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies 


UoA 34

Communication, Cultural & Media Studies



Areas of Strategic Research Importance 

What is the REF2021?

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by the funding bodies for UK higher education, to assess research quality in UK universities. This takes place every 6 years and is carried out by a panel of experts working on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies. The assessment results are used to allocate research funding (approximately £2 billion annually) and provide the public with information about the quality of a university’s research.

The deadline for submissions for the next REF cycle is 31 March 2021. The latest information on the REF2021, including publications and consultation documents, can be found at

How will research quality be assessed?

The research information assessed, focuses on three elements: outputs (mostly publications), impact (the benefit or change to society) and environment (the structures and strategies in place to support research).

The results of the assessment are presented as a ‘quality profile’ which shows the percentage of the research according to five quality ratings:

  • 4* (world-leading)
  • 3* (internationally excellent)
  • 2* (internationally recognised)
  • 1* (nationally recognised)
  • U/C which is unclassified

University of Huddersfield REF2021 Code of Practice

It is a requirement that every institution making a REF submission develops, documents and applies a code of practice, which outlines the process for the following:

  • The selection of research outputs, including approaches to supporting staff with individual circumstances
  • Identification of staff with significant responsibility for research
  • Determining staff who are classified as independent researchers

Following publication of the final REF documentation on 31 January 2019, the University of Huddersfield developed its REF Code of Practice through a consultative process and submitted it to Research England for consideration, in June 2019. The Code of Practice was subsequently approved in November 2019. Following the publication of further guidance on 31 July 2020 relating to the impact of Covid-19, minor amendments were made in August 2020 which have now been accepted by Research England. The final version of our Code of Practice is now available.

If you have any comments, concerns or questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at


University of Huddersfield Privacy Notice

The University’s REF2021 Staff data collection statement and non-staff data collection statement explains what personal information the University holds about you in relation to the REF2021 exercise, including why this information is held, what we do with it, how long it is kept for and if we share it with third parties.

Personal data provided to the University of Huddersfield (UoH) for the purposes of evidencing research impact or environment, as part of the REF2021 assessment, will be held only for the duration of the assessment period. Once this is over (31st December 2021) personal data will be anonymised and deleted from the UoH systems. For more information about how your data is used throughout the REF assessment exercise, see the Fair Processing Notice on the REF2021 website.

Support to staff contributing to the REF2021 submission

The University’s intranet provides guidance and support to staff who are preparing to submit to the REF2021, including further information for impact case study authors. You will need to login using your staff username and password.



REF 2014 results

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessed the quality and impact of research by UK universities across all disciplines.