We submitted the work of a record number of researchers (578) for assessment to REF2021, representing a 56% increase on the 370 submitted in 2014.  We are therefore delighted to see that we have grown our overall proportion of world-leading and internationally excellent research from 80% in 2014 to 86% in 2021. This is a very real endorsement of the dedication and hard work that so many colleagues across our University community have put in over the REF period.


  • 32% of our outputs were rated 4*world-leading (a significant increase from 21% in 2014)
  • 91% of our research environment  rated 4*(world-leading) or 3*(internationally excellent) and 86% of our research has been judged 'outstanding and very considerable' in terms of its impact 
  • Medicine and Life Sciences continue to be ranked in the UK top 5 overall  in Allied Health Professions (Unit of Assessment 3)
  • Mathematics ranked joint 16th in the UK and is joint first for impact, with 100% of  research rated as 'outstanding' - the highest accolade
  • Geography  ranked 20th in the UK, climbing 11 places with 90% categorised as  4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent) 
  • A third of our Units of Assessment were rated 100% for their 'outstanding and very considerable' impact
  • 50% of the subject areas we submitted (9) were ranked in the UK top 30 for impact
  • 10 Units of Assessment achieved 100% 'world-leading and internationally excellent' for our research environment, including Business and Management, Modern Languages and Social Work and Social Policy.

For more information please visit the research areas under each Unit of Assessment below.

Our Faculties

Set in the stunning Swansea Bay, our three faculties boast world-class research facilities across two campuses. Find out more about our faculties and the impact of their research.

Want to collaborate with us on our research and innovation as an academic, researcher, or organisation? 

We work with a range of people and organisations to conduct collaborative research, realise ideas, improve products, and help change the world. Contact us to find out how we can work with you. 01792 606060 or use this form to contact us