School of Health in Social Science

Research excellence and national assessment (REF2014)

The School of Health in Social Science achieves excellent rankings in national research assessment.

Research undertaken at Edinburgh University’s School of Health in Social Science (HiSS) has been assessed as among the top in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) across the UK, conducting world leading research in all of our subject areas and providing a world leading research environment.

The School’s research in health related social science, nursing, clinical psychology and counselling has been assessed by the Expert Panels of the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014) in relation to three areas (Units of Assessment, UoA):

  • UoA4 – Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
  • UoA7- Earth Systems and Environmental Science
  • UoA22 – Social Work and Social Policy

The REF 2014 has assessed 87% of the research overall in UoA4 (Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience) as 4* (research that is world leading) and 3* (research that is internationally excellent).

Contributing to this assessment were:

  • Research outputs (our publications) with 79.3% assessed as world leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
  • Research impact (the impact of our research on the health and well-being of society) with 100% assessed as world leading or internationally excellent in terms of reach and significance.
  • Research environment (our research students, grants, strategy and infrastructure) with 100% assessed as world leading in terms of vitality and sustainability.

The excellence of our research assessed in UoA4 means that we are fourth in the UK (by Researchfortnight Power Index - a measure of quality and volume) and the top University for Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience in Scotland.

The REF 2014 has assessed 78% of the research overall in UoA7 (Earth Systems and Environmental Science) as 4* (research that is world leading) and 3* (research that is internationally excellent).

Contributing to this assessment were:

  • Research outputs (our publications) with 71.2% assessed as world leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
  • Research impact (the impact of our research on the health and well-being of society) with 81.8% assessed as world leading or internationally excellent in terms of reach and significance.
  • Research environment (our research students, grants, strategy and infrastructure) with 100% assessed as world leading or internationally excellent in terms of vitality and sustainability.

The excellence of our research assessed in UoA7 means that we are second in the UK (by Researchfortnight Power Index - a measure of quality and volume) for Earth Systems and Environmental Science in the UK.

The REF 2014 has assessed 81% of the research overall in UoA22 (Social Work and Social Policy) as 4* (research that is world leading) and 3* (research that is internationally excellent).

Contributing to this assessment were:

  • Research outputs (our publications) with 72.7% assessed as world leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
  • Research impact (the impact of our research on the health and well-being of society) with 94.3% assessed as world leading or internationally excellent in terms of reach and significance.
  • Research environment (our research students, grants, strategy and infrastructure) with 100% assessed as world leading in terms of vitality and sustainability.

The excellence of our research assessed in UoA22 means that we are third in the UK (by Researchfortnight Power Index - a measure of quality and volume) and the top University for Social Work and Social Policy in Scotland.

Commenting on the outcomes of the REF 2014 assessment, Head of the School of Health in Social Science, Professor Charlotte Clarke, said:

“I am delighted that the School has achieved such excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework assessment and would like to congratulate everyone who has been part of this. The results reflects the extremely high quality of the research undertaken by staff and research students in the School, with strong research activity demonstrated in all the areas of the School: Clinical Psychology; Interdisciplinary Social Sciences in Health; Nursing Studies; Counselling and Psychotherapy. We work with many colleagues across the University and elsewhere and this result reflects these complex and rich research relationships. We are particularly proud of our world leading research environment and the strong impact of our research on society that this REF result evidences – local relevance and global impact are important to us and we look forward to continuing our work with our many partners in achieving this.”

Professor Charlotte ClarkeHead of the School of Health in Social Science