School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences

REF 2021

The School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Science brings together an exceptional array of research expertise across these three subject areas.

In collaboration with industries, museums and public bodies, our research has shaped the debate on clinical guidelines in psychology, fostered understanding about the nature and evolution of language, and enhanced public understanding of the human and natural world, among many other contributions to society.

Research Excellence

PPLS submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2021 assessment exercise, as part of a University of Edinburgh-wide submission. Undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies, the aim of the exercise is to secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK higher education.

Occurring approximately every seven years, for the 2021 REF, UK higher education institutions made submissions covering up to 34 subject-based units of assessment (UoAs)*. Here, the quality and standard of academic outputs (journal papers, monographs etc.), the environment supporting research activity, and the impact of research outside academia are assessed and rated by expert panels.

The breadth and excellent quality of PPLS’s research have been clearly demonstrated in the eight impact case studies (identified below) that formed part of the School’s submission and exemplified how the work of our academics and researchers has brought a multitude of benefits to a diverse range of stakeholders – both within the UK and internationally.


Philosophy: About our research


Psychology: About our research

Linguistics & English Language

Linguistics and English Language: About our research 

*As part of the wider University of Edinburgh 2021 REF submission, PPLS submitted (either singularly, or in conjunction with other schools) to three units of assessment.