SOAS University of London



On 18 December 2014 HEFCE published results of the 10 Units of Assessment entered in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework bySOAS. The table below outlines results for all 10 units.

There have been some very positive outcomes for SOAS research in REF 2014:

  • Music, which was already ranked highly, has risen to 5th  in the UK, with over half of its publications judged ‘world-leading’;
  • History of Art and Archaeology has seen a dramatic rise up the league tables, from 17th to 8th (out of 25), coming in the top 5 nationally for the quality of its publications;
  • Linguistics makes a significant improvement, moving up the league table with a particularly impressive rise to 7th out of 22 on world-leading publications;
  • Law has also risen, from 33rd to 28th out of 67, with a particularly sharp rise in the proportion of its publications judged ‘world-leading’ (rising from 4% in 2008 to 31% in 2014, placing it 5th in the UK for research output);
  • Study of Religions has held its league table position at 11th out of 33 nationally and has been judged to have produced the 2nd highest proportion of ‘world- leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ publications in the UK.

However, there have also been some disappointing results relative to the performance of other university institutions in the UK.

On the day the results were released, SOAS Director Professor Paul Webley said: ‘There is much more work to be done to analyse the results, identify areas for improvement and ensure that we take the necessary actions to produce an improved result in REF2020. We will continue to build on recent positive developments such as the launch of our China and South Asia institutes and the growing philanthropic support, including that from Alphawood Foundation and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation.’


 Unit of assessment FTE Category A staff submittedOverall quality profile
(percentage of research activity at each quality level)
19Business and Management Studies22.714443723
21Politics and International Studies24.627383041
27Area Studies46.9519472770
30Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies14.329492011
34History of Art, Architecture and Design9.7535461900