Creative departments in London universities lead the field

King's College London Strand Campus King's College London Strand Campus (photo: RLE)
King's College London Strand Campus
King’s College London Strand Campus (photo: RLE)

The REF (“Research Excellent Framework”) recently published its rankings for the research quality of university departments across the UK. The REF rankings are released every five years and consider the research publications, impact and environment of each department. Times Higher Education ranks the national universities research audit (REF) by GPA. London based universities lead the field of Creative Departments (Communications, Culture, Media, Performance and Art).

In the Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management, the top three departments, out of 67, were at LSE, Cardiff and Goldsmiths. 47% of the outputs from LSE’s Department of Media and Communications were ‘world-leading’, although the department drops to 9th in terms of ‘research intensity‘. Goldsmith’s Department of Media and Communications was listed first for ‘research intensity’. Cardiff is internationally recognised for its media, journalism and communication research, with 100% of its research named ‘outstanding’ for impact in terms of reach and significance.

King’s College London’s CMCI (“Culture Media and Creative Industries”) was rated number one for research power in its subject area. 69% of its published research was found to be of ‘world leading’ or ‘international quality’ and 100% of its research environment was judged to be world-leading.

In the Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts field, Queen Mary was ranked top by GPA, with 69% of its research judged ‘world leading’. It was followed closely by departments at Southampton, Roehampton (Dance), Oxford, Manchester (Drama), Warwick and Durham. Kent was ranked highest for ‘research power’ in this field and Oxford came top for ‘research intensity’.

The Courtauld is a clear forerunner in the field of Art and Design, ranking top for ‘research intensity’ and research output. It came second overall in terms of GPA, with 56% of its research regarded as ‘world leading’. The University of Reading’s submission for Typography and Graphic Communication leads the GPA, with Westminster and St. Andrews taking 3rd and 4th place respectively.

London is renowned as a hub of innovation and creativity, with internationally respected institutions such as the Tate Modern, V&A, National Theatre, British Museum and Royal Opera House. The UK’s creative industries sector is the country’s fastest growing and was worth £76.9 billion to the UK economy in 2013.

For further information including notes on methodologies, see the REF 2014 website:

For rankings by GPA see the THE website: here.