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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics

The results of the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise have just been published. Land Economy's research was assessed as part of a combined submission with Cambridge’s Department of Architecture to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning Panel. 45 other Universities made submissions to that panel.


The Overall Results for the submission are extremely strong with over 50% of our research work rated as “World Leading” and a further 38% classed as “Internationally Excellent”. That 50% World Leading rating ranks the combined Cambridge Architecture and Land Economy submission equal first, alongside the University of Bath’s Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.

In the recent Research Excellence Framework exercise over half of our research activity was rated as World Leading, with 88% World Leading or Internationally Excellent

There are many possible ways in which departments within a Panel can be ranked. Under almost any metric, we are ranked in the top three of the 45 universities submitting to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning Panel and are often first or second ranked.

Of our research publications, 38% were rated 4* and 44% were 3*; thus 82% of our Output has been rated as “World Leading” or “Internationally Excellent” - this ranks us second, again narrowly behind Bath. We submitted a number of case studies that measured the external Impact of our research work: 68% were rated 4* and 32% 3*. The overall Research Environment of the two Departments – which measures research grants won, doctoral students graduating and contribution to the wider academic community was similarly highly rated (our Environment profile being 75% 4* and 25% 3*).

One metric that is likely to be used extensively is the “GPA” which provides a weighted average of the research scores. Our Overall REF GPA is 3.35 (above the University of Cambridge average) which ranks us 3rd behind the Universities of Bath and Glasgow. However, if the GPA is adjusted for the numbers of full time equivalent staff, we move up to second, marginally behind Bath.

For research outputs alone, our GPA is 3.16, which once again ranks us 2nd of all the submissions to the Panel.

Overall then, this is a very good result, particularly given the much larger size and scope of the Unit of Assessment and he significant advantage that larger units such as University College London have in scoring for Environment and Impact.

Our overall results are very much in line with the University of Cambridge's performance at large, and confirm the international quality and global influence of our research work. Our GPA is slightly higher than the Departmental average across the University and the proportion of world leading and internationally excellent work in line with other highly ranked Departments.

The University's own statement on the REF results can be found here: