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12 May 2022

SSPP faculty demonstrates far-reaching impact and research excellence

The Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy has demonstrated through the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) how we are bringing about significant changes in society to make the world a better place.

books and lights

The Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy (SSPP) received some excellent results in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), reflecting the far-reaching and continuing impact of our research.

Outcomes from the REF are important because they highlight the positive impact our research makes to the world and determine the funding allocations that universities will receive from Research England.

In REF2021, King’s overall has maintained its 6th place in the national rankings and been rated third amongst multidisciplinary institutions (the Russell Group) for impact.

Within SSPP, most eligible staff in this faculty were returned into one of the four Units of Assessment (UoAs) managed within SSPP: Sociology; Geography; Education; and Politics & International Studies (POLIS).

Highlights of our results from these for Units of Assessment include:

  • Education achieved 4* for 87.5% of their impact case studies and established themselves as the leading education institution in London.
  • POLIS maintained their position as 1st for ‘research power’ and improved their percentage of 4* publications by 12.5%
  • Geography have improved their quartile position and their ranking to be placed 12th nationally
  • Sociology scored 75% in their Environment section and are now placed in the upper quartile nationally

The work of 57 researchers were submitted into 11 other UoAs, administered by other parts of the university.

Changes to eligibility this time meant we were able to submit the work of 100% of eligible research-active colleagues (361 in total) from all areas of the Faculty, including many postdoctoral researchers. This meant our submission could fully reflect our inclusive and diverse culture here in SSPP which has undergone a major transformation and seen increased investment since REF2014.

Our faculty is such a vibrant and exciting place in which to do research and I hope today can be an opportunity for us to be proud of the many achievements of our SSPP community. Preparation of the REF is a huge undertaking that has involved many hours of work by people across the faculty and so thank you to everyone who has played a part in today’s results.

Professor Linda McKie, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

She said that, while the latest results were very important, the data, outputs, environment narratives and case studies submitted represent only part of the huge amount of research which is being undertaken within our faculty.

In 20/21 SSPP generated around £19.5m in research grant income and secured another nearly £25m in new awards, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to research. This success will ensure we can build on today’s results to achieve even more impact in the years ahead.

Professor Linda McKie, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Find out more about research across SSPP

Read some of our stories of research impact: