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Social Anthropology: News


Ref results announced: Edinburgh Social Anthropology ranked 4th

Edinburgh Social Anthropology REF results announced.

Social Anthropology was ranked 4th among submissions to the REF panel in Anthropology and Development Studies, based on the quantity of our research considered world-leading, or 4*. This is up 6 places from RAE 2008, when we were 10th in Anthropology. The quantity of our research judged to be world-leading increased by 153%. Our GPA also improved, taking us to 3rd among the anthropology submissions to the panel.

Rated one of the top research environments in the UK

The REF panel assessed 63% of our research environment as 4*, that is ‘conducive to producing research of world-leading quality, in terms of its vitality and sustainability’. The remainder was ranked as of ‘internationally excellent quality (3*).

‘Outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ impact outside academia

All our research was also judged to have had ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ impact outside of academia. 60% of our impact was deemed 4*, and 40% ‘3*, in terms of its reach and significance. This was the second highest ranking of any Anthropology Department in the UK.

One of the largest UK departments submitted

We adopted an inclusive approach to the REF 2014, submitting 95% of eligible staff (37 people, or 34.45 FTE). This was a 90% increase on our 2008 submission, the biggest increase in any anthropology submission. Our submission showcased research from across social anthropology, reflecting the breadth of our research interests and approaches. We included colleagues at all stages of their career.


We have achieved this growth in both quality and size through a combination of outstanding new appointments, inspiring leadership and focused research support. Today, Social Anthropology is a diverse, vibrant, and cosmopolitan department, whose outstanding research has been recognised in these excellent REF scores.

Freshers 2013