UCL Department of Geography


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REF 2021

The impacts of UCL Geography research on the wider world have been recognised in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.
The impacts of UCL Geography research on the wider world have been recognised in the REF 2021.


UCL Geography has again been recognised as one of the top research institutions in the UK. The Department was ranked 6th out of 56 universities, and 1st in London, for research power in this year's Research Excellence Framework (REF). Last conducted in 2014, the REF is the UK-wide system for assessing the quality of research in Higher Education.

The department was also ranked 1st for research environment in London and top 5 in the UK as a whole, reflecting our dedication to providing a welcoming culture that fosters excellence in research. The REF also recognised 96% of UCL Geography research as world-leading (4*) or internationally significant (3*).

“The REF results affirm what an extraordinary place UCL Geography is to pursue research, with a distinctive culture of inclusivity in people and subject matter and a commitment to the integrity of the academic vocation as a genuine balance between research and teaching. I feel very lucky to work with these people.” - Professor Jason Dittmer, Head of Department

Key highlights
  • 1st in London for research power (defined as overall GPA x FTE) and 6th in the UK
  • Best in London for research environment and top 5 in the UK
  • 96% of our research has been assessed as 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)

      Geography impact case study highlight


      Shaping international climate policy with transformative forest carbon analysis

      Professor Disney’s research has created a more accurate assessment of how much carbon is stored in the world’s forests, improving international space agency observations and influencing UN-led policy.

      All Geography REF 2021 impact case stu



      REF 2021 News

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