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International experts have independently judged Ulster University as one of the top universities in the UK for delivering world-leading research that has a positive and long-term impact on societies and economies globally.

The evaluation, which identified Ulster University as one of the top five universities in the UK for world-leading research in law, biomedical sciences, nursing and art and design, came as part of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment. REF is an independent assessment by international experts of the quality, impact and significance of research carried out by 154 UK universities.

The findings show that Ulster University has confirmed its position as a top UK academic institution with world-leading research identified in all areas of the University. Specifically, Ulster University has almost doubled its level of 4 star rated world-leading research since 2008 – with 4 star being the highest accolade that can be awarded.

Ulster University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett said: “This is an outstanding result for Ulster University, one which proves our global research credentials and our position as a top university in the UK and internationally. The results, particularly for law, biomedical sciences, nursing and art and design, are clear evidence of the relevant and applied nature of our research, which has far-reaching impact and significance globally.

“Revolutionising treatment for diabetes and heart disease; informing health policy for foetal health; shaping the dynamic arts and creative industries sector; advising global governments on victim and human rights; supporting business and economic growth; enhancing nursing skills and care. In these areas and many more, Ulster University is playing a crucial, pivotal and ultimately influential role around the world.

“Focusing on outcomes and applying our research findings to improve society, healthcare, the economy and beyond makes this a university of which our staff, students and the people of Northern Ireland can be exceptionally proud.”

Headline findings for Ulster University include:

In the top 25 per cent of all UK universities

In the top 10 UK-wide for built environment, biomedical sciences, law, art and design and nursing research.

Second in the UK for Celtic Studies research

Top in Northern Ireland for the overall impact of its world-leading research

Top in Northern Ireland for research into biomedical sciences, law, business and management, architecture and built environment, art and design, social policy, sport, media studies and nursing.

For more information on the Ulster University REF 2014 results and to view some of the research in more detail please visit: