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RAE 2008 – Outstanding Results

The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) again reiterate Warwick’s position as one of the UK’s leading research universities, with Warwick ranked at 7th overall in the UK (based on multi-faculty institutions).

The RAE is a UK-wide exercise run on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies. Early analysis of the 2008 results place a significant number of Warwick departments in the top 10 in the UK in their unit of assessment:

  • Film Studies 1st
  • Warwick HRI 1st
  • History 2nd
  • Mathematics (Pure) 2nd
  • French 2nd
  • Economics 3rd
  • Italian 3rd
  • Classics 4th
  • Statistics 4th
  • Warwick Business School 5th
  • Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies 5th
  • Mathematics (applied) 7th
  • Chemistry 8th
  • English 8th
  • Education 8th
  • Politics 7th
  • Sociology 8th
  • Engineering 10th
  • Warwick Medical School (Health Services Research) 10th

The 2008 RAE results have been compiled in a different way to the RAE 2001. There is no longer a 1-5* rating scale. This has been replaced by a quality profile which identifies the proportion of activity reaching each of four defined 'starred' quality levels – from 4* to unclassified:

  • 4* Quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour
  • 3* Quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which nonetheless falls short of the highest standard of excellence
  • 2* Quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour
  • 1* Quality that is recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour
  • Unclassified Quality that falls below the standard of nationally recognised work or which does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of assessment.

Warwick did not receive any unclassified rankings in RAE2008 and a total of 65% of the University’s research activity is at a quality level of either 3* or 4*.

Warwick achieved a 35% increase in the number of staff it submitted in RAE2008 compared to RAE2001, the third largest increase in the Russell Group, and submitted almost 90% of its staff to RAE2008.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift said: "I would like to offer sincere congratulations on our successful RAE results. This positive result is the outcome of much hard work and commitment on the part of staff at Warwick. This is a wonderful recognition of that work and will serve to ensure Warwick builds an even more prominent national and international research profile."

Further information

Full results of the RAE and further details can be obtained from

On Monday 5 January, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will provide Warwick with sub-profiles on outputs, environment and esteem for its UoA submissions, together with confidential sub-panel feedback.

65% of Warwick's research is 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (Quality level of either 3* or 4*)


19 Warwick departments are in the top 10 in the UK in their unit of assessment


Warwick achieved a 35% increase in the number of staff submitted with almost 90% taking part