Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)

Purpose

The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) is conducted nationally to assess the quality of research in universities and colleges in the UK. Results determine how higher education funding bodies distribute public funds for research selectively on the basis of quality. The most recent RAEs were carried out in 1996 and 2001, and the next is scheduled for 2008.

Ratings

The results of the RAE are rated on a scale as follows: 1, 2, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 5*. A rating of 5* represents 'quality (that equates to attainable levels) of international excellence in more than half of the research activity submitted and (attainable levels) of national excellence in the remainder'. A rating of 1 represents 'quality (that equates to attainable levels) of national excellence in none, (or virtually none,) of the research activity submitted.'

'Best 5*'

In 2003 the 'best 5*' rating was created. This was awarded to units of assessment that had received the 5* rating in both the 1996 and 2001 RAEs or that were awarded a 5* in the 2001 exercise whilst maintaining the number of research staff they had submitted. These departments have been identified by the government as "best of the 5* departments which have a critical mass of researchers." (Department for Education and Skills (2003) The future of Higher Education. Cm 5735. London, Stationary Office).

Read about how Southampton's research compares with other UK universities.

Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2001

School Unit of Assessment Rating
Art

History of Art, Architecture and Design
Art and Design


4
4

Biological Sciences Biological Sciences 5
Chemistry Chemistry 5
Civil Engineering
and the Environment
Civil Engineering 5*
Electronics
and Computer Science
Computer Science
Electrical and Electronic Engineering
5* (best 5*)
5* (best 5*)
Education Education 4
Engineering Sciences Mechanical, Aero and Manufacturing Engineering 5* (best 5*)
Geography Geography 5
Health Professions
and Rehabilitation Sciences
Other Studies Allied to Medicine 3a
Humanities Archaeology
English Language and Literature
European Studies (Modern Languages)
History
Music
Philosophy
5
5

5* (best 5*)
5
5* (best 5*)
4
Institute of Sound
and Vibration Research
Mechanical, Aero and Manufacturing Engineering 5* (best 5*)
Law Law 5* (best 5*)
Management Business and Management Studies 4
Mathematics Applied Mathematics
Pure Mathematics
Statistics
Operational Research
5
5
5
5
Medicine Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Community Based Clinical Subjects
Hospital Based Clinical Subjects
5

3a
5
Nursing and Midwifery Nursing 3b
Ocean and Earth Science Environmental Sciences 5
Optoelectronics Research Centre

Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Physics



5* (best 5*)
5*
Physics Physics 5*
Psychology Psychology 5
Social Sciences Economics and Econometrics
Politics and International Studies
Social Policy and Administration
Social Work
Statistics
5
4
5
3a
5