REF 2014


5th in the UK for 4* and 3* research (world leading and internationally excellent).

Our research is transforming understanding of key questions in human history, including the origins our species, the transformation from hunter-gathering  to farming societies, the emergence and nature of the world’s earliest civilisations and the archaeology of the UK.

Grants for our projects total c. £3 million pounds and we have c. 110 completed and current PhD students over the past 6 years. Our PhD students have gone on to post-doctoral scholarships and jobs in the archaeology sector, in Universities and Museums around the world.

Our research has benefited international museums and school teachers, providers of educational material, and school children. Successes include Castell Henllys, where excavation and reconstruction of an Iron Age settlement has become a major tourist attraction and provided resources for teaching of the National Curriculum for Wales.

Major investment is creating a suite of new archaeology labs with new high specification analytical equipment for archaeomaterials, archaeobotanical, isotope, lithic studies and experimental archaeology research. This follows on from the £600,000 refurbishment of the Garstang Museum making its rich research resources more accessible. 


80% of outputs rated at 4* and 3* (world-leading or internationally excellent).

Our expertise ranges from Homer to Late Antiquity, with particular emphasis on the ancient economy, Greek and Roman religions, the literary culture of the Roman Empire and Achaemenid Persia, as well as the reception of antiquity in the modern world.

We have a thriving community of postgraduate research students and a strong track record of developing early career researchers for future employment. We have been successful in obtaining a number of prestigious fellowships from organisations such as the Leverhulme Trust and the Marie Curie Foundation.

Our researchers work with a number of non-academic partners, including documentary-makers, secondary schools and the business community. 


Top quartile position for 4* research (world leading).

Our research builds on our renowned tradition of making history accessible and relevant and examines how the past points the way to the future, tackling international themes at the forefront of debate today, from slavery and human trafficking to gang culture.

Our studies of Liverpool’s past have helped shaped visions of the future for the city, and the region.  In the same way, the work of our historians in the Institute of Irish Studies has had a strong impact on discussions about the past and the future in Ireland.

Our close collaborations with public bodies such as National Museums Liverpool help to bring academic research to the widest possible audiences.  Research into youth gangs in Victorian England gave rise to a successful collaboration with a theatre group and influenced practitioners in the education, criminal justice and tourism sectors.

Modern Languages and Linguistics

Ranked in top 50% for 4* and 3* research with 90% of environment at 4* and 3* (world leading and internationally excellent).

Research in Modern Languages and Cultures at Liverpool is characterised by our wide-ranging interests in the national and global dimensions of language-based study, including a focus on France, Germany, Italy and the countries of the Iberian Peninsula as well as Francophone, Hispanophone and Lusophone cultures and societies outside Europe. Coherent cross-language themes structure our research. Our work places us at the cutting edge of fields such as colonial and post-colonial studies (including slavery studies), cyber-culture and digital transformations, and world cinema. Colleagues are fully engaged with the development of Modern Languages nationally, many playing leading roles in academic publishing, subject associations, and on behalf of major funding bodies. 

Collaboration and engagement strongly underpin our activities, whether with researchers beyond our own department and disciplines, with our many cultural partners (especially Merseyside Museums) and in our interactions with non-academic communities. Distinctive public-oriented events include poetry readings with practitioners and audiences in Spain, a major exhibition in France in association with the multinational Tata Group, and a series of Holocaust-related events in the UK and Germany designed to enhance understandings of the sources and consequences of racism.

Politics and International Studies

50% of impact judged outstanding.

The Department of Politics at Liverpool produces research of international standing and engages in a wide range of dissemination and engagement activities to ensure the impact of this work is maximised both within the sector and beyond it.

We have a thriving community of researchers, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and other major funders as well as doctoral students researching topics ranging from the Labour Party and electoral reform to corruption in the Caribbean.

Members of staff also have a high profile in the media, give evidence to select committees and work with a range of external bodies. We work with political parties, providing detailed data on their membership's perceptions of key issues, the state of internal party organisations, perceptions of other parties and views on party leadership. We have undertaken collaborative work with the Electoral Commission on issues concerned with electoral administration. We are also involved with the London-based Smart Partnership Hub, which is exploring how policy learning can be shared more effectively between Commonwealth nations.

View our Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences REF 2014 case study and the full results table.