Coronavirus information and guidance

Film Studies Research Excellence

12 May 2022

Over 75% of research carried out by the Department of Film Studies at the University of St Andrews is world-leading or internationally excellent, according to the results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) published today (Thursday 12 May).

The REF – a detailed analysis of the research strengths of all UK universities – found that St Andrews excelled in a number of key research areas – including Film Studies.

The REF 2021 evaluation of St Andrews Film Studies saw almost half of its books and articles assessed as 3 and 4* world-leading and internationally excellent.

REF found that the overall quality of research at St Andrews had increased by 5.7 % since the last assessment exercise in 2014.

St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone FRSE said: “The overall quality of our research has increased significantly since the last REF in 2014, we have cause to celebrate the achievements of several of our Schools whose research is rated amongst the best in the UK, and the fact that over 88% of the research we produce in this small corner of Fife has been held to be world-leading or internationally excellent is a remarkable achievement.”

Although REF itself explicitly does not rank universities according to research strengths, the metrics it produces are widely used in the higher education sector and in the media to benchmark research performance.

According to these figures, using the method of Grade Point Average (GPA), St Andrews was ranked 3rd in Scotland and 28th in the UK, one of six Scottish universities ranked amongst the top 50 research institutions in the UK.

Research at St Andrews which REF judged to be world-leading included:

  • Beyond Fact or Fiction: Enhancing Documentary Discussions
  • Mapping the Festival Ecosystem: Informing the Practice of Programmers, Filmmakers, and Archivists