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Institute of Criminology



The Faculty of Law and Institute of Criminology are pleased to announce the results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, which are published today.

Reflecting our collective size and outstanding research strength across all fields of legal and criminological inquiry, 225 individual pieces of scholarship – submitted by over 100 colleagues working in the Faculty and the Institute – were graded at the highest levels of world-leading and internationally excellent research. The capacity of this scholarship to have demonstrable social and economic relevance is highlighted by five of our submitted case studies being recognised as examples of world-leading research impact. Law and Criminology at Cambridge are ranked second in the UK for research power, a measure of average research score multiplied by the number of staff submitted.

These impressive results underline Cambridge’s continuing success as a global leader across an expansive range of legal disciplines and sub-disciplines.

The full results are:

  4* 3* 2* 1* U
Overall 50 37 12 1 0
Outputs 41.1 39.6 16.8 2.1 0.4
Impact 55.6 38.8 5.6 0 0
Environment 75 25 0 0 0

The Chair of the Faculty of Law, Professor Mark Elliott, and the Director of the Institute of Criminology, Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe, commented:

"We welcome these impressive results in relation to outputs, impact and environment, confirming the Faculty of Law’s and the Institute of Criminology’s places within the top-ranked institutions for legal and criminological research in the UK, and highlighting our global reputation for producing world-leading, exciting and innovative research that has real-world impact. We take this opportunity to thank all colleagues in the Faculty and the Institute who have contributed to REF 2021, whether through their outstanding research or through their support for and input into the process of putting together our submission."

The REF 2021 law submission coordinator, Professor Simon Deakin, added:

"Legal research is a public good and essential for the future of democracy. The 2021 REF confirms that research in law and criminology at Cambridge is outstanding. We have brilliant researchers in all fields, an inclusive and vibrant research culture, and a doctoral programme that attracts the best and brightest from around the world."

Full details of the Research Excellence Framework can be found at