School of History ranked 1st in the UK in Research Excellence Framework 2021

The University of Kent’s School of History has achieved outstanding results in the Research Excellence Framework 2021. The School is the only History department in the UK to achieve a perfect score of 100% ‘world leading’ for both the impact of its research and its research environment. This extraordinary achievement has resulted in the Times Higher Education ranking History at Kent 1st in the UK.

Judged by a panel of peers and experts, who assessed that 72% of the School’s research ranked ‘world leading’, History at Kent is ranked 1st out of 81 institutions.

The School’s research has made an impact across the world, and informs public perceptions of history and heritage across the UK.

Professor Mark Connelly’s AHRC-funded Gateways to the First World War project has made a vital contribution to the commemoration of the centenary of 1914-1918. It has also engaged teachers and students in schools across the UK and produced dozens of exhibitions which have shaped the public’s engagement with, and perceptions of, this tragic conflict.

Dr Ben Marsh’s Age of Revolutions project, funded by Waterloo200 Ltd and the DCMS, has had a major impact in showing how this often-neglected period – which saw the birth of democracy and the abolition of slavery – is taught in schools. The project has also shaped general perceptions on the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods through teacher training conferences, art exhibitions and an innovative ‘top trumps’ card game.

School of History academics work in partnership with a huge number of organisations, businesses and heritage bodies. Their research not only involves colleagues working in academia, but also makes a broad social, educational and cultural impact, helping communities across the world to engage with their own histories.

The School’s academic staff are all research active, and leaders in their respective fields. A number of its members serve, or have served, on the Royal Historical Society’s council, a key institution in the formation of history teaching and heritage conservation policy. University of Kent historians also sit on the editorial boards and steering committees of numerous learned societies, providing leadership in determining the future of the study of history at both a national and international level.

Professor Mark Connelly, Head of the School of History, said ‘we are home to some of the best medieval, military, medical, political, cultural and imperial historians in the UK. These fantastic results are testament to the quality and intellectual vibrancy of the School of History at Kent. We are particularly proud that our research informs our teaching on a daily basis, and that our historians recognise a responsibility to use our study of the past to help shape the future’.