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The consistently high quality of research in Theology and Religious Studies at Chester and the benefits it has brought to society have been recognised in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021). This is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, that assesses research publications, research impact and research environment.

Academics within the Department of Theology and Religious Studies submitted to Unit of Assessment 31: Theology and Religious Studies, with research activity spread across sub-disciplines of Biblical Studies, Religious Studies (Historical and Social-Scientific) and Theology (Systematic and Practical/Contextual).  The examples of research impact case studies submitted indicate the breadth of expertise within the department: ‘Facilitating Access to Addiction Recovery: Spirituality in a Secular World’ and ‘Motivating Changes in Attitudes and Practice towards the Consumption of Animals’. The assessment of the submission found 88% to be world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).  By this measure, University of Chester was 7th of 31 submissions in the UK and ahead of some ‘Russell Group’ Universities, in addition to being first in the ‘Cathedrals Group’.  Furthermore, the University of Chester saw the largest increase in the percentage of the overall submission assessed as 4*/3* between REF 2014 and REF2021 within this Unit of Assessment.

A Department spokesperson said: “We are delighted that the excellent research and impact undertaken by our academic colleagues has identified Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Chester as being one of the highest performing in the UK.  Postgraduate and Undergraduate students alike can be confident that they are being supervised and taught by passionate academics who are world leading/internationally excellent in their field.  This impressive result combined with consistently high student satisfaction scores makes TRS Chester an exceptional department with a commitment to excellence in both research and teaching.”

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