Research

REF 2014 - USW celebrates world leading research and impact

The results of REF2014 showed that USW has doubled the amount of its research rated as world leading.

Half of USW research is of world leading or internationally excellent standard providing practical solutions for culture, society and the economy, defined in REF terms as its impact. We have also increased the quality of our research across three quarters of our submissions.

Success stories among the REF 2014 Units of Assessment include:

  • The University of South Wales’s world-leading and internationally excellent research across the range of the creative industries is ranked top in the UK for its impact.
  • In terms of impact, USW’s world-leading research in social policy and criminology is ranked 8th in the UK and top in Wales.
  • USW is 15th overall in the UK for world leading research in sports and exercise science.


This is an excellent result for the University of South Wales, and a credit to our talented and dedicated researchers. Our applied research and engagement is reflected in our strong performance in the impact of our work by solving practical problems affecting society, culture and the economy. Professor Helen Langton, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Development

World-class research 

Professor Fiona Brookman's research has produced new insights into the nature and circumstances of homicide and homicide investigation. Her research-featured in the renowned Murder Investigation Manual- is widely regarded as the definitive guide on homicide investigation in Britain. She is the only criminologist in the UK to use this knowledge to directly inform methods of homicide investigation in both the UK and the US.

Findings from the Neurovascular Research Laboratory, led by Professor Damian Bailey at the University of South Wales, have transformed our understanding of free radicals and how they can influence the way the human brain ages.  Alternative models of “accelerated” brain ageing have provided unique insight into the mechanisms linking free radicals, oxygen, stroke and dementia.

Research by Professor Florence Ayisi which was documented in a film on the lives of an all-female Muslim football team in Zanzibar has helped to improve respect and understanding, encouraged more women to get involved in sport and has been used to tackle racism in football and raise awareness of HIV and AIDS.