Inspiring research

Interdisciplinary research is an engine to innovation and a hallmark of Exeter’s recent success. Our research bridges the gap between the arts, humanities, social sciences and pure sciences to tackle global challenges, such as food security and ageing, in a holistic way. Professor Nick Talbot, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Research and Knowledge Transfer



Our research activities have played a central role in securing our success. Our research income doubled in the five years prior to 2013 and we have a growing reputation for research excellence.

The quality of our research has risen by 20 places since 1996 and all our subjects include world-leading (4*) research. Nearly 90 per cent of our research is internationally recognised with sixteen of our 31 subjects ranking in their respective top 10, and 26 in their respective top 20. Subjects ranking in the top 20 are listed below.

As part of our sustained commitment to developing new talent and building research capacity, we continue to invest millions of pounds in our research infrastructure, and we are one of only a handful of universities to have successfully secured Doctoral Training Partnerships with each of the UK Research Councils. 

Our research success is not confined to our campuses in the cathedral city: the Penryn Campus provides the opportunity to study alongside outstanding researchers in an unrivalled environment. The campus is home to a number of leading academics, including a number independently funded by the Royal Society, NERC and the Leverhulme Trust, along with the Environment and Sustainability Institute, a £30 million interdisciplinary centre leading cutting-edge research into solutions to problems of environmental change.

Subjects ranked in their respective top 20

Subject areas which feature in their respective top 20 when compared to other UK Universities based on the percentage of 4* (world leading) and/or percentage of 4* and 3* (internationally excellent) subjects.