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Postgraduate Study - PhD and Research Degrees

Our research

Our research activities play a central role in our success. Our research income continues to grow, enabling us to recruit the best academic researchers and to offer hundreds of funded PhD studentships annually. We are at the forefront of global and national research collaboration, actively supporting staff and students to build working relationships with counterparts overseas.

We are particularly committed to encouraging new ideas and nurturing talent, and as such we boast an extremely high number of early career researchers at Exeter. This makes the University of Exeter one of the very best places to pursue postgraduate study and research.

»Find out more about our institutional research.

REF 2021

REF 2021 is the national assessment of the strength of UK research. The results show that we at Exeter have increased the proportion of our research which is world-leading by more than 60% and increased the size of our research community by 70%.

  • More than 99% of our research is of international quality, with 89% internationally excellent and 47% world-leading
  • Our world-leading research impact has grown by 72% since 2014, more than any other Russell Group university
  • 94% of our research has internationally excellent impact, and 60% has world-leading impact
  • 12 of our subjects are in the Top 10 for world-leading impact in their area
  • 10 of our disciplines are in the Top 10 for their overall world-leading performance with 18 in the Top 20
  • We are No1 in the UK for world-leading research in Sport Science
  • We are No1 in the UK for world-leading research in Theology and Religious Studies
  • We are No2 in the UK for world-leading research in our Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (Area Studies)

»Find out more about our REF 2021 results.

Doctoral Training Partnerships

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. 

»Find out more about our Doctoral Training Partnerships on the Doctoral College website.

Research at Exeter

As a Russell Group University our research makes a difference across the world.