As a research intensive College, we produce internationally recognised research

In May 2014 we hosted the first gathering of Co-Chairs and authors from all three IPCC working groups with over 500 climate scientists, policy makers, industry professionals, students, and members of the public participated in this exciting event. View full size.

Our research

The College of Life and Environmental Sciences conducts internationally-recognised research across the disciplines of Biosciences, Geography, Psychology, and Sport and Health Sciences. Our research is frequently interdisciplinary in nature, embracing disciplines within and outside the College and combining expertise from across humanities, social sciences and sciences. We play a significant role in contributing to the University’s Science Strategy, and three of the five constituent key research themes: climate change and sustainable futures; systems biology; and translational medicine, personalised healthcare and public health. We will also be actively involved in the interdisciplinary research led by the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) at our Cornwall Campus near Falmouth.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Our research has been rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the first assessment of the research quality of UK universities since 2008, the Research Excellence Framework (REF). This strong and consistent performance across the college also shows significant improvements since the last research assessment in 2008.

Sport and Health Sciences had an exceptionally strong result with 89% of research rated at 4* and 3* - this is the equal second best performance in the University – and a significant improvement from 35% in 2008. Biological Sciences had 88% of research rated at 4* and 3* - up from 50% in 2008. Psychology had 85% of research rated at 4* and 3* - up from 55% in 2008. Geography had 77% of research rated at 4* and 3* with a substantial increase in numbers of staff submitted. The Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences submission included academics from three Colleges and five UoAs. With 89% of research rated at 4*and 3*, this is the equal second best performance in the University along with Sport and Health Sciences.

Find out more on our REF 2014 website.

Research strengths

In addition to distinct disciplinary and interdisciplinary research strengths, the College is home to a number of research centres:

Research degrees

Around 330 research students study within the College, across the University’s three campuses in Exeter and Cornwall. Together with around 380 postgraduate taught students and our research-active staff, research students in the College form part of a flourishing postgraduate and research community. Find out more about postgraduate research degrees within the College, including MPhil/PhD.

Find out more about research in each of the subjects within the College: