Explore our REF Units of Assessment and their impactful research

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The University of Winchester is currently preparing for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system for assessing the quality of research in UK Higher Education institutions. At the last REF, in 2014, the University submitted 8 Units of Assessment, with many publications scoring three and four stars; for 2021, we will be submitting 13 UoAs, each carrying out transformative, high-impact research.

REF2021 logo

A4 Psychology, Psychiatry & Neuroscience

UoA Lead

Prof. Paul Sowden

UoA Overview 

The members of UoA4 are all staff within the Psychology Department. REF2014 was the first UoA 4 entry for Winchester. Since that time, the UoA has expanded rapidly in size and research capacity, from 9 ‘Category A’ submitted staff (8.5 fte) in REF 2014 to 30 Category A submitted staff (28.8 fte) in REF2021, and has developed a vibrant, inclusive, research environment organised around four research groups and one research centre.

Since REF2014, the Department’s Human Perception and Performance group has evolved to become the Brain and Cognition Research Group, following five new staff appointments. The former Societies and Communications Research Group has capitalised on new expertise and 10 new staff and become the Social and Organisational Research Group and the Childhood and Youth Psychology Research Group. The Healthy Lives Research Group works in close collaboration with the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing.

At the time of REF2014, some members of the Department were conducting research into identification of suspects by witnesses and victims of crime. Building on this work, the Department has strategically developed the Centre for Forensic and Investigative Psychology with 8 new appointments. The work of the Centre has formed the basis for two Impact Case Studies for REF2021 (see below).

A final area for strategic growth, in line with wider University developments, including the formal establishment of the Hampshire Collaboration for Health Research and Education between the University and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has been the establishment of the Healthy Lives Research Group, supported by four new appointments.

The research of all of the groups has been further supported by a significant investment in new laboratories, as well as refurbishment and updating of existing research facilities.


Dr Ana Aznar, Dr Sarah Bayless, Dr Valerie Bonnardel, Dr Wing Yee Cheung, Dr Michelle Cleveland, Dr Debbie Crossland, Dr Clare DaviesDr Tim Gamble, Dr Andrea Gibbons, Dr Daniel Gill, Dr Debra Gray, Dr Jackie Hillman, Dr Margaret Husted, Dr Rhiannon Jones, Dr Wendy Kneller, Dr Feni Kontogianni, Dr Gary Lancaster, Dr Joost Leunissen, Dr Lynn McKeague, Dr Beth Parsons, Dr Jordan Randell, Dr Cassie Richardson, Dr Kirsty Ross, Dr Liam Satchell, Prof. Paul Sowden, Dr Amy Warhurst, Dr Frances Warren, Dr Genevieve Waterhouse, Dr Adrian Whyte, Dr Rachel Wilcock

Impact Case Studies

Dr Rachel Wilcock: Helping child witnesses to remember more

Child witnesses with and without autism are not always deemed reliable witnesses. This research evaluated interventions to support them to give reliable evidence. 


  • For typically developing children, Registered Intermediaries (RI’s) led to greater witness reliability
  • Child witnesses with autism can perform equivalently to typically developing child witnesses


  • An increase in requests for RI’s to support vulnerable witnesses when giving evidence and more training places for RI’s in England and Wales
  • Greater police awareness of the abilities of autistic children to be reliable witnesses


Further information

Dr Wendy Kneller: Changing perceptions of intoxicated eyewitness performance

Approximately 50% of all crimes in the UK involve intoxicated witnesses and victims. However, little is known about the reliability and completeness of their testimonies. Our research has helped inform Criminal Justice Service (CJS) agencies, demonstrating that the testimony of moderately intoxicated witnesses can be as reliable as  that provided by their sober counterparts.


Our findings have enhanced practitioners’ (police, witness support agencies, Registered Intermediaries, Hampshire Office of Police and Crime Commissioner) perceptions of the capability of intoxicated witnesses' memory, and as a result, impacted upon practice and training with respect to dealing with, interviewing and obtaining identification evidence from intoxicated witnesses.

Dr Wendy Kneller is a member and the founder of the Psychology Department's Centre for Forensic and Investigative Psychology.

Dr Debra Gray: Building sustainable volunteering communities

Volunteering is central to UK government strategies for improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. However, there are key questions about the sustainability of the sector to meet this rising demand.


Our research, which provides a theory-led, evidenced understanding of volunteer engagement, has:

  • Influenced policy and debate about volunteer recruitment and retention in Community and Volunteering Service Organisations (CVSOs) and Local Government in the South East of England
  • Impacted on practice in terms of influencing programmes aimed at increasing voluntary action in these organisational settings
  • Impacted on debates amongst those recruiting volunteers about how volunteering can be used to support people’s health and wellbeing

To find out more, explore the Building sustainable volunteering communities website

Dr Debra Gray is a Reader in Social Psychology.

C15 Archaeology

UoA Lead

Dr Paul Everill

UoA Overview

The story of the Department of Archaeology, as it was until recently, is one of steady growth in staffing and research profile. Only 3.8FTE Category A, research-active staff members submitted to RAE1996, achieving a rating of 2, but with each subsequent RAE and REF the numbers of research-active staff, and the rating of research quality, has increased.

Today, members of UoA15 are drawn from across the specialisms of the current Department of Archaeology, Anthropology, and Geography, supervising a diverse range of PhD topics and boasting laboratory spaces, facilities and equipment that would compare favourably with many other similar departments.


Impact Case Studies

Prof. Keith Wilkinson: Using geoarchaeological contract research for cultural resource management

Prof. Keith Wilkinson is Professor of Geoarchaeology in the Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Geography and Director of the Archaeology section's successful commercial arm ARCA. Launched in 2005 by Prof. Wilkinson in 2005, ARCA specialises in geoarchaeology and geomatics.


ARCA has impacted on planning authorities in English local government, those in Historic England deciding on cultural heritage and resource management policy, and commercial archaeological companies, in respect of:

  • Geoarchaeological investigation and deposit modelling of deeply stratified deposits in urban environments. ARCA’s approach and deposit models are used by planning authorities in Bristol, Droitwich, Gloucester and Winchester, whil   e ARCA has also contributed to Historic England’s (2019) deposit modelling guidelines;
  • Assessing the Palaeolithic archaeological potential of Pleistocene deposits. Maps of the latter produced have been used by Hampshire County Council since 2004, while a national version is currently used by all English planning authorities (since 2020).

Archaeological contract research at the University of Winchester: image of team drilling boreholes in Winchester Cathedral grounds

ARCA team members Prof. Keith Wilkinson, Dr Phil Marter and postgraduate student Will Reid taking a break from drilling boreholes in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral (in background) in Sept. 2019

Dr Niall Finneran: Sensing place: an anthropological-archaeological approach to identity, place and community heritage in the eastern Caribbean and London

The broad philosophy underpinning this case study is that heritage can be socially and economically transformative, and that strategies used in developing sustainable, socially just and participatory community heritage projects must be rooted within a local sense of place, not imposed from above. A digital toolkit, the Sensing Place toolkit, first developed to analyse ethnographic data from marginalised and predominantly migrant/indigenous communities in East London, was used to drive forward a participatory (and in the case of the Caribbean a de-colonialist) programme using community-centred archaeology and heritage projects to help local communities interpret their heritage and develop new approaches to teaching and heritage/cultural tourism. 

Community Heritage at Winchester: Dr Christina Welch and Dr Niall Finneran presenting Margaret Jackson, Head of Greiggs Village School in St Vincent, with a cheque in March 2020.

Dr Christina Welch and Dr Niall Finneran presenting Margaret Jackson, Head of Greiggs Village School in St Vincent, with a cheque in March 2020


This research has had positive impacts for the teaching of history, museums development and cultural tourism in the eastern Caribbean, specifically:

  • Improved tourism footfall
  • Curriculum development and enhancement, development of educational resources
  • Fundraising and content development for new community heritage centres, heritage trail and museum
  • Assistance in training in heritage asset identification, at the request of the Caribbean Tourist Organisation

Find out more about our work in the Caribbean

Dr Niall Finneran is Reader in Historical Archaeology and Heritage Studies.


Find out about the University of Winchester's REF 2014 submission for Archaeology

C17 Business & Management Studies

UoA Lead

Dr Simon Smith

UoA Overview

This is the University of Winchester Business School’s first submission to this UoA. Established in 2008, it was one of the first UK Business Schools to adopt the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management (PRME) and was awarded PRME Champion School status in 2016, 2018 and 2020. This has provided a context for developing research for a UoA 17 submission that has a responsible management theme across a range of business disciplines in addition to more established business management subjects.


Dr Justin Beneke
Dr Karen Blakeley
Dr Kim Bradley-Cole
Dr Jorge Bruno
Prof Maria Burke
Dr Suparna De
Dr Martina Goudie-Hutton 
Dr Richard Gunton
Prof Denise Hewlett
Dr Jing Lu
Dr Hannah Marriott
Prof Neil Marriott
Em. Prof Carole Parkes
Dr Manuela Pilato
Dr Hugues Séraphin
Dr Simon Smith

Impact Case Studies

Emeritus Professor Carole Parkes: The Impact of the University of Winchester Business School as an early adopter and Champion School for the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRiME)

The University of Winchester Business School has been a pioneering signatory to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) since its foundation, which coincided with the launch of PRME. The close alignment of the PRME Principles with the University mission and values played a central role in informing its teaching and research policies and strategies. This case study focusses on the body of work developed by key Winchester academics who helped shape the development of PRME with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and communities locally (within UK & Ireland), globally (as a PRME Champion) and within UN PRME as an organisation.

Carole Parkes is Emerita Professor of Responsible Management.

Prof. Denise Hewlett: Safeguarding and Enhancing Tranquillity in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)

The Broadly Engaging with Tranquillity project is an ESRC-funded high-resolution study into modelling public perceptions of the concept of 'tranquillity' in AONBs and national parks. The study area comprises the landscape of the Dorset AONB in southern England and integrates with the seascape of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The project results from a collaborative partnership between academics and practitioners, including the Dorset AONB team and staff at Dorset County Council. The results of this groundbreaking study have supported Dorset’s authorities in their management of Dorset’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty  (AONB), and have been transferred for use in other counties and in other protected areas.

The initial BET project has since led to several follow-up projects. BET Easy and Refiner (BETER) has sped up the process of surveying tranquillity for any space, whether urban, rural or coastal, to just two weeks, while Transforming Tranquillity focusses on how man-made infrastructures in the landscape negatively affect people's experiences of the countryside.

sustainability and tranquillity research at the University of Winchester: three windmills piercing through low cloud against dramatic sky

Denise Hewlett is Professor of Knowledge Exchange in the Winchester Business School.

Find out more about the Tranquillity projects.

C18 Law

UoA Lead

Dr Emma Nottingham

UoA Overview

This is the first University of Winchester REF submission for this UoA. The UoA's research activity derives from two active research centres: the Centre for Information Rights and the Centre for Parliament and Public Law.


Dr Emma Nottingham
Christine Rinik
Dr Craig Prescott

Information Rights expertise at Winchester: a child's gazing face surrounded by social media icons

Impact Case Studies

Dr Emma Nottingham: Generation Tagged: Protecting children who appear on broadcast and social media

The research examines the (in)adequacy of the protections offered to children exposed on broadcast and social media and coins the term ‘Generation Tagged’ to describe these children. It also explores the wider ethical and policy implications affecting not only the children themselves but society as a whole. Find out more about the Generation Tagged Project.


the research has shaped Government debate and influenced law and policy change. The research recommends that online hosts have a duty of care to children and in March 2019 the Government announced that the recommendation for a ‘duty of care’ would become law. This has been developed further in the Online Harms White paper. The research has influenced the attitudes of broadcast media providers Hosted workshop relating to strand 1 research which was attended by three representatives of Channel 4 – the Executive Producer of the ‘Secret Lives’ series, the Commissioning Editor and the Compliance Lawyer. Channel 4 commented extensively on the subsequent report. These comments shaped the final publication and many were embedded within it.

Impact on child welfare organisations:

The Children’s Commissioner sent representation to the workshop referred to above and in the description of Strand 1 in section 2 above. The key research recommendation, for the implementation of a ‘duty care’ is reflected in their report ‘Who knows what about me?’ (2018) and their proposed ‘Duty of Care Owed by Online Service Providers to Children’ (2019). The research has been referred to by the British Society of Social Workers and has been the subject of extended Tweeting by the NSPCC.

Impact on public and community groups:

There has been extensive press coverage of the research including a 20-minute interview on Voice FM in November 2019 that included discussion of our research output [strand 1] and extensive consideration of ‘Generation Tagged’ and the depiction of children on broadcast and social media. An interview BBC 5Live and BBC Radio Sheffield on the how Alfie Evans campaign has made him a part of ‘Generation Tagged’; BBC Radio Sheffied also featured post-interview comments from the presenters on ‘generation tagged’. That’s Hampshire TV conducted a dedicated broadcast to our research outputs. A number of press interviews were given, including to the Sunday Times in Australia, which published its own guidance for parents involved in ‘sharenting’ activity based directly upon this interview. This work was also featured in the parents’ magazine ‘Smallish’ and the fashion and beauty magazine ‘Glamour’.

Impact on attitudes and behaviours of parents:

Parents have contacted us to say that our outputs have changed their attitudes towards the digital world and their online behaviour. This change in behaviour relates to concerns expressed in our research about companies having data about products purchased for his child.

Impact on teaching and learning, curriculum design and professional career prospects of undergraduate students:

‘Generation tagged’ has been included as a topic of study in lectures and tutorials. The outputs have been given to students as part of their set reading. A number of students have chosen to undertake a dissertation on related topics after reading the outputs. This in turn has led to several students taking part in our activities as Student Fellows or as WRAP students. Two of the students were involved in the authorship of the workshop report ‘Have Generation tagged lost their Privacy?’ (2017). One of these students went on to give an interview to The New Statesman, which reaches a wide non-academic audience.

Impact on professional practice:

Upon learning about the research, the Family Mediation Council updated their Mediation agreement document, which now includes strict instructions with regards to taking photographs and posting on social media.

Christine Rinik: Challenging and changing attitudes and practice regarding the implementation and use of machine learning algorithms within policing

The use of machine learning (ML) algorithms by the police has grown in importance over recent years, as the police explore how adoption of new technologies might facilitate their work in an age of austerity. A series of collaborative interdisciplinary studies of the use of ML algorithms within policing, including the first study of an operational implementation in the UK, has drawn important conclusions regarding oversight, regulation, and legal compliance. The work focussed on the generation and utilisation of personal data, the development of algorithmic ML tools, and their deployment within law enforcement. The study uncovered a lack of consistency in current use of algorithmic tools by police forces, a lack of a uniform approach to the management of information across police forces and a need for additional training, and has made a series of key recommendations.


The research has been used to influence thinking and practice of policing organisations nationally and has enhanced the knowledge of campaigning organisations and thus their ability to challenge the use of this new technology.

The research has influenced policy debate in the UK and EU and has enabled more informed, focussed discussion within national and specialist press.

C19 Politics and International Studies

UoA Lead

Dr Sean Roberts 

UoA Overview

The Politics and International Studies Unit covers several distinctive but intersecting research areas reflecting the University of Winchester's strategic priorities as well as the research interests of individual members.

Research themes

  • Global Order & Transition (e.g. China-US relations; global financial flows and emerging markets)
  • Regional Order & Security (e.g. European Security, Russian & Eurasian regime security)
  • Gender, Youth & Participation (e.g. women and militarisation; generational attitudes towards war and peace)
  • Intercultural Competences & Norms (e.g. religious freedoms, human rights and authoritarian norm diffusion)

The Unit has close ties with the University's high-impact Centre for Religion, Reconciliation and Peace.


Dr Dimitra Pachi

Dr Maximilian Terhalle

Prof. Anat Scolnicov

Dr Victoria Stadheim

Dr Ulrike Ziemer

Impact Case Studies

Prof. Anat Scolnicov: A framework for interpretation and protection of religious freedom as an individual right

Prof. Scolnicov's work is concerned with conflicts between individual and collective rights, and offers a framework for a supremacy of individual rights.


Prof. Scolnicov's work on corporate human rights was used in argument in front of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and was used in argument in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. Her work arguing for supremacy of individual rights of religious freedom was used in consultation by the UN mandate holder on the rights of religious, linguistic and national minorities, and by NGOs such as the Universal Rights Group and the Canadian Council on Christian Charities.

Prof. Anat Scolnicov is Professor of Law.

Dr Ulrike Ziemer: Women and militarisation in the South Caucasus

This Impact Case Study provides evidence on how research into the militarisation of women's lives has positively impacted on local communities in the South Caucasus. The combination of workshops, training, public talks and academic publications has enhanced our knowledge and understanding of the role of militarisation, which, in turn, has guided training for women NGO activists in the region. Evaluation data demonstrate that research-informed communal projects have contributed to a noticeable change in the beneficiaries' attitudes and behaviour.

In June 2018, Dr Ziemer held a Participatory Needs Assessment Workshop for NGO activists, as part of the international conference Religion and Culture in Conflict and Peace at the University of Winchester, organised by the University's Centre for Religion, Reconciliation and Peace.

Her 2019 edited volume Women's Everyday Lives in War and Peace in the South Caucasus is among the top used publications on SpringerLink that concern one or more United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in this case SDG 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. 

Find out more about Dr Ziemer's expertise in conflict in the Caucasus.

University of Winchester peace and reconciliation research impact: Sociologist Dr Ulrike Ziemer hosting a workshop on women and militarisation for NGOs in June 2018

Dr Ulrike Ziemer and the panel of NGO activists from the Participatory Needs Assessment Workshop presenting their experiences of working in the South Caucasus during the international conference Religion and Culture in Conflict and Peace at the University of Winchester in June 2018

Dr Ulrike Ziemer is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology.

C20 Social Work and Social Policy

UoA Lead

Dr Jen Dickinson

This is the first REF submission for this interdisciplinary unit, comprising staff from Animal Welfare, Health and Wellbeing, Criminology, Sociology and Geography.

Research clusters and members:

Impact Case Studies

Dr Amanda Lees, Impacting Social Prescribing 

Research undertaken by and has transformed understanding and evidence around the benefit to health and wellbeing of arts and social activities delivered by providers outside of the traditional health and care system.

These findings have shaped national social prescribing policy and were cited by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in his speech to the Kings Fund on social prescribing in November 2018. Findings are also included in the first World Health Organisation (WHO) report on the evidence for arts and health which has a remit to influence international health policy.

Researchers have developed resources and continuing professional development to equip third sector agencies to enhance their practice and contribution to community health and wellbeing. This contributed to the Winchester Diocese winning £7m to build community health/wellbeing and to St Johns Winchester capacity building to deliver social prescribing with three GP practices.

Dr Amanda Lees is a Visiting Researcher in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing.

Dr Steven McCullochAnimal welfare impact assessment, Brexit and sentience policy

Dr Steven McCulloch is a researcher and Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Studies in the University's Centre for Animal Welfare. His research investigates how UK Government accounts for the interests of sentient species, proposes Animal Welfare Impact Assessment (AWIA) and an independent Animal Welfare Council to better account for animals’ interests, and applies these reforms to Brexit and badger culling.

For further information, explore chlorinatedchickenbrexit.com.

Animal welfare at Winchester: image of a badger


Dr McCulloch’s research has influenced post-Brexit sentience policy in the UK, principally through the ‘Better Deal for Animals’ (BDFA) campaign. The BDFA campaign is coordinated by >40 leading UK-based animal protection NGOs. The campaign has lobbied for AWIA and an Animal Welfare Council based on Dr McCulloch’s work.

C23 Education

UoA Leads

Dr Emile Bojesen

Dr Victoria Randall

UoA Overview

The bulk of this UoA's research activity derives from three research centres: the Centre for Philosophy of Education, the Centre for the History of Women’s Education, and the Centre for Real-World Learning, as well as the Institute of Education.


Prof. Kate Adams
Dr Sue Anderson-Faithful
John Batten
Dr Shaun Best
Dr Simon Boxley
Dr Hazel Brown
Dr Alexis Gibbs
Prof. Joyce Goodman
Michael Hall
Dr Janet Hanson
Dr Rebekah Howes
Dr Craig Johnston
Prof. Bill Lucas
Dr Marie Morgan
Dr Jaclyn Murray
Dr Thomas Norgaard
Amanda Norman
Dr Alasdair Richardson
Dr Ellen Spencer
Prof. Stephanie Spencer
Dr Caroline Stockman
Prof. Nigel Tubbs
Dr Wayne Veck

Impact Case Studies

Dr Victoria Randall: Developing the Next Generation of Primary Physical Educators

This impact case study details research providing evidence on primary physical education initial teacher training (ITT) in England following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The research presented in the case study has stimulated national debate and policy development within non-government and parliamentary organisations on the decreasing numbers of qualified teachers teaching curriculum physical education in primary schools. Furthermore, it gives insight into how government funding through the Primary PE and Sport Premium has impacted upon pre-service teachers’ opportunities to teach during their ITT.

This research has led to the development of materials to support primary physical education practice, a national network of primary physical education teacher educators, and improved engagement by Higher Education within political spaces to influence future policy agendas.

For further information, read The All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood's:

Primary PE and Sport Premium Report

Impact Assessment of media launch on 18/2/19

Dr Victoria Randall is a Senior Fellow of Knowledge Exchange in the University's Institute of Education.

Reimagining creativity in teaching and assessment across the world

Research by the University of Winchester's Centre for Real-World Learning (CRL) has led to shifts in public policy in education and changes to pedagogical/assessment practices nationally/internationally regarding creativity. CRL has developed a novel tool to reframe of creativity in schools, known as the Tallis Habits Pedagogy Wheel (Thomas Tallis School in London is a longstanding adopter of the CRL model.) The model is now in use in 20+ countries, underpinning an acclaimed handbook for teachers. The model has led to policy/practice developments in Australia/England and changes in a similarly undertheorised, interdisciplinary area: engineering in schools. In England, Prof. Lucas advised the Durham Commission on Creativity in Education (2018-2019). Read the Durham Commission’s on Creativity in Education's final report.

The success of the Tallis Habits model led the OECD to initiate to a four-year, eleven-country research project into fostering and assessing creative/critical thinking. CRL’s Tallis Habits model was used in all eleven countries, especially in Hungary, Thailand and Wales. The results of the OECD’s research, Fostering Students’ Creativity and Critical Thinking: What it means in school, was published in 2019. This OECD publication marks a significant international shift of interest in policy with regard to the teaching and assessing of creativity in schools by (a) confirming the importance of creativity (b) demonstrating that it can be taught intentionally (validating CRL research into the role of signature pedagogies) and (c) suggesting approaches to its assessment.

In parallel to these developments, Prof. Lucas was approached in 2016 by PISA, the OECD’s influential Programme for International Student Assessment, to help develop thinking for a new PISA test in 2021 as part of the PISA innovative domain. From an initial paper prepared by CRL, subsequent development work with the OECD and a personal presentation by Lucas to the PISA General Board in 2017, Creative Thinking was selected as the focus of the new PISA test in 2021, and Prof. Lucas was appointed co-chair of the strategic advisory group. Find out more about the PISA 2021 creative thinking framework.

Reframing education for engineering through research on habits of mind and signature pedagogies

CRL's research is transforming the way education for engineering in schools is conceived in England and internationally. Traditionally seen through the lens of subjects like physics and mathematics, engineering has been reframed through CRL’s research as a set of Engineering Habits of Mind(EHoM).


EHoM has become a core model for the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) as a way of reframing engineering to address the shortage of engineers and lack of diversity in young people choosing it as a career.

In 2018, EHoM was selected by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers as one of six big ideas for the global future of engineering education. Nationally, EHoM has inspired changes in teaching practices, while the CRL’s model is also used in Norway, Australia, Sweden and Germany. London’s Science Museum, in collaboration with RAEng, adopted the model to underpin the major interactive exhibition Engineer your future.


Nearly twenty per cent of all outputs submitted in Winchester's Education submission to REF 2014 were deemed to be of world-leading quality. The percentage of overall research activity judged to be world-leading more than doubled since RAE 2008. Sixty per cent of all outputs submitted was judged to be either world-leading or internationally excellent, with 87% overall being of international quality or above. Forty per cent of research submitted was recognised as having very considerable impact in terms of reach and significance, with the reach and significance of a hundred per cent of our submission recognised as having either considerable or very considerable impact.

Find out more about the University of Winchester's REF 2014 submission for Education

C24 Sport & Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism

UoA Leads

Dr James Faulkner

Dr Matthew Smith

UoA Overview

REF 2021 is the University of Winchester’s inaugural submission to UoA24. The current configuration of this UoA incorporates one member of staff who was entered in to REF2014 (Anderson, UoA23), a critical mass of staff from the School of Sport, Health and Community, following growth of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (Anderson, Batey, Cheetham, Cotterill, Faulkner, Holder, Jobson, Smith), and colleagues based in the Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technologies (BLTD; Bah, Mhanna). For REF 2021, the UoA includes 10 Category A submitted staff (9.2 FTE). During the REF 2021 exercise are objectives have included: i) submit internationally excellent and world leading research outputs; ii) Increase the proportion of full-time academic staff engaged in research; iii) submit impact case studies with outstanding impacts; and iv) develop a thriving research culture.

To support our REF 2021 objectives, UoA24 has developed the Sport and Exercise Research Centre, a dynamic hub of researchers working together within three distinct areas to solve pertinent challenges locally, nationally and globally through internationally excellent research in:

  • Physical activity, health and wellbeing
  • Sport performance
  • Promoting positive sporting outcomes


Prof. Eric Anderson

Dr Mamadou Bah

Dr Jo Batey

Richard Cheetham

Dr Stewart Cotterill

Tim Holder

Prof. Simon Jobson

Dr Rami Mhanna

Impact Case Studies

Dr James Faulkner: Exercise participation following stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack: informing the HELP Hampshire Stroke Clinic

HELP Hampshire is a collaborative, community-based project that provides a health-enhancing lifestyle programme for people who have suffered a stroke or TIA in Hampshire, UK.

Testimonials include:

"It's a revolutionary programme for the benefit of us all."

"I have noticed huge improvements in my quality of life. It has been fun, social and very worthwhile."

Dr James Faulkner has been voted one of 100 ‘Nation’s Lifesavers’ by Universities UK in their MadeatUni campaign for his HELP Hampshire initiative. Read James Faulkner's story on the MadeatUni website.

Find out more about the HELP Hampshire stroke clinic.

HELP Hampshire Stroke Clinic: medical scientist standing by older man lying on a bench with blood pressure band around his upper arm

Prof. Eric Anderson: Changing masculinities and approaches to injury/safety in children's sport?

This research has explored how the softening of masculinity in recent times has led to reduced societal and parental pressure for children/boys to be involved in contact sports. Greater awareness of alternative masculinities, and greater acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities have led to a shift in the culture of sport at all levels. As masculinity softened, perceptions of the association between sport and hegemonic masculinity have also changed, leading men to be likely to take less risks (e.g. less willingness to be involved in aggressive sports), which will lead to reduced injury rates in contact sports.


The impact of this research has occurred through three key areas:

  • Influence on societal understanding and acceptance of alterative versions of masculinity in a sport setting;
  • Influence on the teaching of sport-related subjects in UK higher education institutions;
  • Influence on public debate into the safety of contact sport and the need for greater protection to be afforded to children.

Further information

The Conversation 2020: Football and dementia: heading must be banned until the age of 18

New York Times 2019: 'A Frat Boy and a Gentleman' (American student fraternities embracing a more inclusive form of masculinity)

The Guardian 2016: UK health experts call for ban on tackling in school rugby (open letter urges schools to move to touch or non-contact rugby to avoid serious injuries )

Prof. Eric Anderson is Professor of Sport, Masculinities & Sexualities.

D27 English Language and Literature

UoA Leads

Dr Barbara Loester

Dr Julian Stannard

UoA Overview

This is the first University of Winchester REF submission for this UoA. The remit of the unit is wide-ranging, including linguistics, the history of English literature, comparative literature, creative and critical writing. This is reflected in the staff expertise, the breadth of their publications and our impact case studies. Focal points for the linguistic field range from historical topics such as birdlore in Anglo-Saxon England to sociolinguistic explorations of identity in peripheral communities, both geographical and social. In literature, the themes are equally diverse, ranging from explorations of the Gothic in various forms to questions of literary adaptation. In creative writing there is a strong focus on practice, particularly in relation to poetry in various forms and creative practice and analysis connected to music, such as song lyrics. The publications in this field range from poetry and a novel to critical and practice-as-research outputs focussing on creative writing in education, particularly with regard to creative and critical writing skills.


Dr Carolin Esser-Miles
Dr Gary Farnell
Glenn Fosbraey
Dr Judith Heneghan
Dr Eric Lacey
Dr Mark Rutter
Judy Waite

Impact Case Studies

Judy Waite: Wordtamer: Using Creativity to Boost Literacy

The Wordtamer project evolved from earlier Ofsted observations related to falling standards of literacy in schools. The intention was to connect creativity with education and literacy. Initial practice-based studies were undertaken with pupils identified as performing below national literacy targets. Research identified pupils’ established negative attitudes, then explored viable methodologies to re-engage them with creative thinking and writing. The project identifies an embedding of new attitudes and strategies expressed by participants, demonstrating positive engagement with writing within an educational – and sometimes personal – context.


Waite’s research has resulted in the Wordtamer multi-platform series of resources, which helps teachers put creativity back into literacy education:

? Impact on primary and secondary education: Wordtamer resources have impacted on the achievement and attitudes of students across a range of abilities, ages and geo-/demographic areas. For example, low performing pupils climbed 1 to 1.5 levels on the National Curriculum Literacy scale in only six weeks.
? Impact on teacher training: Student teachers have been trained on the theory and practice of Wordtamer which has, for example, helped participants to incorporate new ideas into their teaching.
? Impact nationally and internationally: Wordtamer is being used in university outreach programmes for GCSE students, and to enhance literacy in schools globally, particularly within the sphere of International schools who use the National Curriculuum to underpin literacy-based learning.

Judy Waite is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and an award-winning children's author.

The impact of University of Winchester creativity and literacy research: cover of the book Wordtamer by Judy Waite, depicting a flying red dragon against a starry sky

Cover image of Wordtamer, by Judy Waite

Dr Eric Lacey: Animals in early medieval England: impact on our understanding of their lived experience

Dr Lacey has been carrying out research into birds in early medieval England, which has demonstrated  that aural perception and interaction were at least as important as the visual ways we usually think about interacting with the natural world today. Secondly, it has shown that superstitions on the morbid auguries of birds like ravens were anchored in real observed behaviour of these animals adapting to life around people, and thirdly, that falconry was practised across a wide range of social classes and left a deep impression in the names of places in the British landscape.


Dr Lacey’s research has transformed both how we understand and how we recreate early medieval human-animal interactions in England:

  • Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Assassin’s Creed franchise is one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. Dr Lacey’s research helped developers make the game “as immersive as possible… [and] this immersion is central to our franchise”.
  • Public understanding: Lacey’s research informed the Penguin Monarchs biography of Athelstan. His article in the BBC History Magazine inspired a series of secondary school classes.
  • Heritage practice: Dr Lacey’s research on falconry informed the understanding of heritage professionals, teachers and the public. For example, historical re-enactors have changed the way they present British heritage at sites like West Stow.

Dr Eric Lacey is a historical linguist and Senior Lecturer in English Language. 

D28 History

UoA Lead

Dr James Ross

UoA Overview

The History UoA sits within the Department of History, which also includes a separate programme for Classical Studies; staff from Classical Studies have been submitted within the History UoA and work closely alongside them in terms of both teaching and research.

History is one of the University of Winchester's traditionally strong areas of research, and the REF 2021 submission builds on existing strengths, particularly in medieval European history and global modern history. Since the last REF assessment, it has sought to expand the geographical and chronological coverage of its research and research-led teaching, as well as of its methodological and historical approaches.

Research is primarily grouped within three research centres, the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Research, the Modern History Research Centre, and the Wessex Centre for History and Archaeology. Although two are explicitly interdisciplinary and include staff from other UoAs, these are primarily convened by historians and funded through the History UoA. A fourth centre, the interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies, sits outside the department but four of the five co-convenors since 2014 have been historians and it also reflects a research strength of UoA 28.

The History UoA has long-standing interest in local history and close links with local heritage and community groups, particularly within Winchester, but more broadly in Hampshire and southern England. It also has global reach and impact, through worldwide research networks such as the Royal Studies Network and major funded projects such as the Hispanic Anglosphere project.


Impact Case Studies

The Impact Case Studies submitted to REF 2021 reflect the strength of medieval research and research-led teaching in History.

Ruling in an era of conquest

This impact case study shows how innovative research into rulership in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England has enriched and enhanced public interaction with the past, particularly with regard to Wessex and Winchester. Professor Ryan Lavelle and Dr Katherine Weikert have engaged with community stakeholders, heritage groups and the history-consuming publics to develop new approaches to heritage interpretation and local tourism ventures. Through pioneering research, they have furthered understanding of key aspects of early medieval rulership, such as women in power and places of power: areas that have tremendous public appeal and relevance to modern audiences.


Dr Katherine Weikert, Prof. Ryan Lavelle and Prof. Barbara Yorke in conversation with TV presenter, author and historian Prof. Michael Wood at the 2018 Winchester Heritage Open Days


This research has had notable impact, bringing social, cultural and economic benefits to heritage institutions and enhancing the experiences of history-consuming public on a global scale. The team has impacted public understanding of the past by informing audiences of millions in the UK and beyond through partnerships with international broadcast, online and print media outlets, notably through Lavelle’s work as historial consultant for the hit BBC TV series The Last Kingdom. In the city of Winchester, the work of Lavelle and Weikert has had substantial impact on the cultural and tourism programming of heritage organisations, such as Hampshire Cultural Trust and Heritage Open Days, contributing to their economic security and long-term sustainability.

Late medieval rulership

Late Medieval rulers, and their impact on the people they ruled, are of key importance in understanding the political, social, cultural and economic development of the British Isles and Europe. The research of Dr James Ross and Dr Ellie Woodacre, through enhanced understanding of kingship and queenship in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, both in England and its continental context, has had impact in the educational context, and has also raised public awareness regarding the culture, politics and society of late medieval/early modern society among a non-expert audience.

A major project on The Chamber Books of Henry VII and Henry VIII 1485-1521 impacted on understanding, learning and participation through work with teachers in developing new educational resources, made publicly available at www.tudorchamberbooks.org and enhancing the delivery of the curriculum at both A-level and primary school level in selected schools. In the city of Winchester, as with the impact case study on ‘Ruling in an Era of Conquest’, work with Hampshire Cultural Trust, Winchester Tourist Information and Winchester cathedral has enhanced public awareness of heritage and culture.


Of the publications produced by the History Department, 15.4% were rated as ‘world-leading’ (4*) and a further 41% regarded as ‘internationally excellent’ in terms of originality, significance and rigour (3*). In terms of ‘impact’, 60% of the History Department’s work was deemed to have ‘very considerable impacts in terms of their reach and significance’ (3*), a further 30% to have ‘considerable impacts’ in these respects (2*).

The two impact case studies submitted, on Fifteenth-Century England and the Local and Regional History of Wessex, reflected the History Department’s longstanding expertise in these areas. Well-funded projects such as Mapping the Medieval Countryside, using the latest techniques to digitise landholding records, together with excellent research on Richard III, have attracted national and international interest, stimulated by the excavation of Richard III’s remains.

Find out more about The University of Winchester's REF 2014 submission for History

D31 Theology and Religious Studies

UoA Lead

Prof. Neil Messer

UoA Overview

Unit of Assessment 31 (Theology and Religious Studies) brings together staff from the Department of Theology, Religion and Philosophy (TRP), the Centre for Religion, Reconciliation and Peace (CRRP), and the Institute for Value Studies (IVS).

Particular strengths and research emphases are:

  • Religion, reconciliation and peacebuilding, building on the CRRP’s world-class expertise and experience in this field
  • Death, religion and culture
  • The intersections of Continental philosophy with theology and religion
  • The intersections of science, theology and ethics
  • Orthodox Christian studies and theology

Impact Case Studies

Centre for Religion, Reconciliation and Peace: Transforming conflict and building peace through religion and conflict analysis

This case study presents robust evidence of the impact of our applied research on better understanding religions’ role in reconciliation and peacebuilding through four examples: three case studies which showcase our work in conflict affected countries, Myanmar, Somalia and Uganda, and the significance and reach of our research on organisations and practitioners globally.


In Myanmar, our research methods and insights have directly informed peacebuilding project design, implementation, and activities in five post-conflict locations; projects which have clearly resulted in attitudinal and behavioural changes in people previously divided by ethno-religious violence. In Somalia, our pioneering religious peacebuilding analysis framework was used by the Somali government to help bring peace in Herale, Central Somalia, and the establishment of a ‘New Inclusive Galmudug’ state. Our research also supported the development and implementation of the first ever ‘National Reconciliation Framework for Somalia’. In Uganda our research informed the Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) work with local faith-based peacebuilders to successfully prevent and manage conflict between South Sudan refugees, and between refugees and Ugandan host communities. Organisations such as JRS, and the Religions for Peace global network have used our research to underpin their strategies and objectives, which shape faith-based peacebuilding activities in over 50 countries.

Find out more about the Religion and Conflict Analysis Project

Professor Neil Messer: Informing bioethics policy in European Protestant churches

This case study demonstrates the links between Prof. Neil Messer’s expertise in theological bioethics and his contribution to the policy and practice of the European Protestant churches on ethical questions. This is focussed through the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE).


In 2012 Prof. Messer was invited to join the CPCE’s Expert Group on Ethics because of his reputation in theology and bioethics. He edited and co-authored A Guide to the Ethics of Reproductive Medicine, the Expert Group’s main task from 2013-18. This has been the subject of a colloquium at the European Parliament, influenced CPCE’s further work on ethical questions, been used as an educational resource in member churches, and informed their policy and practice.


The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) graded 42% of our submission as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*). Overall, 85% of our research in theology and religion was deemed of international quality (2* and above). For economic, social and cultural impact, our Theology and Religious Studies submission was ranked 15th in the UK by Times Higher Education, with 20% ‘outstanding’ (4*) in its reach and significance, 70% ‘very considerable’ (3*) and 10% ‘considerable’ (2*).

Find out more about the University of Winchester's REF 2014 submission for Theology and Religious Studies

D33 Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film & Screen Studies

UoA Lead

Prof. Millie Taylor

UoA Overview

Comprising staff from the School of Performing Arts, the School of Media and Film and the Centre for Performance Practice and Research, this unit focusses on interdisciplinary practices and an increased use of Practice as Research (PaR). The body of socially engaged work produced by these researchers promotes inclusivity and community cohesion. Research has been consolidated around two thematic strands: interdisciplinary approaches to sound, voice and embodiment, and: reinventing histories and the politics of identity.


Prof. Yvon Bonenfant

Prof. June Boyce-Tillman

Prof. Norma Daykin

Prof. Tim Prentki

Dr Marilena Zaroulia

Charlotte Purkis 

Dr Marianne Sharp

DrStevie Simkin

Dr Olu Taiwo

Dr Noyle Colin

Lucia King

Dr Matt Lockitt

Dr Adam Rush

Dr Tom Tlalim

Dr Richard Cuming

Dr Catherine Seago

Gordon Murray

Impact Case Studies

Dr Tom Tlalim: Tonotopia: Lending an Ear to Cochlear Implants: Creating and curating accessible Sound Art in museum spaces

Dr Tom Tlalim is an artist, musician and researcher whose work explores the relationship between sound, technology and political power. His practice includes installations, sound art, films and text. In his artistic residency and recent exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), Dr Tlalim adopted a multimodal approach, combining qualitative interviews and creative collaboration with people who have cochlear implants (CI). Dr Tlalim's study articulates their unique experience and listening identity.

The project was supported by the charity Action on Hearing Loss (AOHL) and commissioned by the V&A’s Learning Department through a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The exhibition at the V&A provided a unique opportunity for Action on Hearing Loss to engage and lobby with the government by building unique relationships with the UK Arts Council’s Disabilities Champion, and the Minister of State for Disabled People, who came for a private viewing, where an opportunity emerged for the charity to meet with the minister and raise awareness to the needs of people with hearing loss. 


The research has impacted areas of health and wellbeing, creativity, art and culture, social welfare, ethical practices in the delivery of professional services, and public policy, understanding, learning and participation. Beneficiaries include the CI community and their care industry, museums, the charity sector, acousticians, science communicators, and the culture industry. Tonotopia was also instrumental in the development of innovative educational programmes in sound, media arts and CI, and features in the Winchester Science Centre's current exhibition, Sound, as a hands-on, interactive display aimed at young children and their families.

University of Winchester art meets science: Artist and academic Dr Tom Tlalim at the Winchester Science Centre beside his display Tonotopia, the Listening Shell: Music for Cochlear Implant users

Art meets science: Dr Tom Tlalim at the Winchester Science Centre with his hands-on display Tonotopia, the Listening Shell

The project has also become a case study for the V&A, prompting them to adopt research-led engagement with a marginalised CI audience, leading to increased diversity and access to cultural participation. The V&A curator commented that "Tlalim’s artistic research approaches to disability technology and the body as cultural rather than technical design ethic, adopting a direct qualitative approach, appeals to the ‘heart’.

Gordon Murray: Fallout

Having worked for many years using Verbatim Theatre, Murray established a network of nuclear test veterans, their descendants, and the nuclear community internationally (Australia, the UK and online). The Fallout Project created an original way of developing community drama using verbatim techniques that would have greater audience reach and accessibility than live theatre. Following interviews, he developed a series of short polyphonic sonic/audio dramas that were disseminated to the original community and beyond, including to BBC Radio 4 for an edition of Archive on 4 titled ‘After the Fallout’ (14 March 2020).


The project, supported with funding and mentoring within the Unit, had impact on the community itself, on their key stakeholder organisations, on their policies and marketing strategies.

To find out more about Fallout, explore the Centre for Performance Practice and Research.

Listen to BBC Radio 4's After the Fallout

Gordon Murray is Senior Lecturer in Drama (Community Theatre & Media).


In REF 2104, 78% of our output was classed as internationally recognised or higher. In terms of impact, 80% was awarded 3* and 20% 2*; in terms of research environment, 40% 3* and 60% 2*.

Find out more about the University of Winchester's 2014 submission for Music, Dance, Drama and Performing Arts.

D34 Communications, Cultural & Media Studies, Library & Information Management

UoA Lead

Prof. Jude Davies

UoA Overview

UoA34 brings together research in communication, cultural and media studies from the eighteenth century to the present. Particular strengths lie in multidisciplinary approaches to film, the body, and identity. Research on identity representations was identified as particularly valuable by REF2014. Work in UoA34 is cohered in the University’s Culture-Media-Text Research Centre.


Imruh Bakari
Prof. Inga Bryden
Prof. Alec Charles
Dr Neil Ewen
Dr Ruth Gilbert
Dr David Giles
Prof. Laura Hubner
Prof. Marcus Leaning
Dr Matthew Leggatt
Dr Francis Mason
Prof. Chris Mounsey
Dr Alex Taylor
Mark de Valk
Dr Daniel Varndell

Impact Case Studies

Imruh Bakari: ‘Black Britain’s Film Heritage’

With a focus on ‘Culture and the Creative Industries’ within the global framework of ‘Pan-African Cinema’, Black Britain’s Film Heritage informs a critical engagement with civil society and cultural production that links the Caribbean presence in Britain globally. The research has made interventions into current debates engaging: i) practitioners in the creative industries, community activists, and professionals concerned with issues of archives and archiving in Britain, and the related issues of history and its narratives and representation; and, ii) policymakers in Africa concerned with the role of culture and the creative industries in realizing sustainable development.

Imruh Bakari is a Senior Fellow of Knowledge Exchange in the School of Media and Film, a filmmaker, writer and creative industries consultant.

Professor Neil McCaw: ‘Enriching the public understanding of Victorian popular literature through education and culture’ 

Research undertaken on Victorian popular literature by Neil McCaw, Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture. led to the development of two museum exhibitions, an animated short film, a textbook, regional policy briefings, and GCSE-level in-school mentoring and teaching. The exhibitions have been visited by in excess of 200,000 members of the general public, including a number of targeted educational and hard-to-reach groups – for whom specific educational projects have been set up. The visitor feedback for these activities reveals significant success in enhancing knowledge in key areas, as well as in improving the public perception of the city in which the displays have taken place. The animated film has been viewed by in excess of 1 million viewers, and has been very well received as a contribution to wider public understanding, and the classroom work led to impressive examination scores and enhanced performance by many of the pupils involved.

Professor Marcus Leaning: ‘Developing Critical Information Skills’ 

Marcus Leaning’s research on the teaching of media and information literacy in higher education has had an impact on individuals, groups of individuals, and organisations in the UK and countries overseas. This involves the structuring of educational practices that combine high-level information searching and engagement activities drawn from the field of information literacy with critical and evaluative skills drawn from the field of media education. This approach entails developing educational practices to simultaneously enhance digital skills and critical practices in engaging with information and assists students in dealing with fake news and similar issues in social media.

Marcus Leaning is Professor of Digital Media Education in the School of Media and Film.


Find out more about the University of Winchester's REF 2014 submission for Communications, Cultural & Media Studies, Library & Information Management