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Research in Schools


Students in a laboratoryThe majority of the research at the University of St Andrews takes place within the Academic Schools and Research Centres. The diverse range of these research areas can be seen below. The excellent quality of research at the University is demonstrated by the results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Art History

The School of Art History has an international reputation for excellence in research. The research interests of the School extend from the Mediaeval to the Modern periods, comprising the art of Renaissance Italy, British architecture, furniture history, photography, and 19th- and 20th-century art in Britain, France and Russia.



Research at the School of Chemistry is part of EaStCHEM, a world-class research group based at St Andrews and Edinburgh. EaStCHEM's research themes: the Chemistry/Biology Interface, Experimental and Theoretical Chemical Physics and Molecular Synthetic Chemistry cover a wide range of areas and build on the existing strengths of the parent Universities.


The University of St Andrews has been a centre for Classical studies since its foundation in 1413, and the School of Classics' staff continues to build on its reputation for research.

Computer Science

Computer Science has a top-class group of researchers with interests in a wide range of areas of theoretical and practical computer science:

  • Artificial intelligence and symbolic computation, including constraint programming, computational algebra and computational logic and natural language processing, image processing and robotics.
  • Human Computer Interaction, including pervasive and ubiquitous computing, input and output technologies, intelligent interactive systems and visualisation.
  • Networked and distributed systems, including distributed and autonomic systems, middleware, network design and architecture, wireless and sensor networks, performance measurement and distributed learning environments.
  • Systems engineering, including software engineering, system dependability and social informatics.


The School of Divinity staff have an internationally renowned reputation for high quality research.

Earth Sciences and Environmental Sciences

Economics and Finance


The School of English has been ranked third in the UK, and first in Scotland, in the most recent league table of research intensive departments (2014). With over 90% of our staff submitted, 86% of our research has been rated world leading and internationally excellent. In the previous research assessment exercise (2008) we were also ranked in the top ten, making the School one of the UK's consistently outstanding research departments.

Geography and Sustainable Development


The School of History has particular research strengths in a variety of areas, including the Middle Ages and the Reformation, the Mediaeval and early modern English and Scottish Parliaments, Scottish and Mediterranean history, Environmental history, and the history of modern identity, including gender, ethnicity and nationalism.

School of International Relations

Research at the School of International Relations includes several research groups and focuses on three broad themes: conflict, peace and security; the evolving character of global and supra-national institutions; and civil societies and international relations.


Mathematics and Statistics

The research groups at the School of Mathematics and Statistics are internationally leading and attract researchers, postgraduate students and collaborators from around the world.

The School is also well-known for its research in the History of Mathematics.


The School of Medicine has active research programmes covering a variety of areas of biomedical science.

Modern Languages

With more than 40 research-active members of staff, the School of Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews represents one of the most dynamic groupings of Modern Languages scholars in the UK, and boasts an exceptionally broad variety of research interests that range from the mediaeval period to the twenty-first century and engage with the cultures of four different continents. The School is involved with various Centres and Institutes within the University.  In the 2014 UK-wide assessment of university research over 70% of the work in Modern Languages at St Andrews was rated world-leading and internationally excellent. We were also ranked first in Scotland on the quality of our publications.

Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies

Physics and Astronomy

The School of Physics and Astronomy is highly rated for its range of pure and applied research in Astronomy and Physics.

Psychology and Neuroscience

The School of Psychology and Neuroscience at St Andrews is one of the top rated research departments in the UK. There is a thriving research culture involving staff and postgraduates. Current research of international renown is being carried out in the following areas: