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Durham University

Durham University News


Durham subjects ranked among the world’s best

(4 March 2021)

People sitting around a bench

16 of our subjects are in the top 100

We have once again been named as one of the world’s leading universities across a number of our subjects in the latest edition of the world’s most-consulted university rankings.

The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 put Durham in the world top 10 for Archaeology (fourth) as well as Theology and Religion (fifth).

Anthropology, Classics and Ancient History, English Studies, Geography, History, and Law also feature in the world top 50. Out of all the subjects ranked at Durham, Geography held the accolade for most citations per paper.

Earth Sciences, Education, Geology, Geophysics, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, Physics, Government and International Affairs, Psychology and Sports and Exercise Sciences are in the world top 100.

Across broad subject areas, Durham is in the world top 50 for Arts and Humanities (45th), while Natural Sciences retains a place in the top 100.

Global reputation

The QS subject rankings recognise Durham’s global reputation and research strengths, which include:

Ranked highly with future employers

The QS subject rankings are based on academic and employer reputation, research citations and the productivity and impact of the work published by academics.

With Durham ranked in the world top 40 for the employability of their students by blue-chip companies, Classics & Ancient History was a top performer for Durham University when it came to employer reputation.

Inspiring the extraordinary

Of the results, QS said: "The latest edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject finds that Durham continues to offer world-class employability outcomes and research contributions in an increasingly-competitive global higher education space.

"We continue to find that Durham’s offerings in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences are among the world’s very best – particularly in Archaeology, Classics, Geography, History, Anthropology, and Law – and congratulate all at Durham on the outstanding work that they are doing to contribute to human knowledge, prepare students for success in the modern world, and solve pressing intellectual challenges – particularly in such challenging circumstances."

Find out more

Please note the QS uses slightly different descriptions for subject areas than those used by Durham University:

  • Earth Sciences is called Earth and Marine Sciences by the QS
  • English Studies is English Language and Literature
  • Modern Languages and Cultures is Modern Languages
  • Physics is Physics and Astronomy
  • Government and International Affairs is Politics and International Studies
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences is Sports-related Subjects.