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Research

Durham 73rd in world rankings for Physical Sciences

(27 November 2017)

Durham University has been ranked 73rd in the world for Physical Sciences in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Subject Rankings 2017-18. 

The annual rankings assess universities across a range of criteria including teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

Continued excellence

The ranking for Physical Sciences builds on Durham’s reputation for global excellence, having been ranked as an overall world top 100 university by both the QS 2018 and THE World University Rankings 2018. 

Durham University has also been ranked fourth in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2018 and fifth in the 2018 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Innovative research and partnerships

Durham continues to lead and collaborate on innovative research and partnerships in the physical sciences. Examples include:

Light-powered molecules – designed to target individual living cells, including cancer cells, for potential treatment. This research is a collaboration between Durham’s Department of Chemistry and Rice and North Carolina State Universities in the USA.

Liquid water levels on Mars – a collaboration between Durham’s Department of Earth Sciences, the US Geological Survey, University of Arizona and the Planetary Science Institute which has suggested that Mars may have less water than previously thought.

Use of space technology in healthcare - research led by Professor Jon Girkin of the Department of Physics has adapted sophisticated optical technology developed for use in space to enable a better understanding of the operation of the human heart. 

A project to create realistic simulations of galaxies – academics in the Institute for Computational Cosmology are working to understand the origin and evolution of the universe.

National science outreach work - postgraduate students from the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology teamed up with staff to exhibit at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition to share their work on modelling the invisible with audiences of all ages.

Commitment to the future

The latest award comes as Durham University begins delivery of its new University Strategy, 2017-2027which includes a commitment to deliver world-leading research and research-led teaching across all departments.

Speaking about the latest league table success, Professor Patrick Hussey, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science, said: “It is hugely rewarding to see Durham University continue to be ranked by the THE as one of the top 100 universities in the world for physical sciences.

“This success illustrates our ongoing commitment to excellence in both teaching and research.

“We are passionate about research-led teaching to ensure that our students, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, benefit from the world-leading and fascinating research that takes place here.”

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