Oxford Skyline

Credit: University of Oxford

Oxford triumphs in QS rankings across five subject areas

The University of Oxford has come top in five subject areas in the latest and highly-regarded QS rankings, the highest number of subject firsts in the UK.

In rankings published today, Oxford is number 1 for: English Language & Literature, Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Archaeology, Anthropology, and Geography, plus in the broad subject area of Arts and Humanities.

Globally this comes below only MIT and Harvard for numbers of top subject spots.

The results also reflect a broader performance boost among British universities, which takes thirteen number-one ranks, an increase of three on last year.

Professor Ros Ballaster, Chair of the Board of the Faculty of English, said: ‘We are very proud to have retained our position at the top of the QS University World Rankings in  our subject for the 4th year in succession. This is a recognition both of the sustained depth and range of our scholarship and the continuing care and creativity of our teaching.  Our international reputation for excellence rests and will continue to be built on literary and language scholarship of the highest quality which is communicated to, engages with and supports the work of others who are also committed to promoting the best creative, cultural, and educational practice.'

The University of Oxford remains the world’s leading institution for the study of Archaeology for the third year in a row (2017, 2018, 2019). Its research faculty are the most productive and impactful of any Archaeology department.

Ben Sowter, Director of Research at QS, said: ‘Though Archaeology departments at other universities receive higher scores for individual metrics, no faculty is able to offer an entire departmental package – academic standards, research, and the nurturing of graduate employability all accounted for – as strong as the University of Oxford’s.’

Each of the subject rankings is compiled using four sources. The first two of these are QS’s global surveys of academics and employers (83,000 academics and 42,000 employers), which are used to assess institutions’ international reputation in each subject. The second two indicators assess research impact, based on research citations per paper and h-index in the relevant subject. These are sourced from Elsevier’s Scopus database, the world’s most comprehensive research citations database. 

These four components are combined to produce the results for each of the subject rankings, with weightings adapted for each discipline.

The results are available at www.TopUniversities.com.